Michelle Lucas

(281) 451-5343





LEESBURG, Virginia, November 29, 2019 – Sugarhouse Aerospace’s inaugural suborbital launch from Spaceport America in Sierra County, New Mexico, hosts many firsts, including educational endeavors created by high school students, setting the tone for a new private space movement.

The Dec. 14 launch hosts an art in space project created by participants of nonprofit Higher Orbits’ Go For Launch! program that uses space to promote science, technology, engineering, art and math education. Participants work with astronauts and scientists to develop STEM or STEAM projects that are launched to sub-orbital space or to (be conducted on) the International Space Station. Team Pisces Project members Amelia Brinson, Sophia Crowder, Mukta Dharmapurikar, and Annie Sprague won the Go For Launch! 2019 Full STEAM Ahead Durham Series.

“The goal of this experiment is to determine how microgravity's effect on the surface tension and resulting shape of liquids changes paint's behavior on a canvas. The idea is to experiment with various colors, sizes, and angles of paint droplets to create an abstract form of art.” said Mukta Dharmapurikar, who attends Durham Academy in Durham, North Carolina.

Through the generous support of Higher Orbits Launch Experience sponsor BRPH, all four Pisces Project team members will travel to Spaceport America in New Mexico to witness the once-in-a-lifetime experience of their experiment launching into suborbital space aboard the Sugarhouse Aerospace rocket.

This inaugural launch presents a learning curve for students and engineers. “This flight is about testing our technology, but it's also about setting the tone for a new age in the private space movement -- one of inclusion, accessibility, education, reach, and equal opportunity,” said Steve Heller, CEO, Sugarhouse Aerospace. “So, we have a mix of elementary, high school, university, consumer, and marketing payloads on our first flight, which is pretty representative of what we're about.”

“The arts and soft skills are crucial to developing the communication skills necessary for well-rounded and successful adults,” said Rich Pruss, vice president and director of aerospace and government programs of BRPH, an architecture and engineering firm committed to STEM education and community.

Students are grateful for BRPH’s sponsorship and the company’s belief in their ability to contribute to the space science community of research. “That Sugarhouse Aerospace is willing to taking our project up on its first launch means a lot,” said Annie Sprague, a sophomore from Riverside High School in Durham, North Carolina. “To think that art can be made in space without any human contact! I am fascinated and can’t wait to see the results.”

“The blended approach to this experiment fosters development of the student’s creativity in problem solving skill set. This is a vital attribute to the architecture and design engineering workforce,” Pruss said.

“We are honored to have the continued partnership of BRPH and Sugarhouse Aerospace in our mission to inspire the next generation of innovative and creative STEAMists and Explorers -- our future workforce,” said Michelle Lucas, Higher Orbits founder. “Space inspires! Through the generous and continued support of our mission partners like BRPH and Sugarhouse Aerospace, we are able to bring our life-changing Go For Launch! spaceflight STEAM experience to students throughout the United States.”

New Mexico’s Spaceport America has a history of serving as an incubator for new aerospace technologies, allowing creative thinking to leap from the notebook to space.

About Higher Orbits

Higher Orbits is a 501(c)3 non-profit that uses spaceflight to promote science, technology, engineering, art and math while strengthening leadership, teamwork, and communication skills. Higher Orbits conducts Go For Launch! and Go For Launch! Full STEAM Ahead events across the country and partners with companies and organizations to achieve educational goals that launch the next generation of scientists, researchers and creators. To learn more about 2020’s events and join our mission to inspire our next generation STEMists, STEAMists and Explorers, visit HigherOrbits.org.

About BRPH

BRPH is an international architecture, engineering, interior design, creative studio and construction services firm with clients in aerospace, government, manufacturing, commercial, education, entertainment and hospitality markets. More than designers, BRPH solves unique challenges requiring creative ideas precisely delivered. Founded in 1964 to support America’s space program, BRPH is consistently ranked among the nation’s top professional services firms and has designed a wide range of projects throughout the world. Headquartered in Melbourne, Florida, BRPH operates regional offices in Orlando, South Florida, Atlanta, Charleston, Huntsville, Houston, Seattle and Pasadena. For more information, visit brph.com.

About Sugarhouse Aerospace

Sugarhouse Aerospace, Inc., based in American Fork, Utah, aims to democratize access to space through vertically-integrated, low-cost suborbital launch platforms. For as little as $1,000, customers in the research, education and consumer sectors to whom space was previously inaccessible can loft payloads to an altitude of 125 kilometers and expose them to 5 to 7 minutes of microgravity time before electing to deploy in space or return to Earth. Consumer-priced access to space can turn good ideas into great ones, enhancing educational opportunities and development of orbital technologies critical to life on Earth. For more information, visit sugarhouseaerospace.com.


Recent Posts

STEM Careers Blog – Physics

STEM Careers Blog – Physics

Sophie’s ISS2023 Experience

Sophie’s ISS2023 Experience

STEM Careers Blog – Chemistry

STEM Careers Blog – Chemistry

Kiera’s ISS Experience

Kiera’s ISS Experience

Donate Today to Support Space Inspired STEM