Higher Orbits to Send Student Science to New Heights with Three Experiments Bound for the International Space Station

Higher Orbits 

Michelle Lucas


Higher Orbits Set to to Send Student Science to
New Heights with Three Experiments Bound
for the International Space Station

Higher Orbits Galactic HQ – March 20, 2024  In a groundbreaking leap for student-led scientific inquiry, Higher Orbits’ Go For Launch! program is set to send three pioneering research experiments to the International Space Station (ISS) onboard SpaceX's 30th Commercial Resupply Mission (CRS) for NASA. Higher Orbits’ payload integration partners, Space Tango, have created the winning student experiments for Teams Space Shell 6, 299312, and TARs that will launch from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on Thursday, March 21 at 4:55 p.m. EDT.

"Collaborating with Space Tango has transformed student curiosity into tangiblespace-bound research, offering a source of inspiration and a glimpse into the potentialfutures of these young scientists and engineers," expresses Michelle Lucas, CEO and founder of Higher Orbits. "This launch is not just about sending experiments to space, it's about launching dreams, igniting passions for STEM, and fostering the problem-solvers of tomorrow.

"Through collaboration and creativity, students across the United States have triumphedin the Higher Orbits’ Go For Launch! program—a multi-day space-inspired event focusing on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Winning flight projects are set to deliver exciting research to the global scientific community from onboard the space station.

Team Space Shell 6, composed of Cierra Aikens, Zahraa Mahmud, Taylor Meilstrup, Siri Olsen, Claire Parks, and Evelyn Weber, clinched the top spot at the Go For Launch! Sault Ste. Marie event in 2022, later securing victory in the prestigious Michigan Aerospace Manufacturers Association (MAMA) series. Their experiment, an investigation into the cellular reproduction of yeast in microgravity, aims to shed light on fundamental biological processes in the unique space environment.

Alyssa Urbina, Catalina Rodriguez, and Ulisses Hernandez make up Team TARs, whose winning experiment clinched the 1st Go For Launch! Midland Series. Their project focuses on studying the dynamics of fruit fly diets and their impact on development in microgravity. Results from this study could offer valuable insights into nutritional science and the adaptability of life in space.

Team 299312, featuring students Devan Comes, Ruqaiya Gheyasi, Anthony Quezada, and Zahra Ali, secured the win with their experiment at the Go For Launch! Phoenix event and emerged as the winner of the GLASS-z12 series in 2023. Their research on Cladosporium sphaerospermum—a species of fungus known for its radiation resistance—aims to explore the possibilities of life's resilience and growth under the challenging conditions of space radiation and microgravity.

These experiments contribute to the ongoing expansion of space research, and bring the total number of student projects sent to space via the Go For Launch! program to 20!

"As one of the first program scientists for the International Space Station two decades ago, I was always excited when we were able to launch student experiments to the ISS.  And today I am even more thrilled to see the student experiments from the Higher Orbits Go For Launch! program about to be launched on SpaceX-30," shares Astronaut Don Thomas who has been part of many Go For Launch! events across the country, including the Sault Ste Marie and Phoenix events. "What an amazing opportunity for these young scientists. I hope this experience will inspire them to pursue careers in science and engineering and that some of them will follow in my footsteps to travel into space themselves one day.

"Learn more about how Higher Orbits inspires the next generation of scientists, engineers, and astronauts to reach their dreams by visiting our website. Join us in celebrating the achievements of students in space exploration and follow the journey of the SpaceX-30 launch via our social media channels.


About Higher Orbits:

Founded in 2015, Higher Orbits is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization committed to offering secondary school students a unique experiential learning environment centered around space exploration, research, and spaceflight. Our goal is to cultivate the workforce of tomorrow by igniting students' passion for STEM through real-world applications and innovative opportunities. Join us in our mission to inspire and empower the next generation of innovators and explorers.

About Space Tango:

As a leader in the automation of health and technology advancements in space since2017, Space Tango provides critical infrastructure for research, development, and manufacturing in microgravity conditions. Through an integrated and intuitive approach, Space Tango collaborates with diverse partners to foster innovative production pathways in space. To learn more about their work, visit their website.

For further information, interviews, or additional insights, please contact:
Michelle Lucas
Phone: 281-451-5343


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