KENNEDY SPACE CENTER (FL), July 10, 2019 – When the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches on its next mission to the International Space Station (ISS), the Dragon spacecraft will be loaded with dozens of experiments to be conducted in space, many of which are from students and educators. More than 40 student experiments and demonstrations are included on SpaceX’s 18th commercial resupply services mission (CRS-18) to the space station. Part of the goal of the ISS U.S. National Laboratory is to excite and engage the next generation of scientists and allow them to push the boundaries of conventional classroom settings by conducting experiments in space.
Among the student investigations on SpaceX CRS-18 will be 38 separate MixStix experiments developed by young explorers through the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program. MixStix are small mixture enclosure tubes that use clamps to keep fluids or solids (such as chemicals or biological materials) separate until the clamps are released in space to allow the contents to mix. MixStix research on this mission ranges from the evaluation of mold in microgravity to experiments involving water purification and plant biology.
The Quest Institute will launch a multi-experiment investigation involving student teams from all over the world. Students will send five investigations focused on magnetism advances that could support the design of future microgravity research.
Magnitude.io will launch two investigations allowing students to examine how microgravity influences bacterial growth. Nickelodeon, the children’s television network, will be sending its iconic slime to space to investigate how microgravity affects the material. The project will include a series of science demonstrations to help students learn about basic fluid dynamics.
According to ISS National Lab Chief Operating Officer Kenneth Shields, “All of this student activity is a critical part of the ISS National Lab mission to engage the next generation of dreamers and explorers. Spaceflight research and development is inspiring a new generation to continue the quest for scientific exploration and is helping to shape the future leaders and decision makers of our country and the world.”
SpaceX CRS-18 is scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station no earlier than July 24 at 6:24 p.m. EDT.
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About the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory: In 2005, Congress designated the U.S. portion of the ISS as the nation’s newest national laboratory to optimize its use for improving quality of life on Earth, promoting collaboration among diverse users, and advancing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. This unique laboratory environment is available for use by non-NASA U.S. government agencies, academic institutions, and the private sector. The ISS National Lab manages access to the permanent microgravity research environment, a powerful vantage point in low Earth orbit, and the extreme and varied conditions of space.
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