On Thursday NASA astronaut Suni Williams, who has flown on the space shuttle and served on ISS Expeditions 14 and 15, will announce two winners of the global Youtube Space Lab science competition. The contest challenged high-school age students to design science experiments to fly on the International Space Station, and thousands of students from over 80 countries answered the call. NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), and Space Adventures all cooperated in launching the worldwide contest.
Williams currently holds several female spaceflight records, including the longest spaceflight by a female astronaut – 195 days. She also holds records for the most spacewalks (four) and the most time spent on spacewalks (nearly 30 hours) by a female astronaut. Williams, who has served as NASA’s Deputy Chief of the Astronaut Office since 2008, will conduct the two winning student-designed experiments onboard the International Space Station when she returns to the orbiting outpost later this year to serve on Expedition 32 and command Expedition 33.
A team of judges including William Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for NASA’s Human Exploration Mission Directorate, and former astronaut Leland Melvin, associate administrator for NASA’s Office of Education, selected 60 finalists from the thousands of submissions. Online voting narrowed down the nominees to six regional finalists last February. Two of the six team finalists are from the United States – the other four are from Spain, Egypt, India, and New Zealand. Youtube will live-stream the winning team’s experiments when they are performed onboard the International Space Station later this year.
The awards ceremony will take place Thursday at 10:00 a.m. EDT in the Newseum’s Knight Room at 555 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W. in Washington.
For more information about the Youtube Space Lab contest and the competition’s finalists, please visit http://www.youtube.com/