Three students who launched their space dreams via YouTube watched their science experiments rocket to the International Space Station this weekend. This student endeavor, co-sponsored by YouTube, Lenovo, and Space Adventures, sent experiments designed by Dorothy Chen and Sara Ma, both 16, of Troy, Mich. and Amr Mohamed, 18, of Alexandria, Egypt to the stars via the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). JAXA’s H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 3 successfully launched at 11:06 a.m. JST on July 21, 2012 (10:06 p.m. EST).
Once the experiments are onboard the International Space Station, (ISS) U.S. astronaut Sunita Williams will perform the work, as directed by the students. The results will be live streamed from space to the world on a Lenovo ThinkPad laptop via YouTube this fall.
As part of the prize for winning the YouTube Space Lab competition, the global winners were awarded a choice between two unique space experiences: a trip to Japan to watch their experiment blast off to rendezvous with the ISS; or a one-of-a-kind astronaut training experience in Star City, Russia, the training center for Russian cosmonauts. Winners Chen and Ma are traveled to Japan to watch their experiment take off in the HTV3 rocket, while winner Mohamed just completed his astronaut training experience in Russia.
The YouTube Space Lab competition challenged budding scientists in two age categories, 14-16 years old and 17-18 years old, either alone or in groups of up to three, to submit a YouTube video describing their experiment to YouTube.com/SpaceLab. Over 150,000 YouTube users worldwide helped determine winners by voting for their favorite experiment.