The Florida Space Grant Consortium is proud to announce that it is sponsoring two student-led payloads that will be launching on space shuttle Endeavour’s final mission, STS-134, currently scheduled to launch on April 29 at 3:47 p.m. EDT.
“We are absolutely delighted to support the team from Crystal Lake Middle School in Broward County in this year’s Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP). The goal of their experiment, named Apples in Space, is to compare the growth of a planted apple seed germinated in space to that of one germinated here on earth,” said the Director of the Florida Space Grant Consortium Jaydeep Mukherjee. “The NASA Florida Space Grant Consortium believes that this program, in which middle school students design and propose real experiments destined for the International Space Station, truly has the ability to inspire students.”
With only two flights remaining in the shuttle program, cargo space in the shuttle’s payload bay is at a premium. Given that these experiments have been included on the flight manifest highlights the dedication that both NASA and the Florida Space Grant Consortium place on encouraging young minds through exciting educational programs.
“Crystal Lake Middle Schools’ students and staff members are grateful that the Florida Space Grant Consortium has provided funding that will allow one of our student experiments to fly aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour in low Earth orbit for 14 days,” said the Magnet Programs Coordinator for Crystal Lake Middle School, Lenecia McCrary. “The students entered a school-wide competition that involved proposing and designing real and practical experiments. The chosen experiment deals with investigating the effects of micro-gravity on apple seed germination.”
The Florida Space Grant Consortium (FSGC) was established in 1989, when NASA began the national Space Grant College and Fellowship Program. This is a voluntary association of seventeen public and private Florida Universities and colleges led by the University of Central Florida. The Consortium also includes all of Florida’s community colleges, as well as the Astronaut Memorial Foundation, Space Florida, Kennedy Space Center, and Orlando Science Center. FSGC supports the expansion and diversification of Florida’s space industry, through providing grants, scholarships, and fellowships to students and educators from Florida’s public and private institutes of higher education. FSGC is administered by the University of Central Florida through the Florida Space Institute at the Kennedy Space Center.
For more information on the Apple seeds in Space experiment:
For more information on the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program: http://ssep.ncesse.org/communities/selected-experiments-on-sts-134/