Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP)

The National Center for Earth and Space Science Education, in partnership with NanoRacks LLC, announces an immediate opportunity for communities across the U.S. to participate in the first Student Spaceflight Experiments Program, or SSEP, mission to America’s national laboratory in space — the International Space Station. The program is also open to space station partner nations.

Each participating community will be provided an experiment slot in a real microgravity research mini-laboratory scheduled to fly on the space station from March 30 to May 16, 2012. An experiment design competition in each community — engaging 300 to 1,000 students — allows student teams to design real experiments vying for their communities’ reserved experiment slot on the space station. Additional SSEP programming leverages the experiment design competition to engage the community, embracing a Learning Community Model for science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, education.

SSEP missions on STS-134 (Space Shuttle Endeavour) and STS-135 (Space Shuttle Atlantis) have recently been completed, with 1,027 student team proposals received, and 27 SSEP experiments selected and flown — representing the 27 communities that participated in SSEP on the space shuttle.

Letters of Commitment for this opportunity are due Sept. 15, 2011.

To learn more about this opportunity, visit the SSEP Mission 1 to ISS National Announcement of Opportunity at

The SSEP in-orbit research opportunity is enabled through NanoRacks LLC, which is working in partnership with NASA under a Space Act Agreement as part of using the International Space Station as a national laboratory.

If you have any questions about this opportunity, please e-mail SSEP National Program Director Jeff Goldstein at


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