NSS to Send Students Experiments to Space with EXOS Aerospace

Students from Andrew Goodin’s Building Creative Confidence class at Grand Center Arts Academy, along with the 3D-printed capsule and their experiments. (Credit: NSS)

WASHINGTON, DC, April 27, 2017 (NSS PR) — Enterprise In Space (EIS), a non-profit program of the National Space Society (NSS) will soon launch several experiments into space aboard a suborbital flight using reusable rocket technology.

As a demonstration of EIS’ NewSpace education program, the experiments draw from the different areas of the educational spectrum, middle school education and postgraduate research. In partnership with EIS’ higher education-focused Enterprise Centers for Excellence program, the Center for Applied Space Technology (CAST) has designed a biological microgravity experiment for postgraduate research into space medicine. Using a Biological Research in Canisters (BRIC) 100, featuring nine petri dishes, CAST believes its experiment will have both terrestrial applications and uses during long-duration space flight.

Within the broader EIS Academy, EIS worked with Andrew Goodin’s Building Creative Confidence class at Grand Center Arts Academy to design an entry-level experiment that introduces middle school students to lessons in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) education. These include experiments related to such things as using the heat of space to melt crayons into space art and determining the effects of the space environment on maple tree seeds that will be grown back on Earth when returned from space.

To house the experiments, Goodin’s class had to quickly produce a 3D-printed container that met the criteria of EXOS’ SARGE launch vehicle. The class was able to rapidly 3D print the special-made cube housing using the school’s Ultimaker 3D printer before putting the container through a drop test to ensure that it would survive the spacecraft’s journey into suborbital space. This team of 24 students operated at a space race pace. From concept to payload delivery took the team less than two months. The experiment will be launched in late May.

Experiments designed by Andrew Goodin’s Building Creative Confidence class at Grand Center Arts Academy, along with the 3D-printed capsule in which they will be stored. Experiments include: crayons that will melt to form space art, popcorn that will pop in the heat of space and sticky notes, to determine if the space environment reduces their adhesion. (Credit: NSS)

“Reusable rocket technology makes it possible to cut the launch waiting period for a payload dramatically, while also reducing costs,” said EXOS Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer John Quinn. “This lowers the barriers for the types of NewSpace education experiments made possible by EIS.”

The results of the biological experiment will be published online in the Enterprise Center for Excellence for Regenerative Medicine for Long Duration Space Flight, where university through postgraduate students in the EIS Academy will have access to the material to advance their education. Additionally, EXOS will work with EIS to create an educational K-12 curriculum for the EIS Academy (www.eisacademy.org), as the two partners further develop a long-term relationship.

Both experiments will be launched into space as payloads aboard EXOS’ next suborbital rocket launch, slated for late May at Spaceport America in New Mexico. Upon the successful completion of the launch, EXOS will present on its results at the upcoming International Space Development Conference® (ISDC®) in St. Louis, MO, May 25-29, 2017. As a capstone event, EXOS will also hand-deliver the space-flown experiment package to the students.

About Enterprise In Space

The National Space Society’s Enterprise In Space (EIS) is the world’s first NewSpace education program. EIS is dedicated to providing access to STEAM education to all through the open online EIS Academy and with the help of an artificial intelligence tutor named Ali. The program’s first Academy-wide project is the design, launch, and retrieval of a 3D-printed spacecraft carrying 100+ active and passive experiments from K-postgrad student teams from all around the world.

About the National Space Society (NSS)

NSS is an independent nonprofit educational membership organization dedicated to the creation of a spacefaring civilization. NSS is widely acknowledged as the preeminent citizen’s voice on space, with over 50 chapters in the United States and around the world. The Society publishes Ad Astra magazine, an award-winning periodical chronicling the most important developments in space. NSS thanks their ISDC 2016 Galaxy Sponsor, the Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust. To learn more, visit www.nss.org.

About EXOS Aerospace Systems and Technologies

EXOS Aerospace Systems & Technologies, Inc. enables clients to “Fly Now, rather than a Year from Now….” EXOS provides affordable, repeatable, and reliable commercial spaceflight with accelerated turnaround for clients who need minutes of Zero G time, who need to fly now rather than later and prefer immediate access to their payloads. Over the past decade, the team at EXOS has developed, flown and retrieved for re-use, rockets that are reliable, reusable, better for the environment and easier on your budget. They have successfully designed, built and flown rocket engines used in manned flight as well as having fulfilled multiple contracts with NASA. Through all of this, the EXOS team has developed and tested over a hundred rocket engines and dozens of flying vehicles. Now we are excited about serving the worlds’ commercial and US DoD needs.