2011- 2013 Student Launch Program
Student experiments successfully blast into space from Spaceport America
The New Mexico Space Grant Consortium successfully completed its fifth Student Launch Program launch event from Spaceport America near Las Cruces, N.M on June 21st. More than 60 NASA Summer of Innovation students and teachers watched as four primary experiments were propelled into space aboard a SpaceLoft-5 rocket, provided by UP Aerospace. Additional university experiments and other items were also on the rocket, which reached an altitude of approximately 73 miles and experienced 17 Gs of force at a speed of Mach 5 (five times the speed of sound at approximately 3,800 mph). Within two hours of their journey to space, the experiments were returned to students and teachers for analysis back on earth.
This launch was the first suborbital space flight for student experiments sponsored NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program, which facilitates low-cost access to suborbital environments for a broad range of innovators as a means of advancing space technology development and supporting the evolving entrepreneurial commercial space industry.
“Since the inaugural launch in 2009, we have strived to provide an exceptional learning experience for the students of New Mexico through our collaborative, hands-on program,” said Dr. Patricia Hynes, director of the New Mexico Space Grant Consortium. “The Student Launch Program is truly one-of-kind, as this is the only educational initiative in the country that gives students access to a commercial launch complex on a consistent basis. Including projects from today’s successful flight, we have now sent a total of 76 student experiments to space through this program.”
The Student Launch Program was created to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs for students in New Mexico. The launch, along with the yearlong education program in which students create and design the experiments, is sponsored by NASA through its Summer of Innovation Program.
Click on a school to access their post-flight data analysis reports
Camino Real Middle School
Hot Springs High School
New Mexico State University
Student, Teacher and Parent Testimonials
Emerson Schoeppner, 13, was amazed at how an experiment he worked on could actually fly into space. "This isn't something you can do every day, especially for young people like us," Schoeppner said. "That feeling of seeing something you built fly up into space is incredible. It is just a whole new level of learning."
"It was awesome seeing it go up and all the smoke with it," said spectator Lisa Barrera, 10, a student at Vista Middle School in Las Cruces. "I'm glad I got a video of it. That was the best thing. I can't forget that now."
David Cervantes, 13, a student at Camino Real Middle School, was eager to see the outcome of his team's experiment that was launched. It's pretty exciting to finally see the rocket go up and know the result," he said. His father, David Cervantes Sr., credited his son's teachers for getting the class involved in such a major project. "It's neat to see that somebody in middle school could have the opportunity to do the experiment and launch," he said.
Cobre High School students were testing out a form factor, a type of container that holds experiments as they travel to space, said Lisa Garcia, science instructor at the school. We're hoping NASA will take some of the ideas we came up with to design form factors for future spaceflights," she said.
Click here to see pictures of our launch on June 21st, 2013 (SL-7) and other previous launches!