The National Center for Earth and Space Science Education, in partnership with NanoRacks, LLC, announces Mission 3 to the International Space Station. This opportunity gives students across a community the ability to design real experiments to fly in low earth orbit on the Space Station. The program is open to students in grades 5-14.

Each participating community will be provided with a real microgravity research mini-laboratory and all launch services to get it to the International Space Station and safely returned to earth.

An experiment design competition this fall in each community (Sept. 17 – Nov. 9) will allow student teams to design and write proposals for real experiments vying for their community’s reserved experiment slot on the Space Station. Flight experiments will be selected by Dec. 7. Additional programming leverages the experiment design competition to engage the community, embracing a learning community model for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.

The flight of the payload to Space Station is expected in early April 2013, and a return to earth in mid-May 2013, so that the entire Mission 3 program is contained in the 2012-13 academic year.

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