High school students from across the country will soon
see their year of hard work pay off by preparing their
experiments for launch into space.

Eight student teams and their teacher advisors will journey
to the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s Wallops Flight
Facility, Wallops Island, VA, after having their experiments
chosen for space flight through the NASA Student Involvement
Program (NSIP) flight opportunities competition.

NSIP is a national program that links students directly with
NASA’s diverse missions of research, exploration and
discovery. Students have the opportunity to learn science by
doing science.

“The purpose of the competition is to provide high school
students an opportunity to take what they have learned in the
classroom and apply it to the real world environment,” said
Lynn Marra, NSIP Officer at NASA Headquarters, Washington,
DC. “We hope that the students involved in the flights see it
as a positive experience and pursue careers in science and

Shortly after sunrise on June 6, the students will see their
experiments fly aboard a single-stage NASA Orion sounding
rocket to an altitude of more than 28 miles. The experiments
will descend by parachute to a water impact in the Atlantic
ocean off the coast of Wallops Island, where they will be
recovered and returned to the students that day for analysis.

Four of the student teams will converge on Wallops during the
first week of June to participate in the final activities to
prepare their experiments for the sounding rocket flight. The
experiments will investigate materials for future space
flight vehicles, study the efficiency of electric motors
during rocket flight, measure atmospheric constituents and
gather data on the sounding rocket flight environment for a
musical composition.

“Sounding rockets are an excellent education tool,” said
Bobby Flowers, chief of the Sounding Rockets Program Office
at Wallops. “Under NSIP, high school students are able to
design and build at low cost an experiment for sounding
rocket flight in one school year. In addition, after the
launch they get almost immediate feedback on the success of
their experiment. It’s very gratifying to see the excitement
of these students as they see their hard work pay off.”

During the second week of June the other four teams will be
at Wallops to integrate their experiments in a Space
Experiment Module (SEM) for flight on a future Space Shuttle
mission. The students will work with Wallops personnel in the
Space Shuttle Small Payloads Office to test their experiments
before the projects are integrated with the carrier for

Students will also have an opportunity to tour the Wallops
facility, participate in activities on microgravity and
rocketry, and give presentations on their experiments to NASA
managers, engineers and scientists.

Various activities during the two weeks, including the launch
of the sounding rocket, will be webcast. These activities
will be posted by June 1 at the following web site:


For additional information on the NSIP program, visit:


The NSIP flight opportunities is supported through the NASA
Headquarter’s Offices of Human Resources and Education, Space
Flight and Space Science.