The National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE) is proud to announce the 11 communities across America that have come aboard SSEP Mission 2 to the International Space Station (ISS). Mission 2 provides for a microgravity experiment design competition in Winter/Spring 2012, and the flight of Antares—the Mission 2 experiments payload—to ISS in Fall 2012. SSEP program operations began in the 11 Mission 2 communities on March 5, 2012. See the Mission 2 Critical Timeline for a list of milestone events.

To the thousands of students participating in Mission 2, and to their teachers, families, and communities, welcome to America’s space program, and real research on the frontiers of human exploration.

Mission 2 to ISS Communities. Click on Map to Zoom

In the next two weeks NCESSE will be posting a formal Community Profile page for Mission 2 communities that will provide an overview of each community’s: program scope, strategic needs in STEM education and how SSEP helps address those needs, list of partner organizations that are making Mission 2 possible, SSEP leadership team. (For a preview, see the SSEP Mission 1 to ISS Community Profile page.)

Here now are the 11 communities for Mission 2 to ISS, together with their organizational partners and links to websites. It should be noted that at least 51 organizational partners are making Mission 2 to ISS possible—which speaks to a remarkable breadth of community spirit, and a dedication to STEM education at a time when America needs it most. (To SSEP Community Program Directors, if we have left out any of your organizational partners, please let us know and we will update this post immediately):

1. Santa Monica, California

Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District
LEAD: Lincoln Middle School
SSEP Community Program Co-Directors: Marianna O’Brien, Carol Wrabel

Organizational Partners:
California Space Grant Consortium

2. East Lyme, Connecticut

East Lyme School District
LEAD: East Lyme Middle School
SSEP Community Program Co-Directors: Deborah Galasso, Linda Nastri, Carla Woitovich

Organizational Partners:
Connecticut Space Grant Consortium

3. Chicago, Illinois (their second SSEP flight)
Chicago Public Schools
LEAD: Skinner West Classical, Fine Arts, and Technology School
SSEP Community Program Director: Kori Milroy

Organizational Partners:
Motorola Solutions Foundation
Subaru of America

4. Cicero, Illinois

Cicero School District 99
LEAD: Unity Junior High School
SSEP Community Program Co-Directors: Elsa Berrios, Vikki Parkinson

Organizational Partners:
Exxon Mobil

5. Fitchburg, Massachusetts (their third SSEP flight)

LEAD: Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School
SSEP Community Program Director: Paula deDiego

Organizational Partners:
Massachusetts Space Grant Consortium
NCMWIB: North Central Massachusetts Workforce Investment Board
OPK Biotech
Micron Integrated Technologies

6. Pennsauken, New Jersey

LEAD: Pennsauken Township Public Schools
SSEP Community Program Co-Directors: Mike Ostroff, Peter Woodcock

Organizational Partners:
Subaru of America
The Dow Chemical Company
Holman Enterprises
Celgene Corporation
Cherry Tree Corporate Center
New Jersey Space Grant Consortium
Toth Technologies
WORKNET Occupational Medicine
Mega Wireless

7. Guilford County, North Carolina (their second SSEP flight)

LEAD: Guilford County Schools
SSEP Community Program Director: Shirley Stipe-Zendle
Team Leads: Lenny Sue French, Cassandra Flemming, Robin Marrs, Alison Manka

Organizational Partners:
North Carolina Space Grant
The Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro
Ellison Family Foundation
Enrichment Fund for the Guilford County Schools

8. Houston, Texas (their second SSEP flight)

Houston Independent School District
LEAD: Johnston Middle School
SSEP Community Program Co-Directors: Nena Berry, Amber Pinchback

Organizational Partners:
Texas Space Grant Consortium
Advanced Metal Fusion
Coca-Cola North America
Lockheed Martin

9. Presidio, Texas

LEAD: Presidio Independent School District
SSEP Community Program Co-Directors: Shella Condino, Dennis McEntire

Organizational Partners:
ETT – Electric Transmission Texas
S. Kanetzky Engineering
Pfluger Associates Architects
Kleinman Consultants

10. Russell County, Virginia

Russell County Public Schools
LEAD: Lebanon High School
SSEP Community Program Co-Directors: Jane Carter, Scotty Fletcher

Organizational Partners:
Virginia Space Grant Consortium
CGI Technologies and Solutions
Alpha Natural Resources
Russell County Board of Supervisors
Southwestern Virginia Technology Council
Northrop Grumman
Virginia Tech Southwest Center

11. Shoreline, Washington

Shoreline Public Schools
CO-LEADS: Einstein Middle School, Highland Terrace Elementary School
SSEP Community Program Co-Directors: Stephanie Clark, Mike Van Oden

Organizational Partners and Individuals:
Tiia-Mai Redditt
Knossos Foundation
Shoreline Public Schools Foundation
Kathleen Wong and Family


SSEP is the first pre-college STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education program that is both a U.S. national initiative and implemented as an on-orbit commercial space venture. SSEP is enabled through NanoRacks LLC, which is working in partnership with NASA under a Space Act Agreement as part of the utilization of the International Space Station as a National Laboratory.

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