The Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) is about inspiring America’s next generation of scientists and engineers, and engaging entire communities in the process. Student teams proposing real experiments to fly on the International Space Station is the core SSEP activity. But community-wide engagement, and cross-disciplinary learning are also cornerstone objectives for SSEP in the context of the embraced Learning Community Model for STEM education (see the SSEP Community Program page.)
In this spirit, and continuing the tradition of SSEP on the final flights of Space Shuttles Endeavour and Atlantis, SSEP provides the opportunity for each participating community to conduct an art and design competition to create a Mission Patch—a paper 4-inch x 4-inch square emblem that captures the community’s SSEP experience. The selected Mission Patches will fly to ISS as part of the experiments payload, and will be returned embossed with a certification of flight in space. The mission patch competition is also an opportunity to keep community-wide excitement alive, and a means to extend the program in an interdisciplinary manner to engage, e.g., art and design, and history classes.
The National Center for Earth and Space Science Education is therefore proud to present the 22 Mission Patches selected for flight to the International Space Station (ISS) in Aquarius, the experiments payload for SSEP Mission 1 to ISS. Across the 12 communities participating in Mission 1 to ISS, there were 2,299 patch designs submitted by 4,936 students. Judges within the communities selected the 22 patches.
See the selected patches and read about the competition in each community at the Mission Patches on Mission 1 to the International Space Station page.
You can also read more about the Mission 1 to ISS Patch Competition at the main SSEP website.
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.