The Falcon I payload of 7 SSEP Mission 3a experiments returned to Earth aboard Soyuz 35S, with touchdown in Kazakhstan at 9:49 PM EST, Sunday November 10, 2013 (see November 10 Blog Post.) The payload was then air-freighted to NanoRacks in Houston, where the mini-labs were removed from the payload box.
NanoRacks informed NCESSE tonight at 8:09 pm EST, that the mini-labs have been taken to FedEx for overnight delivery to all student flight teams on Wednesday, November 13.
All flight teams have been notified separately, and are preparing for harvesting and analysis of their flight and ground truth experiments.
Good luck to all teams and let’s see what science has been gleaned from these experiments:)
An FYI to student flight teams (and anyone else reading along)–
When you receive your flight mini-lab take a moment to reflect on the fact that it just came back from low Earth orbit. It reached orbit on September 29, and returned on November 10, so it was on orbit for exactly 6 weeks, or 42 days. Given that in low Earth orbit, a single orbit of the Earth takes about 90 minutes, your mini-lab made about 670 orbits of the Earth. But one orbit of the Earth is a distance of about 25,000 miles. So that mini-lab, and whatever was inside it, travelled 670 x 25,000 miles = 16,750,000 miles. That is like going to the Moon and back … 35 times.
SSEP … real spaceflight all the time.