*Achieve your DofE Gold Award with Mission Discovery King's College London residential package

Mission Discovery
Space & STEM Summer School


ISSET’s Mission Discovery Summer School programme is a great opportunity for ordinary students to do something extraordinary.

Secondary school students from ages 14 - 18 get to work with NASA Astronauts, rocket scientists and NASA personnel for a week. Mission Discovery works off a first-come first-serve basis. There is no selection process, giving everyone equal opportunity to get involved.

In teams, students will propose an idea for their own scientific experiment; the best idea will be launched into space and carried out by Astronauts aboard the International Space Station.

With help from brilliant NASA role models, Astronauts, Astronaut trainers, NASA personnel, scientists and engineers; students will learn about space and STEM through a variety of exhilarating hands-on activities, based on themes such as:

  • NASA leadership and team building
  • How space exploration benefits life on Earth
  • Experiencing the environment of space
  • Looking at different kinds of experiment and what makes them great
  • How you succeed in your dreams and ambitions



Find a Mission Discovery Near You

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King's College London

9th - 13th July, 2018


Public

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London 2018

22nd - 26th October, 2018


Public

The Team (Past & Present)

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Dr Michael Foale CBE

NASA Astronaut & ISS Commander

Mike was the first British-born NASA Astronaut and has been into space on 6 missions. His experience includes; being Commander of the International Space Station, bringing the Hubble Space Telescope back to life and having a major role in saving the Russian ‘Mir’ Space Station as it tumbled out of control around the Earth, following the only collision in outer-space. He has had a range of senior roles in NASA that include having been the Deputy Administrator at NASA HQ, Chief of the Astronaut Office Expedition Corps and Assistant Director of the Johnson Space Centre. Mike held the record for the number of days spent in space.

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Steve Swanson

NASA Astronaut & ISS Commander

Steve Swanson is a NASA astronaut and an engineer.

Swanson has flown on two Space Shuttle flights, STS-117 and STS-119, and Expedition 39 to the ISS aboard the Soyuz.

Steve has also served as a CAPCOM for ISS and Space Shuttle missions. He has logged 643 hours in space and completed four spacewalks totalling 26 hours and 14 minutes.

Steve is a recipient of the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal.

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Scott Kelly

NASA Astronaut & ISS Commander

Former International Space Station Commander and veteran of 5 space missions, recipient of 6 NASA medals. Embarking on a 12 month mission to the ISS in 2015. Identical twin of retired astronaut Mark Kelly.

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Ken Ham

NASA Astronaut & Space Shuttle Commander

Ken was the commander of the Space Shuttle Atlantis Mission STS-132 to the International Space Station in May 2010. Additionally Ken's Space experience includes being the Pilot of Space Shuttle Mission STS-124. Ken's Background is as a naval aviator and test pilot.

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Stephen G. Bowen

NASA Astronaut

Steve Bowen is a NASA Astronaut with experience of carrying out 3 Space Shuttle missions to the International Space Station.

His space missions involve him travelling almost 17 million miles in space and having completed 638 orbits of the earth. In his space missions Steve carried out 7 space walks, NASA’s most hazardous mission activity.

He is a US Navy Captain and former submariner. He has achieved BSc and MA in Engineering and received numerous awards from the US Navy and NASA.

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Jean-Jacques Favier

Astronaut

Jean-Jacques Favier is a French engineer and a former CNES astronaut who flew aboard the STS-78 NASA Space Shuttle mission. Favier was due to fly aboard the Columbia mission in 2003, but later signed out of the mission. Favier spent a total of 16d 21h 48m in space.

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Nicole Stott

NASA Astronaut

Nicole has completed two NASA space missions. Her first long-duration flight was to the International Space Station, where she spent 91 days in space and enjoyed her first spacewalk lasting 6 hours. While aboard the ISS she helped with vital research and installed new treadmill and maintenance systems.

She returned to space in 2011 on the penultimate space shuttle flight with STS 133 as a Flight Engineer. Throughout her fantastic career she has collected a range of prestigious NASA awards, including the Distinguished Service Medal and Exceptional Achievement Medal, amongst many more.

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Yi So-yeon

Astronaut

Yi So-yeon is a scientist who became the first Korean to fly in space, spending a total of 10 days 21 hours over the course of the Soyuz TMA-12 and Soyuz TMA-11 missions.

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Mike McCulley

NASA Astronaut

Michael James McCulley is a retired Captain in the United States Navy, a former NASA astronaut and was the first submariner in space. Mike was the pilot on mission STS-34 and has spent a total of 4d 23h 39m in space.

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Jerry L. Ross

NASA Astronaut

Jerry is a veteran of seven Space Shuttle missions, including the first mission to assemble the International Space Station. This makes him the joint record-holder for most spaceflights ever. Throughout his career, Ross received 15 NASA medals and was awarded the American Astronautical Society's Victor A. Prather Award for his numerous spacewalking achievements. In February 2014 it was announced that Jerry will be inducted into the Astronaut Hall of Fame.

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Ken Bowersox

NASA astronaut.

Ken is a NASA Astronaut with experience of five Space Shuttle Missions, two as Commander and a long duration space mission as the Commander of the International Space Station.


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Dr Julie Keeble

Lecturer of Pharmacology

Julie is a lecturer in the Institute of Pharmaceutical Science at King’s and is a jointly affiliated with of the Centre for Human & Aerospace Physiological Sciences. Her research focuses on the role of sensory nerves, pain, inflammation and thermoregulation. Julie is also ISSET’s Chief Scientist and is responsible for ensuring that all winning Mission Discovery experiments are launched to the International Space Station.

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Prof Steve Harridge

Professor of Human & Applied Physiology

Steve is Professor of Human & Applied Physiology and Director of the Centre of Human and Aerospace Physiological Sciences, at King's College London.

His research interest is human skeletal muscle function and plasticity, particularly with regard to ageing.

Steve is also Director of the MSc in Human & Applied Physiology and Co-Director of the MSc in Aviation Medicine.

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Dr James Clarke

Lecturer of Applied & Human Physiology

James holds a Lectureship in Applied & Human Physiology (Aerospace Physiology) at King's College London.

He has worked in the Cardiovascular Division at King's College London and has been awarded a British Heart Foundation Research Fellowship to carry out work on cardio-protection.

James is a member of the International Society for Heart Research(ISHR), The British Cardiac Society, The British Society for Cardiovascular Research and the Physiological Society.

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Dr David Green

Lecturer of Human & Aerospace Physiology

David's a Lecturer of Human & Aero-space Physiology and is the coordinator of the Aero-space & Extreme Environment Adaptation Group within the Centre of Human and Aerospace Physiological Sciences at King's College London.

His work is in the physiological responses and adaptation that occur in times of change. A particular interest of his is in the adaptations seen during exposure to extreme and hostile environments.

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Dr James Tour

Award-Winning Nanotechnologist

Dr James M. Tour is a synthetic organic chemist, specializing in nanotechnology. Dr. Tour is the T. T. and W. F. Chao Professor of Chemistry, Professor of Materials Science and NanoEngineering, and Professor of Computer Science at Rice University in Houston, Texas, United States.

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Prof Michael Fenech

World Renowned Geneticist

Professor Michael Fenech has more than 20 years of cutting edge experience in the field of Nutrition and Genetic Toxicology. He is renowned internationally for his research and for developing the gold standard method used worldwide to measure DNA damage in human cells. His current research at CSIRO Food & Nutritional Sciences in Adelaide is investigating genome health maintenance.
Four classic methods of determining genome deteriation are used worldwide, Michael develop done of these methods.

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Dr James W. Rice, PhD

Astrogeologist

Dr. James W. Rice, is an Astrogeologist with over 25 years of research experience specializing on the surface geology and history of water on Mars. His career includes working for NASA, Astrogeology Headquarters of the United States Geological Survey, the Mars Spaceflight Facility located at Arizona State University and the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory located at the University of Arizona. Dr. Rice is a Co-Investigator on the Mars Exploration Rover Project (Spirit and Opportunity).

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Dr Thais Russomano

Space Doctor

Thais has over 20 years experience in the fields of Aerospace Medicine, Human Physiology, Biomedical Engineering, & Telemedicine & Health. She studied medicine in Brazil, completed a Masters Degree in Aerospace Medicine in Ohio and her PhD in Space Physiology at King’s. She is a Founder, Director and Associate Professor of the Microgravity Centre at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS), Porto Alegre, Brazil. She is also guest scientist at the German Aerospace Centre, and winner of numerous national & international awards in the area of Space Life Science Research.

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Paul Colosky, Jr.

Leading Sports Scientist

Paul Colosky, Jr. completed both undergraduate and graduate degrees in Exercise and Sport Science with a Sports Medicine Concentration at Colorado State University. While at CSU, Paul worked as an athletic trainer with the varsity football and track and field athletes providing sports medicine coverage for injury prevention and rehabilitation. He also has a history of working with NASA to develop a resistive exercise machine for use in space to help maintain astronaut muscle and bone, for which he received a US patent. Paul was also the lead scientist for an experiment on the NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations 6 (NEEMO 6) mission that evaluated the efficiency of different stretching techniques in a neutrally buoyant environment as a way to maintain muscle health in microgravity. Paul obtained his Masters degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Houston Medical Branch, and now owns Valeo Physical Therapy in Houston, Tx. He's had the privilege of working with elite athletes, students, various members of his community, and their families.

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Sarah Murray

NASA’s Mission Support & Partnership Councils Executive

Sarah is the Council Executive for NASA’s Mission Support Council & Partnership Council at NASA HQ. Working with NASA’s Deputy Administrator and Deputy Associate Administrator, she is responsible for facilitating NASA’s governance process across NASA centres throughout the US. She has also served as Assistant Division Chief for EVA, Robotics and Crew Systems where she was responsible for the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory Space Walking training facility. She has held roles in Astronaut Training and Mission Control. She has been Deputy Chief of Space Flight Training Management where she was the Chair of the International Training Control Board, responsible for training astronauts and cosmonauts.

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Monica Foley

Physcist/Russian Integrator at NASA

When human beings from all walks of life, come together to transcend geographical, cultural, political, academic, governmental and corporate boundaries, for the mission of bettering life on Earth, that isn’t Science Fiction, it is indeed Science Fact. Monica Lee Foley has been passionately dedicated to contributing to the success of the International Space Station (ISS) mission, an outer space laboratory, which orbits the Earth every 1.5 hours, led by NASA and the United States in collaboration with 15 countries involving over 100, 00 people for nearly 20 years. Currently, she is the ISS Contracting Officer for Russian contracts and agreements. In this capacity, among other procurements, she is responsible for the negotiations and technical oversight of the Federal Government’s acquisition of the Russian Soyuz spaceship services. These services provide US astronauts launch access to and return from the International Space Station. Additionally, she is responsible for the development of international agreements, negotiations and the integration of contractual interfaces with the Russian Federal Space Agency and their contractors. Ms. Foley has held several appointments of technical leadership, as her career progresses, she continues to lead increasingly challenging, rewarding and fulfilling factions of human spaceflight operations projects and programs. With 15 years of Mission Control Center Flight Controller experience, she is the first person to ever earn certifications in all 3 Electrical Power Systems Flight Control positions. Ms. Foley has also been positioned as the Management Lead for Instructors of Astronauts and Flight Controllers for the ISS Electrical Power and External Thermal Control Systems. In this capacity, she designed training flows for US Astronauts as well as International Partner Crew members and US Flight Controllers and those responsible for training both. Additionally, she has also served as the Special Assistant to the Director of the Mission Operations Directorate. In this capacity, she provided technical support for decisions affecting all aspects of NASA's manned spaceflight mission planning, flight controller and astronaut training, Mission Control and facilities. Ms. Foley has also worked as the Technical Assistant for the Space Flight Training Division, responsible for all facets of training related to human spaceflight. Ms. Foley performed research during her undergraduate studies at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Her research, "K-Shell Auger and Radiative Transitions in Carbon Iso-Electronic Sequence" is published by the NASA Astrophysics Data System, Harvard Smithsonian Center Astrophysics and the University of California. At the age of 20, she earned a B.S. in Physics from Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA. Ms. Foley is a classically trained lyric soprano and has performed with international recording artists such as “Mary Mary”, Yolonda Adams, Kathy Taylor, Michael McDonald and Diahann Carroll. She has performed internationally and for BET television, the McDonald’s Gospel tour Dr. Maya Angelou as well as others. Ms. Foley is an active proponent of mentoring youth to focus on higher education with an emphasis in STEM and Research.

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Jay Honeycutt

Former Director of Kennedy Space Centre

Jay is the former Director of NASA's Kennedy Space Centre and the former President of Lockheed Martin Space Operations.

As an engineer Jay has had almost unrivalled senior level experience with NASA in the Apollo, Skylab, Apollo-Soyuz and Space Shuttle Space missions.

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Camille Wardrop Alleyne

ISS Assistant Program Scientist

Camille Wardrop Alleyne is the Assistant Program Scientist for NASA’s International Space Station.
She is responsible for communicating the scientific and technological accomplishments of the ISS and the benefits to life on Earth to the top leadership at NASA and the US Congress. She is the recipient of several recognition awards from NASA, she has played a lead role in the design and development of space vehicles, among them the state-of-the-art Orion crew exploration vehicle. Camille is the only woman of Caribbean descent in a senior management position at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

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Tara M Ruttley, PhD

Associate Program Scientist for the ISS at Johnson Space Center

Tara M Ruttley, PhD is the Associate Program Scientist for the International Space Station (ISS) for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) at Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston. Her role in the Program Science Office consists of representing and communicating all research on the space station, and supporting research recommendations to the ISS Program Manager and to NASA Headquarters. Prior to her role in the ISS Program Science Office, Dr. Ruttley served as the lead flight hardware engineer for the ISS Crew Health Maintenance System, and later for the ISS Human Research Facility. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and a Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Colorado State University, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Neuroscience from the University of Texas Medical Branch. Dr. Ruttley has authored publications ranging from hardware design to neurological science, and also holds a U.S. utility patent.

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Chris Barber

Founder & Director of ISSET

Chris founded ISSET in 1998 with the aim of inculcating in young people the NASA ‘you can do it’ spirit.

Chris has a long record of school leadership and transformation. Prior to his work in education he worked in finance in the City of London as an insolvency loss underwriter and corporate credit management specialist.

His school leadership includes being deputy head teacher in two large high schools. In his last school he was instrumental in taking the school from below average to be the most successful school in England and Wales’ at A level and in trebling the schools GSCE results. In that post Chris raised over £7 million to rebuild the school buildings.

Since founding ISSET Chris has worked with space centres, schools and young people in the UK, USA, Norway, India and Australia.

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Andy Campbell

Entrepreneur and STEM Ambassador

Over the last 20 years, Andy has amassed a wealth of experience in business start-ups and scale ups. Andy has concluded over £25m in international contracts, secured £2m in venture capital, led a MBO and been responsible for the strategic vision, creation, planning, implementation and management of several digital media businesses. Andy joined ISSET in 2014 as Commercial Director looking to expand the reach of Mission Discovery throughout UK, Europe and the world.

WINNING EXPERIMENTS

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GURGAON, INDIA (SHIV NADAR SCHOOL)


This experiment will look at speeding up the process of germination in space

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KING’S COLLEGE LONDON, ENGLAND, UK


This experiment will test electric fields as a method of transporting polar liquids.

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Ayrshire, SCOTLAND, UK


This experiment will investigate the effect of microgravity on the electricity produced by phytoplankton through photosynthesis.

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Renfrewshire, SCOTLAND, UK


This experiment will investigate if Aloe Vera gel is effective at stopping the growth of fungi in space.

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Rhondda Valley, Wales, UK


A lot of time and energy has been spent looking at how to make immiscible liquids miscible in microgravity. However, there are times when astronauts and scientists have wanted to separate immiscible liquids (and even gases, including air) when they have become weightless and no longer form layers in Space. This experiment will test the usefulness of heat, mixing, straws and pipetting in separating immiscible liquids neatly into their separate components on the International Space Station.

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DELHI, INDIA (SHIV NADAR SCHOOL)


The experiment they will be launching to the Space Station is: Solving Food Muddle in Space by using the property of cellulase bacteria to convert cellose into glucose.

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KING’S COLLEGE LONDON, ENGLAND, UK

Their experiment will be assessing the ability of the bacterium Chondromyces Crocatus to form ‘fruiting bodies’ in microgravity.

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AYRSHIRE, SCOTLAND, UK


Their experiment will look at whether the surface type of a material affects the speed slime mould could travel in micro gravity.

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RENFREWSHIRE, SCOTLAND, UK

This experiment will look at how crops could be grown in space.

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CAERPHILLY, WALES, UK

This experiment will try to determine if probiotic bacteria is the best antiseptic for use in space.

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KING’S COLLEGE LONDON, ENGLAND, UK

This experiment is set to see if electricity generating bacteria, once taken to a microgravity environment, will increase either the rate or amount of electricity generated when compared with the same process on Earth.

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MERTHYR TYDFIL, WALES, UK

This experiment will be looking to see whether symbiotic relationships between plants and bacteria are maintained in a microgravity environment.

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RENFREWSHIRE, SCOTLAND, UK

The hypothesis for this experiment is testing the impact of bacterial phages on different types of bacteria, such as e-coli, in zero gravity conditions.

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CRANFIELD UNIVERSITY, UK

This experiment aims to test whether ionic liquids are effective lubricants in microgravity.

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VALPARAISO UNIVERSITY, USA

This experiment will examine the 3D applications of electrowetting in microgravity.

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EMBRY RIDDLE AERONAUTICAL UNIVERSITY, USA

This experiment aims to look at luciferase (the enzyme that gives fireflies their ‘glow’) activity in microgravity in a set up very similar to a ‘glow stick’.

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RENFREWSHIRE, SCOTLAND, UK

Treatment of red-eye (conjunctivitis) in space: Astronauts are required to spend 2 weeks in isolation before any launch to the ISS to prevent them from catching any illness and to allow any illnesses that they have already caught to transpire. As commercial space flight starts to become a reality, the possibility of putting people in quarantine for such a long period will become practically impossible. Conjunctivitis has approximately a 2 day incubation period in humans. It is possible that when commercial space flights increase in length, such illnesses with short incubation periods will require treatment on board the spacecraft. This experiment will therefore determine the effectiveness of treatments for conjunctivitis in microgravity.

Carbon dioxide consumption by cacti in microgravity: Elevated carbon dioxide levels are a potential problem in space. Although plants can readily consume CO2, they are notoriously difficult to grow in microgravity due to fluidic problems. Cacti require very little water and so are predicted to have a much better survival rate. This experiment will see whether their rate of CO2 consumption in space can also be maintained.

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KING’S COLLEGE LONDON, ENGLAND, UK

The effect of microgravity on motor function of Drosophila with symptoms of Parkinson’s disease-like symptoms: Feany & Bender (2000) first reported a model of Parkinson’s disease in Drosphila which has enabled the study of this disease in a species which can be easily manipulated without the same ethical considerations as models in rodents and higher species. This experiment will determine the impact of microgravity on the symptoms of this disease, as related to motor function.

Chemical reactions in Alzheimer’s disease in microgravity: This experiment will compare the rate of amyloid beta-protein aggregation on earth versus microgravity. Aggregation of this protein is considered to be a major contributor to the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and further understanding of the nature of its aggregation is of potential benefit for future treatments.

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KING’S COLLEGE LONDON, ENGLAND, UK

Daphnia magna in space: Daphnia will produce sexually or asexually depending on the nature of their environment. Under stressful conditions, they will resort to sexual reproduction. The aim of this study is to determine whether the microgravity environment of the ISS is stressful enough to initiate sexual reproductive activity through analysis of eggs.

Effect of plant steroids on plant growth in microgravity: Plants are notoriously difficult to grow in microgravity, but they will provide an essential food source for long-term space missions. This experiment will determine whether plant steroids can potentiate their growth in a microgravity environment.

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KING’S COLLEGE LONDON, ENGLAND, UK

This experiment will test the effectiveness of antibiotics on E. coli in space.

HOST YOUR OWN MISSION DISCOVERY


Mission Discovery is an international programme, which provides an opportunity for young people to work with inspiring role models. It is an ideal programme for students with an interest in pursuing a career in science, biomedicine or technology. However, it is not only for those considering a scientific or medical career – it can give pupils valuable life skills and the confidence to follow their dreams. Mission Discovery has been running since 2012 hosting events in 4 different countries, we hope to expand on this year after year, giving ordinary students the chance to achieve something extraordinary.

If you would like to work with Astronauts and NASA leaders hosting your own Mission Discovery, please contact Ross Barber on: +44 (0)29 2071 0295, or via email at rbarber@isset.uk.

RECENT NEWS

Astronaut Steve Swanson features on Times of India - Oct 8 2016


An article from the Times of India: Students in Delhi-NCR have the first-of-its-kind opportunity to define the next mission of the International Space Station, that too, under the guidance of retired astronaut Steve Swanson.

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Experiments feature on NASA's 'Space to Ground' Video - May 6 2016


NASA's 'Space to Ground' is a weekly update on what's happening aboard the International Space Station. We were lucky enough to have Mission Discovery experiments discussed on the show.




BBC: Water fleas launched into space for Tim Peake experiment - 8 April 2016


Water fleas will be launched to the International Space Station on Friday as part of an experiment conceived by Welsh school pupils. The crustaceans will be on their way to British astronaut Maj Tim Peake following a launch scheduled from Cape Canaveral in Florida at 21:43 BST. Major Peake will see how they reproduce in space and whether they can survive. Six youngsters from Rhondda Cynon Taff came up with the idea to win Mission Discovery 2013.

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