Space Florida Inaugurates Microgravity Research Flights


Space Florida recently launched its inaugural unattended microgravity research flight from the Shuttle Landing Facility at the Kennedy Space Center.

Engaging twenty-two middle and high school teachers from 12 counties, this opportunity is one of many innovative Space Florida education programs designed to promote science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, and engage and encourage student interest in space.

The teachers were joined by education observers, education coaches, students and five student-designed, live, unattended experiments – three from separate universities. The payload research conducted in zero gravity demonstrates to Florida teachers and students ‘real world’ processes used by NASA scientists as they prepare scientific research for Space Shuttle missions and on board the International Space Station. The videotaped unattended research and the results of the experiments will be studied in classrooms in the coming weeks.

“These inquiry-based and hands-on activities are just the beginning of opportunities that will make their unmistakable imprint on teaching and learning,” said Steve Kohler, President, Space Florida. “Space Florida is mindful that programs such as these truly make science, technology, engineering and math exciting, inspiring students to eagerly engage in science and engineering-based training and actively pursue and fill space-based innovative careers in the future.”

Space Florida drives aerospace economic development in Florida and serves as a catalyst for space-related business development, education, spaceport operations, research and development, workforce development, and financing.