Student Launch Rescheduled for May 20

UP Aerospace Spaceloft XL rocket lifts off from Spaceport America in New Mexico on May 2, 2009.

NMSGC PR – UPHAM, NM – After analyzing the results of a test on the parachute system for the SL-5 rocket, New Mexico Space Grant Consortium (NMSGC) Director Dr. Patricia Hynes has rescheduled the SL-5 Student Launch to Friday, May 20, 2011 Engineers from UP Aerospace conferred with NMSGC launch officials and it was determined that, even though the drop test was successful, a portion of flight hardware became entangled during recovery and was damaged. Safe return of the students’ 27 onboard experiments is a requirement of this launch, so in order to meet the mission specifications, the launch has been rescheduled to May 20 at Spaceport America.

Dr. Hynes is optimistic about the student launch, even though it needed to be rescheduled. “A lot of planning and effort has gone into this launch, and the final testing of the recovery systems is important to make sure the experiments return successfully.” The rocket will loft 27 student experiments into space from Spaceport America, culminating nearly a year of development and planning. “Working together with our partners at UP Aerospace and many other dedicated, talented professionals, we are making every effort to assure the success of this unique scientific opportunity for the students.”

The student launch program was created by the NMSGC to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs for area students. This program provides annual access to space for student experiments at the end of the academic year. Predictable access to space for student experiments at the end of the academic year helps get going to space into the workday of the teacher in the classroom.

Experiments include 35 sensors including electromagnetic field, carbon dioxide detectors, radiation, acceleration, temperature, pressure and electricity sensors. Descriptions of the student experiments are available online at http://www.launchnm.com/

The New Mexico Space Grant Consortium is a member of the congressionally funded National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program that is administered by NASA and sponsored by New Mexico State University. The program promotes and inspires lifelong learning in areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics as it pertains to space-related activities. The consortium supports a wide range of projects and scholarship opportunities, including the Student Launch Program.