Jersey City students are headed to the International Space Station (ISS)…or at least, their experiment is!
On Sunday, February 19, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 successfully lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida and sent the Dragon module into orbit. The spacecraft is scheduled to arrive at the ISS today. As part of the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP), student researchers from Ronald McNair Academic High School in Jersey City had their experiment – “The Effects of Microgravity on Muscle Tissue Regeneration” – included in the launch on the spacecraft.
Now, the ISS crew will conduct the experiment alongside the students down here on Earth. Afterward, the students will analyze both results and share them with the science community.
The aim of this experiment, “The Effects of Microgravity on Muscle Tissue Regeneration,” is to analyze the potential of the drug, Tissue Regeneration Factor (TRF-150), to regenerate shoulder muscle tissue of an adolescent pig faster when exposed to a microgravity environment.
With collaboration from Liberty Science Center, more than 225 students proposed different experiments to be analyzed in microgravity. Through a formal review process, the team from Ronald McNair Academic High School was selected to represent the Jersey City Public School District in this out-of-this-world endeavor.
The mission also included a patch designed by fifth grade Jersey City students. Following a design competition, the winning patch was selected by representatives from the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education and the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education.
The patch portrays the joy and journey of science the students experienced while preparing their proposal. It displays a rocket that is launched from Earth to the ISS, as well as a hand that represents students working together to achieve the best understanding of the sciences.
To learn more about the mission, click here.