Go-for-Launch Brings Japanese and American Student Teams Together

The first 30 students at Go-For-Launch St. Edward's University, 11 - 13 July 2016.

The first 30 students at Go-For-Launch St. Edward’s University, 11 – 13 July 2016.

St. Edward’s University hosted its inaugural “Go-For-Launch!” event 11 – 13 July 2016.  30 students participated with 15 here as part of the summer program with Asia Pacific University and 15 from Austin-area high schools.

Team Rigel builds their paper tower on Day 1.

Team Rigel builds their paper tower on Day 1.

Astronaut Mike Foreman met with students all three days, answering questions about life in space and the technical challenges associated with conducting experiments on the International Space Station (ISS).

Students formed teams of 5, with no more than 3 international students on any given team.  Monday started with competitions included building a paper tower, selecting a team name, and designing a team mission patch.  By Wednesday, teams had designed an experiment for the International Space Station.

In addition to Astronaut Foreman, Mac McCall (a longtime NASA contractor with Boeing who worked 18 years on ISS projects), Associate Vice President of Global Initiatives Bill Clabby, Visiting Assistant Professor of Physics Paul Walter, Dr. Paul Colosky (Space Physiologist), Dean of Natural Sciences Gary A. Morris, and CEO and Founder of Higher Orbits Michelle Lucas did the judging.

The winning project, designed by a team called, “Ryusei 5,” sought to watch a phytoplankton species (Nannochloropsis) develop on the ISS to determine the impact of the low gravity environment.


We look forward to hosting Go-For-Launch! at St. Edward’s again next summer, 10 – 12 July 2017.  Spread the word!

Winning team, Ryusei 5, with Astronaut Mike Foreman at the inaugural Go-For-Launch! event at St. Edward's University, 11 - 13 July 2016.

Winning team, Ryusei 5, with Astronaut Mike Foreman at the inaugural Go-For-Launch! event at St. Edward’s University, 11 – 13 July 2016.


2016 Ozonesonde Workshop Sees Largest Enrollment to Date

Preparing to launch!

Preparing to launch!

The Tropospheric Ozone Pollution Project (TOPP) started in 2004 with a seed grant from the Shell Center for Sustainability at Rice University.  TOPP uses weather balloons with special instruments to measure ozone, temperature, relative humidity, barometric pressure, latitude, longitude, altitude, wind speed, and wind direction all in an effort to understand ozone pollution.

More than 100 students have participated in the project over the years.  While TOPP started in and is primarily focused on Houston, Texas, the project also runs a station in Idabel, Oklahoma (since 2010), and has orchestrated launches in Nacogdoches, Texas; Beaumont, Texas; College Station, Texas; Ft. Worth, Texas; Valparaiso, Indiana; Ft. Wayne, Indiana; Hastings, Michigan; Cumberland, Maryland, and University Park, Pennsylvania in the United States as well as Las Tables, Panama (NASA TC-4); San Jose, Costa Rica (NASA TICOSONDE), and Sapporo, Japan (Fulbright).  The project is actively preparing to begin a program at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas during the Summer of 2016.

Each year, faculty and student participants gather at the ozonesonde laboratory at the University of Houston for a workshop during which they learn how to condition, calibrate, safely launch, and monitor the flight data from the ozonesonde instruments.  This year’s group included 8 students from the University of Houston, 2 students from Southwester University, and 6 students from St. Edward’s University.

Thanks to Alex Kotsakis (University of Houston Ph.D. student) for taking the lead in many of the training exercises as well as preparing the laboratory for the many visitors during the workshop.

This project is currently funded by the Capital Area Council of Governments, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, and the Earth Science Division of NASA.

2016 Ozonesonde Workshop participants.

2016 Ozonesonde Workshop participants.

4th of July 40% Discount for Go-For-Launch!

Spread the word — there’s a discount on registration for the Go-For-Launch event July 11 -13 at St. Edward’s University.  Enter the code


and get 40% off the $250 registration fee.  The discount is only good through July 4.  Register here NOW!

For more info on the camp, follow these links:

NSCI News Story

http://goforlaunch.space <— general info

http://higherorbits.org/student-programs/go-for-launch/st-edwards-university-july-2016/ <— details on our program

Contact Gary A. Morris, Dean of Natural Sciences, with any further questions.