Lindbergh Students Eager for Rocket Launch
June 23, 2022
Two Lindbergh High School students are hoping that the third time’s a charm, as Biraj Pokhrel and Dylan Rice prepare to send their science experiment to space this Thursday, June 23, following a three-year delay.
The launch of a NASA Terrier-Improved Orion suborbital sounding rocket carrying the students’ experiments will be conducted at 4:30 a.m., Thursday, June 23, from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. The 36-foot long two-stage rocket will carry approximately 80 small cubes with experiments developed by middle school and high school students as part of the Cubes in Space program, a partnership between idoodlelearning inc., Wallops and the Colorado Space Grant Consortium. The launch will be livestreamed on NASA’s Ustream channel and on www.cubesinspace.com.
- Media Advisory: Students Rock’n with NASA on Suborbital Space Flight
- NASA Wallops YouTube Channel
- Livestream begins at 4:10 a.m., with launch scheduled for 4:30 a.m.
In 2020, the launch was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and last summer, all of the Cubes in Space were lost in transit on their way to the launch site. Thankfully, the cubes were recovered and the launch has been rescheduled for this Thursday, June 23, 2022.
Dylan and Biraj began their work in 2019 as eighth-graders, during their Design Time class at Sperreng Middle School. Four Design Time experiments were invited to submit applications for spaceflight to Cubes in Space, and last spring, Dylan and Biraj’s experiment was selected for space flight. Their experiment involves determining the impact of the space travel environment, including temperature, G-force and solar radiation, on commercial 3D printer plastic. It compares two types of 3D printer plastic and two thickness variations.
The students identified a problem that could occur during space travel if tools or parts break, and astronauts do not have what they need to make the repair. They concluded that it would be beneficial if astronauts could 3D print the parts they need for a tool on the spacecraft. The students then worked with Associate Professor Charles Rice at the University of Oklahoma to fine-tune their experiment and communicate scientifically and thoroughly.
Upon the rocket’s return to Earth, Dylan and Biraj’s cube will be returned to them, and they will complete their experiment by analyzing the effects of space travel on the filaments in their cube. They will share this data with the filament companies, their teachers, and fellow students. All of the materials for this experiment were funded by the Lindbergh Schools Foundation Student Leadership Fund.