ISS Project 2011-12

Looking for how to apply to the VCS ISS Program next year?

    VCS students should click here to apply to the 2012-13 ISS Program


Video Clips

   VCS ISS Video For 2012 Cal Poly Cubesat Conference - click here

   ISS 2011-12 Program Overview Video - click here

   ISS 2011-12 Pre-Launch Celebration Video Highlights - click here

  NASA Commentary on ATV-3 Docking with the ISS ON MARCH 28, 2012
  - click here


Press Coverage:

Interview with Monica Bodd, VCHS Sophomore - click here

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The ISS Program for 2011-12 expands to three other schools and with more advanced experiments.....

This year is off to a great start with Valley Christian High School, along with three other high schools, preparing the 2nd generation of computer controlled, space science experiments. These advanced experiments are all designed and built by high school students that will be on the ISS.The units will travel to the ISS on March 22, 2012 at 9:31PM PDT from French Guiana in South America on the ATV-3European ATV-3 Space Cargo Vehicle and be resident on the ISS for one month while data is collected. Two units will be sent to the ISS and one will be returned to earth via the Russian Soyuz return capsule.

The ATV-3 successfully docked with the ISS on March 28, 2012. This was covered  by NASA-TV.

 This year's ISS experiment container, called a NanoLab, fits four times as many experiments (MicroLabs) into less volume than occupied last year. Cleverly designed micro-electronic modules, along with state-of-the-art miniaturized payload science experiments makes this year's project especially exciting. In addition, the student and mentors at Valley Christian High School's Applied Math Science and Engineering (AMSE) Institute are teaching students and mentors at three other California high schools how to do this as well. In fact, they will be co-habitating the NanoLabs they are building. Shown below, four MicroLab experiments can fit into one NanoLab Assembly, with each one having its own micro-computer and high resolution digital camera. Each NanoLab plugs into a NanoRack and then  into the ISS astronaut's laptop computer. Each day data is collected and beam to NASA and then to students on earth.


The exciting experiments that will occupy the MicroLab slots in this year's space project on the ISS will be:

  1. Electro-plating Experiment -by Valley Christian High School: ThisBen_plating experiment  will study the effects of actually doing electro-plating of of gold and bronze in microgravity aboard the ISS and comparing the results of identical electro-plating on earth. Samples of electro-plating in space and on the ground will be analyzed with Valley Christian's Atomic Force Microscope.  Below is a photo of two VCS students performing electro-plating of gold at the VCS' ISS Laboratory in San Jose, CA.
  2. Ferro-Magnetic Fluid Experiment -by Valley Christian School: We all know that metal particles will be attracted to a ferro_photo_175ppermanent magnet. In this experiment, students will analyze the effects of microgravity on metal particles in the presence of  electro-magnetic fields. Metal particles in this experiment will be suspended in a special fluid so that the results can be photographed in space, beamed to earth and analyzed daily.
  3. Biological Growth Experiment -by Valley Christian High School: Growth of biological samples will be studied to determine the effects by microgravity. Results will be compared with growth of samples on earth.
  4. Plant Growth Experiment -by Valley Christian High School. Growth of four different plants will be studied to determine the effects by microgravity. Results will be compared with growth of samples on earth. Lighting of plants will be done via light emitting diodes and photos of plant growth will be studied daily.
  5. Concrete Mixing Experiment -by Faith Christian Academy: As humans begin to explore space, a time will come when concrete_mixingbuildings will need to be built. This group of students will study the effects of mixing concrete in space two ways: (1) By stirring the concrete mixture and, (b) by vibrating the  concrete mixture. The structure integrity of both the space-mixed concrete and the earth-mixed will be analyzed with Valley Christian's Atomic Force Microscope at the molecular level.
  6. Biological Experiment -by Whittier Christian High School: This experiment will examine the level of antibiotic resistance of GFP flourescent-taggd Escherichia inoculated with Kanamycon antibioltics.
  7. Space Robot Experiment -by Fremont Christian High School: Students will study the effects of a fan-propelled robot in their MicroLab Assembly.

ISS Students Receive a Hand-typed Letter from Tom Hanks


The ISS Program Receives Accolades from President Obama

It was a treat to receive a letter from President Obama congratulating all of the ISS Students on a great accomplishment and encouragement for our upcoming March 7, 2012 experiment launch.