International Space Program Coming To Metro State

Mission Discovery provides a hands-on learning experience with astronauts, astronaut trainers, rocket scientists and NASA leaders. Image Credit: ISSET/Mission Discovery

Mission Discovery provides a hands-on learning experience with astronauts, astronaut trainers, rocket scientists and NASA leaders. Image Credit: ISSET/Mission Discovery

October 24, 2014 – The International Space School Educational Trust (ISSET) will be bringing its Mission Discovery program to Metropolitan State University in Denver from January 12-16, 2015. The program allows high school and university students to work directly with astronauts, astronaut trainers, rocket scientists and NASA leaders for a week. Astronaut Bob Cabana will be joining students for Mission Discovery MSU.

Students spend the week learning about space through a variety of hands-on activities with the Mission Discovery team, with the aim of designing an experiment that will be launched into space.

“The culmination of the week is a group-designed project where each team creates an idea for a space station experiment. We give them very specific parameters including size, weight, power draw, things like that, but the idea is entirely their own,” said Michelle Ham, ISSET’s U.S. director. “On Friday they compete and the best experiment from the teams is chosen to fly to the space station.”

Mission Discovery enhances students’ scientific and technological skill-set, while developing their innovation, team work and leadership abilities. Students also learn how to plan, budget and present their ideas, all within the context of space research.

At Mission Discovery MSU, NASA astronaut Bob Cabana will work directly with student teams for the entire five days, providing one-on-one and group instruction and interaction. Cabana is the director of NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center and a veteran of four space shuttle flights.

Cabana has logged more than 910 hours in space. He served as pilot on STS-41 (October 6 to October 10, 1990) and STS-53 (December 2 to December 9, 1992) and was mission commander on STS-65 (July 8 to July 23, 1994) and STS-88 (December 4 to December 15, 1998), the first International Space Station assembly mission.

Other team members for Mission Discovery MSU include Chris Barber, who founded ISSET in 1998 and serves as the Director; Michelle Ham, a former NASA mission controller and astronaut training instructor who left the agency to found her own educational non-profit, Higher Orbits, and now also serves as ISSET’s U.S. director; and Tanya K. Gatlin, an aerospace scientist currently completing her doctoral degree in aviation and aerospace through Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Gatlin also serves as the head coach of the precision flight team for MSU Denver.

MSU Denver is at the epicenter of Colorado’s aerospace and aviation industry. Through industry partnerships and collaborations with other educational institutions, Metro has been focused on training engineers to fill jobs that are being created within the state.

Planning and design for a new $60 million Aerospace and Engineering Sciences Building is currently underway, with the goal of opening the facility in Spring 2017. A new integrated curriculum is being developed for students from the departments of Aviation and Aerospace Science, Engineering Technology, Physics and Industrial Design, and Computer Science.

Mission Discovery Metropolitan State University of Denver, 2015 is open to any high school or university student. The complete price is $500. There is no residential option. The deadline to sign up is January 1, 2015.

To sign up,visit: