Mission Discovery Experiments to Launch with SpaceX this Friday

This Friday, 5 of our winning Mission Discovery STEM programme experiments will be launched into space aboard SpaceX8, headed to the International Space Station.

The launch is currently set for 4:43 pm EST.

Here are some photos of our students putting together their experiments in the lab:


ISSETs LIVE Link-up with Astronaut Scott Kelly, aboard the International Space Station

Last Wednesday, a sold out audience of 500+ people at the Greenwood Theatre, King’s College London were lucky enough to be part of a live video conference and Q&A with Astronaut Scott Kelly, from aboard the International Space Station (ISS). The momentous evening was hosted by record-breaking Astronaut Mike Foale, along with director and founder of ISSET, Chris Barber and Professor of Human & Applied Physiology at King’s College, London, Steve Harridge. The event was held by ISSET in partnership with Pint of Science and took place during our week long ‘Mission Discovery‘ Space & STEM programme.

ISS Link Up

Chris and Steve opened the night by touching briefly on Chris’ time spent with Scott prior to his launch in March earlier this year. Before long, the nod was given by Houston Mission Control to begin the video link up with the ISS. Scott appeared on screen evoking a roaring applause, but the audience were left hanging in suspense in the following moments as there was no reaction or response from him. Houston, unfortunately, had a problem.

We knew that Scott would be unable to see us on the ISS, but there seemed to be a fault with the sound. After some cutting silence, Scott reached for a second mic and, much to everyones relief, his voice was beamed through to the theatre, receiving an even greater applause. We had made contact with the Space Station. The video conference was now underway and it was a very exciting realisation.


Director of ISSET Chris Barber asked Scott about a conspiracy theory that his twin brother Mark Kelly is actually on the ISS and not him, to which he replied:

“Well Chris…I’m pretty sure it’s me.”

The humour continued throughout the talk. When answering a question about food taste in space, Chris added that Mike Foale had been for a nice dinner earlier that evening, which produced a big smile on Scott’s face.


Many great questions were asked during the evening, but perhaps the most poignant of all was “Has being in space changed your perception of life on Earth?” Scott answered that two things come to mind:

“One that the Earth doesn’t look all that big. There are no political borders that you can see, so it makes it seem like everyone’s kind of a citizen of one planet – planet Earth, versus any particular country. The second thing is that the atmosphere that keeps us alive is actually very thin and should be protected.

The link-up ended in style with Scott somersaulting backwards in the weightless microgravity environment to masses of applause. It was a truly memorable evening for all.

Scott is spending one year in space on the International Space Station. He and Russian astronaut Mikhail Korniyenko have been there since 27 March 2015 and the goal of the year-long expedition aboard the orbiting laboratory is to understand better how the human body reacts and adapts to the harsh environment of space.

You can watch the full video conference below:

Mission Discovery goes international thanks to Reuters

Thanks to Reuters for covering our story!


Video Link: http://www.reuters.com/assets/iframe/yovideo?videoId=362997252

You can read more or sign up today for the next Mission Discovery Summer School at King’s College, London on the 13th-17th July, 2015 by visiting the following link.

Mission Discovery is an ISSET programme which invites students to work directly with astronauts, astronaut trainers, rocket scientists, and NASA leaders for a week. Students spend the week learning from the Mission Discovery team, with the aim to design an experiment to be launched into space. Successful experiments will be performed aboard the International Space Station.

ISSET at ASE Conference

We are holding a stall at the ASE Conference at the University of Reading from today, Thursday the 8th of January until the 10th.


If you are in the area drop in and see us and collect your personal discount code for Mission Discovery at Kings College London or get up to £175 off a Space Centre Experience in the USA.

Hope to see you there!

See the latest News from Mission Discovery on the BBC this evening

The BBC are following the development of Mission Discovery students’ experiments before their journey into space later this year!

bbc news

Read more here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-30541114

‪#‎MissionDiscovery‬ ‪#‎ISSET‬ ‪#‎BBCNews‬ ‪#‎ISS‬ ‪#‎InternationalSpaceStation‬‪ #‎unibirmingham‬

Chris on BBC Breakfast & Mission Discovery Launch Delays

It’s all systems go this week at ISSET…..

Mission Discovery students, together with Chris, were at BBC Breakfast to talk about the teams’ experiments being launched to the International Space Station this week! We’re really thankful to the BBC for inviting us onto the breakfast programme, but we feel that it is really newsworthy. NEVER BEFORE have UK school students had their ideas actually transported into space and carried out on the ISS.

(l-r): Deanna and Siobhan on the famous BBC Breakfast Sofa!

(l-r): Deanna and Siobhan on the famous BBC Breakfast Sofa!

We’d also like to add that this wouldn’t have been possible without the help and support of Kings College London, their far sighted widening participation programme, and the excellent work of Dr Julie Keeble. We think it’s brilliant that a world top 20 university takes such a big interest in reaching out to every potential student regardless of background, and that they do it in such an approachable and supportive manner.

The BBC interviewed Deanna Middleton (from Team Supernova, who’s experiment intends on testing antibiotics in space) and Siobhan Gnanakulendran (from team Daffodils, who’s experiment is going to examine slime mould’s reaction to zero gravity) as they’re among the first UK school students EVER to have their experiments performed on the International Space Station! Have a look below at the interview and see how the two students came across in such a brilliant manner. Scientists who viewed the interview have told us that they mistakenly thought the two school students were research students.

Siobhan and Deanna in the BBC Breakfast Green Room!

Siobhan and Deanna in the BBC Breakfast Green Room!

Mission Discovery launch into space couldn’t have come at a better time. Chancellor George Osborne stated that he wants to see to see three times as many space-related jobs in Britain in the next 20 years. The students’ experiments are part of only the 4th capsule to be launched to the ISS under the new space programme, and what will hopefully herald a bright new dawn for the US space industry.

The Newsround team saw Siobhan, Deanna and Chris on BBC Breakfast and immediately sent a crew around to interview them! Make sure that you tune in to the CBBC Channel at 16:20. Although the girls were really nervous they worked hard to prepare for the broadcast and all of the comments we’ve received have been really flattering. David Hughes, educational author and consultant, immediately wrote in to tell us what great ambassadors they were for the programme and the UK space industry. Here’s the clip of Chris and the team in action on BBC Breakfast:

Here at ISSET we know this is a ground-breaking event for UK education, but it’s nice to see that the national media agrees with us!

We’d also like to take this opportunity to address the delays the Orb-1 launch of the Mission Discovery Experiments has encountered. Unfortunately, launch delays are a common occurrence in the world of space travel. Given the sheer amount of investment behind the projects, it is of little wonder that the people in charge are a little wary to get them off the ground! For example, leading rocket company Space X’s Falcon 9 launch recently got postponed just 4 minutes before lift-off due to “unexpected readings with the first stage liquid oxygen system”. Unfortunately, similar problems have interfered with the launch of our Mission Discovery experiments! This time the mission has been delayed due to cold temperatures, but has been rescheduled for sometime this week! When it does, the ITV News at 10 will be on hand with a live stream of the launch along with interviews with the Mission Discovery crew!

Mission Discovery Experiments ready to be launched to the International Space Station!

Today we received this photograph of our Mission Discovery experiments waiting to be launched into space;
The team's experiments ready for the launch!

This will be the first time EVER that any school pupil from the UK has had their idea enacted on the International Space Station. It’s hard to believe that it’s finally happening, and we at ISSET are thrilled to be part of such a groundbreaking event in education. Over the next few days leading up to the launch, we will be blogging the details of the two individual experiments that will be going up to the Space Station, as well as the teams themselves, so stay tuned!