Xtronaut Kit Kickstarter Campaign Launches

Xtronaut Enterprises, DreamUp, and NanoRacks Announce Kickstarter for STEM Education Program in Space

Xtronaut, NanoRacks, and DreamUp are launching two experiments to the International Space Station and producing affordable STEM experiment kits that let students compare their findings to results from space.

November 9, 2017 – Washington, DC – Xtronaut, DreamUp, and NanoRacks announce a Kickstarter campaign to offer out-of-this-world STEM educational opportunities for learners. Xtronaut Space Station connects Earth-based experiments to science done by astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS), empowering students in classrooms, homes and afterschool programs to research in the stars.

The “Crystals in Space” and “Microbes in Space” ground kits are available to Kickstarter backers for $25 each. The Kickstarter campaign will run until December 9, and the kits will ship to backers in Q2 2018. More experiment kits and lessons are in production for future programs.

Each ground kit includes:

  • Experiment materials
  • Workbook with detailed instructions, lessons on space, in-depth descriptions of the science behind the experiments, fun activities, and more
  • Access to an online portal to compare the ground experiments with the experiments conducted on the ISS

“Crystals in Space” will include materials to grow sugar crystals on Earth and compare them to crystals grown in microgravity on the ISS. For “Microbes in Space,” astronauts on board the ISS will collect several samples from around the station to culture in Petri dishes. The ground experiment kits will allow learners to mimic this procedure by collecting culture samples in their homes or classrooms.

The “Microbes in Space” flight experiment is scheduled to launch November 11 on the Orbital ATK CRS-8 mission. “Crystals in Space” will launch to the ISS on SpaceX CRS-13, currently scheduled for December 4.

xtronaut space station

The successful launch of this collaboration demonstrates yet again the robustness of the commercial pathway to space, both in industry and education.  The partnership not only utilizes NanoRacks’ commercial research platforms inside the U.S. National Lab on the ISS but also DreamUp’s proven expertise in inspiring the next generation of explorers and innovators with space-based educational opportunities. Xtronaut has a track-record of delivering quality products through the Kickstarter platform, including the STEM board games, Xtronaut: The Game of Solar System Exploration, and Constellations: The Game of Stargazing and the Night Sky.

Jeffrey Manber, CEO of NanoRacks, commented, “I’m delighted that a personal goal of mine is being met, that NanoRacks cutting-edge scientific platforms are making the ISS STEM community more accessible to everyone, including homeschooling families and other learners.“

Professor Dante Lauretta, Chief Science Advisors for Xtronaut and Principal Investigator for NASA’s OSIRIS-REx space mission, commented, “This joint effort will create a very special learning opportunity for learners across the country, and we are pleased to work with NanoRacks, DreamUp, and their unique capabilities.”

Carie Lemack, CEO and Cofounder of DreamUp commented, “We’re thrilled to provide a cost-effective way for students to become space scientists and engage in STEM learning, setting them on a path of exploration and scientific curiosity that can guide them both inside and beyond the classroom.”

Mike Lyon, CEO of Xtronaut, commented, “Xtronaut, DreamUp, and NanoRacks are making space research available to all students on a low-cost basis. Students will have a special opportunity to discover the difference between conducting certain experiments on Earth and in space — and learn firsthand about special characteristics of space-based science.”

Visit the Kickstarter to learn more and reserve your Xtronaut Space Station Kit today!

About Xtronaut Enterprises:
Xtronaut Enterprises is a leader in space-related STEM education games and is bringing this experience and track-record to the joint endeavor. Xtronaut’s flagship board game, Xtronaut: The Game of Solar System Exploration, was developed through a successful Kickstarter campaign where it was awarded as a “Staff Pick,” and also earned praise from groups that include Planetary Resources, the Planetary Society, the United Launch Alliance, and Good Housekeeping.

Xtronaut was founded by the leader of the NASA OSIRIS-REx space mission, Principal Investigator Dante Lauretta, and space entrepreneur Michael Lyon. In addition to his leadership position at Xtronaut, Dr. Lauretta also serves as a professor at the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory.

About DreamUp:
DreamUp provides space-based educational opportunities to students and entrepreneurs. The first company bringing space into the classroom and the classroom into space, DreamUp is uniquely positioned to engage learners globally with the most cutting-edge space research and developments, and inspire them through scientific discoveries in orbital and suborbital space.

DreamUp has a proven track record, having brought over 375 student research payloads worldwide to the International Space Station and offering educational research opportunities on Blue Origin’s New Shepard space vehicle. From cutting-edge curriculum to rocket launch viewing, DreamUp endeavors to ensure that all student researchers can become the pioneers of space science, providing the most comprehensive educational experience possible and supporting their scientific research and innovation efforts.

About NanoRacks:
NanoRacks LLC was formed in 2009 to provide commercial hardware and services for the U.S. National Laboratory onboard the International Space Station via a Space Act Agreement with NASA. NanoRacks’ main office is in Houston, Texas, right alongside the NASA Johnson Space Center. The Business Development office is in Washington, DC. Additional offices are located in Silicon Valley, California and Leiden, Netherlands.

In July 2015, NanoRacks signed a teaming agreement with Blue Origin to offer integration services on their New Shepard space vehicle. NanoRacks, along with partners at ULA and Space Systems Loral was also recently selected by NASA to participate in the NextSTEPs Phase II program to develop commercial habitation systems in low-Earth orbit and beyond.

As of February 2017, over 500 payloads have been launched to the International Space Station via NanoRacks services, including over 375 educational research experiments via DreamUp. Our customer base includes the Student Spaceflight Experiment Program (SSEP), the European Space Agency (ESA), the German Space Agency (DLR), the American space agency (NASA), US Government Agencies, Planet Labs, Urthecast, Space Florida, NCESSE, Virgin Galactic, pharmaceutical drug companies, and organizations in Vietnam, UK, Romania and Israel.

Contact Information:
Michael Lyon: mlyon@xtronaut.com
Carie Lemack: carie@dreamup.org
Abby Dickes: adickes@nanoracks.com

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