Experiments of Ukrainian schoolchildren will reach space

Experiments developed by Ukrainian schoolchildren will be conducted on the International Space Station together with others, the authors of which are American students. The SSEP 16 mission will launch on November 21 on a SpaceX rocket.

The Ambassador of Ukraine to the USA congratulates the Ukrainian participants of SSEP-16. Source: Oksana Makarova

Experiments of Ukrainian schoolchildren will be conducted on the ISS

Experiments developed by Ukrainian schoolchildren will soon be in space. On November 21, the Falcon 9 rocket is to launch a cargo spacecraft into space and deliver it to the International Space Station under the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP).

SSEP is an American program that allows students from elementary school to university to plan and send experiments into space. There, according to their instructions, these experiments are carried out by astronauts and their results are reported to the participants.

The program has been running for more than one year, but mostly schoolchildren from the USA and Canada only take part in it. The SSEP-16 mission was planned for March 2022, and even then it was known that Ukrainian schoolchildren would become one of the possible participants.

After many postponements, the mission finally got a more or less rigid launch date. Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to the United States Oksana Makarova, together with Director of SSEP Ukraine Yevhen Kudriavets, met with Ukrainian participants and wished them success. They also called on Ukrainian schoolchildren to participate in the selection of the SSEP-17 mission.

What experiments have Ukrainians planned

In total, 21 experiments developed by 19 teams were selected for the SSEP-16 mission. Two of them were prepared by Ukrainian schoolchildren with the participation of the Minor Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. The rest belongs to American schoolchildren. A total of 1,262 participants took part in the competition, of which 61 became finalists and already among them those whose ideas would be tested by space were chosen.

One of the experiments was prepared by students of the 47th gymnasium of Kharkiv. This year it was damaged by Russian shelling, but the participants were still able to enter the winners. The experiment is devoted to the strength of adhesion, that is, the adhesion of the filling material with human teeth in zero gravity.

Experiments of Ukrainian schoolchildren will be conducted in space. Source: sep.ncesse.org

This problem really exists, astronauts have already had to perform dental surgeries in orbit several times. The problem is that soft food, which they mainly consume, negatively affects the structure of the newly formed enamel. An experiment prepared by Kharkiv schoolchildren will help to understand how effective dental fillings are in zero gravity.

The second experiment was developed by students of the Richelieu Lyceum of Odesa. They are dedicated to how weightlessness affects the growth of crystals. In particular, schoolchildren are interested in how the shape and size of potassium hexacyanoferrate crystals with a bright color will change in space. In addition, they want to understand the correct crystallization algorithm in a closed container in microgravity. 

In addition, students from four other educational institutions participated in the selection, but they were not among the winners. They were students of the Physics and Mathematics Lyceum at the Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, the Mariupol Technical Lyceum, the T. Shevchenko Gymnasium and the Drohobych Lyceum.

According to www.facebook.com, ssep.ncesse.org

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