Launchboxes Let Students Shoot Homework Into Space

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Purdue's School of Aeronautics and Astronautics has made Launchboxes available to schools for students to conduct space experiments. The small aluminum boxes have already proven successful in a zero-gravity experiment.

Professor Steven Collicott recently finished a two-year project with Cumberland Elementary School second-graders in West Lafayette, in which they used the Launchboxes to send fireflies into space via a Blue Origin rocket. Collicott says the 8x4 boxes were found to be inexpensive enough to be given away to schools, and also that they can be launched into space at a height of 60 miles in the air by the Blue Origin New Shepard rocket, much higher than aircraft or balloons. 

“That flight opportunity is now available to schools all over the world at roughly half the cost of high school football uniforms,” Collicott said. “Any school district in the country that plays football can now afford space flight."

The boxes are strong enough to support 15 pounds and allow schools to work within the 1-pound payload limit. Collicott says some of the boxes have already been sent to schools. 

“Teachers should be thinking and working with students about what’s going inside the box and the purpose of their experiment, not how to house it on the rocket." "These Purdue School Launchboxes enable more schools to fly their own original experiments to space by taking this mundane, low-tech stumbling block out of the way for teachers.”

Interested schools can contact Collicott by clicking here

You can view more about the Launchboxes in the video below:

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