It’s Official! Amelia Earhart will fly on our next launch!

We’ve taken down the poll to see who the LEGO minifigure we will send up on the Loki Lego Launcher 3.0 will be. There were three choices: Hermione Granger from Harry Potter, Amelia Earhart the first pilot to fly across the Atlantic Ocean, and Meridah from the Disney movie Brave.

The winner is … drumroll please … Amelia Earhart!

Amelia Earhart, who was a very brave pioneer in the aviation industry, is going to fly again, but this time, on the Loki Lego Launcher 3.0.

Amelia Earhart is no stranger to flying. She beat the Women’s Altitude record at 14,000 ft in 1922 which was extremely high at the time. Additionally, in 1930, she set the speed record of 181 miles per hour over 3 kilometers. She is most famous for being the first ever person to cross the Atlantic Ocean by plane.  “Please know I am quite aware of the hazards, I want to do it because I want to do it. Women must try to do things that men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others,” Amelia once said in a letter to her husband. Amelia tried to prove anyone can be anything, if that is what they want.

Thank you to everyone who voted in our online poll!  That was a lot of fun!  More updates about our next launch to come soon.

Collaborating with NASA Astrobiology

We have been given the opportunity to collaborate with astrobiology researchers from the NASA Ames Research Center.  We are so lucky!

The NASA Ames research team develops activities that are based around the study of the origins and evolution of stars, planetary systems, and life on Earth, Mars, and elsewhere.

The experiment we are participating in involves participants in the NASA Eclipse Ballooning project sending up samples of a certain bacteria into the stratosphere. Because the stratosphere has little oxygen and there is more radiation from the sun, it is a good representation of the Martian atmosphere.  This experiment will help the researchers understand what happens to the bacteria when it has been in an extreme Mars-like environment.

The bacteria is called Paenibacillus xerothermodurans, which is a spore forming bacteria that was isolated from the NASA spacecraft assembly clean-rooms in the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The 29 teams that are participating each have their own bit of this same bacteria they will be attaching to their payloads, and the NASA Ames team will examine the bacteria after the launchers have been retrieved.

Above is a map of where the 29 teams will be launching. We are one of the pinpoints in East Wyoming.

The whole experiment is a very cool idea, and we’re so excited to be a part of it. It’s going to be super fun!  We’re looking forward to receiving our field kit from the NASA Ames team.  Thank you for letting us participate!