SOURCE: Airbus Perlan Mission II

Airbus Perlan Mission II

Airbus Perlan Mission II

March 17, 2016 10:21 ET

Student STEM Experiments at Edge of Space May Unlock Answers on Global Warming

Teachers in Space Selects 10 Student Teams From Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, New York, Oregon and Puerto Rico to Participate in Airbus Perlan Mission II CubeSat Program

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - Mar 17, 2016) - Teachers in Space, Inc., a nonprofit educational organization that stimulates student interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, today announced the 10 student teams that were selected as winners of its Airbus Perlan Mission II CubeSat Flight Experiment contest.

The winners, who come from schools in Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, New York, Oregon and Puerto Rico, will be the first scientists in history to test global warming and other theories by capturing uncontaminated gases from the stratosphere as part of Airbus Perlan Mission II. The experiments will be flown onboard the Perlan 2 glider up to 90,000 feet, where the air density and temperature are similar to the atmosphere of Mars. The two-seat glider has no engine and is carried aloft only by air currents, called stratospheric mountain waves.

"Congratulations to the winners of our CubeSat contest, and thank you to all those who participated," said Ed Warnock, CEO of the Perlan Project. "These experiments will allow us to continue the research that was started by Steve Fossett and his crew years ago by exploring the very upper-level weather patterns at 90,000 feet above the surface of the earth. Each of the winning designs captures the joy of scientific exploration and discovery, one of mankind's greatest ongoing adventures."

The winners of the 2016 Teachers in Space Airbus Perlan Mission II CubeSat Flight Experiment contest are:

"This is an exciting opportunity to have a real hands-on space experience added to the classroom," said founding director of Teachers in Space, Inc., Elizabeth Kennick. "We believe that students must be interested and motivated to learn before learning can take place. Through the CubeSat flight experimentation contest and our partnership with Airbus Perlan Mission II, we hope to create a generation that understands the importance of science, technology and innovation, and are self-motivated to learn and pursue careers in the STEM fields."

A CubeSat is a type of miniaturized satellite for space research. The basic building blocks of CubeSats are units that measure just 4 inches on a side, allowing for a wide array of instrumentation to collect data about the environment. Inside the Perlan 2 glider is a payload bay capable of holding four standard CubeSat frames at a time, which will be exposed to the outside airflow. Experiments for the flights range from atmospheric testing to low pressure effects on everyday objects.

"This is really part of our company's DNA -- to explore, to invent things, to educate," said Allan McArtor, Chairman and CEO of Airbus Group, Inc. "Through our work with Airbus Perlan Mission II, we're all going to be students of the stratosphere, watching and learning as mysteries unfold. Together in partnership with Teachers in Space, we hope to inspire the next generation of engineers and scientists to go along for that amazing ride with us."

Each team was given a set of sensors, an Arduino micro-controller, and the CubeSat frame to contain their experiment during flight, as well as 3-D printing support for special components that may not be available commercially. Hardware support was funded by a grant from SpaceTEC, a National Resource Center partially funded by the National Science Foundation, which provides skill-based, nationally recognized and industry-utilized professional certifications for U.S. aerospace technicians.

The Perlan 2 glider is currently based in Minden, Nevada, where it has just started a rigorous schedule of flight testing, including pressurized flights, in preparation for attempting to fly higher than any other winged aircraft has flown in level, controlled flight. The finalized experiments will be shipped to Minden, where they will be tested, and then transported to Argentina to be flown onboard the glider during its record-breaking flight this summer. Teachers in Space, Inc., is now seeking sponsors to fund travel and stipends for teachers from each of the schools so they may be trained as support management of the CubeSat experiments and as part of the Airbus Perlan Mission II education team.

To sponsor a teacher or find out how you can donate, please visit bit.ly/Perlan2Teachers.

VISUALS: Videos, B-roll, infographic and images are available at bit.ly/TIS-AirbusPerlan2-PressKit and www.airbusgroup.com/perlan.

About Airbus Perlan Mission II

Airbus Perlan Mission II is an initiative to fly an engineless glider to the edge of space, higher than any other winged aircraft has operated in level, controlled flight, to open up a world of new discoveries related to high-altitude flight, climate change and space exploration. The Airbus Perlan Mission II team is currently preparing the Perlan 2 glider to attempt to soar to 90,000 feet in Argentina in summer 2016. It will set a new world altitude record for controlled flight, surpassing even the U-2 and the SR-71. This historic endeavor is the culmination of decades of research and engineering innovation, and the work of a tireless international team of aviators and scientists who volunteer their time and expertise for the nonprofit Perlan Project. The project is supported by Airbus Group and a group of other sponsors that includes Weather Extreme Ltd., United Technologies and BRS Aerospace. For more information, go to www.perlanproject.org; for press kit and visuals, go to www.airbusgroup.com/perlan.

About Airbus Group Inc.

Airbus Group, Inc., is the U.S.-based operation of Airbus Group, a global leader in aeronautics, space and related services. Airbus Group contributes more than $16.5 billion to the U.S. economy annually and supports over 250,000 American jobs through its network of suppliers.

About Teachers in Space, Inc.

Teachers in Space is a nonprofit educational organization that stimulates student interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by providing its teachers with extraordinary space science experiences and industry connections. Teachers in Space, Inc., offers professional development workshops for STEM teachers, including personal and experimental flight opportunities, hands-on work with data sensors and remote device control, opportunities to meet and interact with scientists and developers at NASA and commercial space companies, and unique teaching materials and design contests to take back to the classroom. For more information, go to http://teachers-in-space.com.

Social Media

Please follow activities and updates for Airbus Perlan Mission II and Teachers in Space on Twitter: @PerlanProject @TeachersinSpace @AirbusGroup @AirbusintheUS @AirbusGroupInc #Perlan2

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