About Terps in Space

FOR GRADUATE STUDENTS OR FACULTY INTERESTED IN MENTORING UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS, PLEASE FILL OUT THIS FORM HERE.

WHO?

Science and engineering freshmen, sophomores and juniors interested in research.

No previous research background is required.

 

WHAT?

You’ll be part of Terps in Space, where student teams compete by writing experiment proposals to test the effect of microgravity on a phenomenon of their choice.

Only one proposal will be selected for flight. This is a real scientific competition.

The winning student team will set up their proposed experiment in the lab and ship it to be taken to low Earth orbit on the International Space Station. Info about the experiment design constraints is here.

The experiment will spend 4-6 weeks in microgravity and return to the students for analysis.

Student teams are made up of 2-4 students. You can assemble your own team and sign up, or sign up as an individual and we will assign you to a team.

Each team will be assigned a research mentor who will give weekly advice on proposal writing and experiment design.

 

WHEN?

NOW – September 16, 2019: Express interest in participating, either solo or as a team. Sign up here

September 16, 2019: Program start. Orientation meeting (student teams are briefed about the details of the experiment + proposal). Teams begin working on their experiment proposals. Orientation will be at 6:00pm in BRB 1101

October 7, 2019: Mid-program check-in

November 4, 2019: Student proposals due for review

November 13, 2019: Three UMD proposals are selected as finalists to be reviewed by National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE)

Mid-December, 2019: One proposal is selected to fly to ISS

Winter/Spring 2019: Winning proposal has time to optimize the experiment for flight to ISS

Spring 2020 (barring launch delays): Experiment due for ferry to ISS

Launch + 4-6 weeks (Summer/Fall 2020): Experiment returns and winning student team analyzes the results

July 2020: Winning team may attend the SSEP conference in Washington, D.C. and present results

 

What is my time commitment?

FOR ALL PARTICIPANTS

Fall 2019: Write the 8-page experiment proposal between September 17 and November 4. Meet weekly with research mentor. Perform preliminary experiments in the lab -optional, to make your proposal stronger. [~2 months]

 

ONLY FOR THE THREE SEMI-FINALISTS

November 7-13: Revise your proposal based on reviewers’ comments before sending it to NCESSE for selection [may reach out any time between these dates].

 

ONLY FOR THE WINNING TEAM

Mid-December 2019: Revise your proposal based on reviewers’ comments. Depending on your experiment, you might have to optimize quantities and other aspects of your proposed experiment [~1-2 weeks].

Winter/Spring 2020: Set up your experiment in the lab and ship it for flight to ISS [~ 1 month]

Summer/Fall 2020: Receive your experiment from space and analyze and report results [~1-2 months].

 

Sign up here.

Contact Terps in Space Director Natalia Stepanova with questions

First signup deadline: September 16, 2019

Terps in Space is a Student Spaceflight Experiments Program at University of Maryland