Students Can Go For Launch! in AIAA’s Apollo Series This Summer Written 27 June 2019


CONTACT: Michele McDonald 

June 27, 2019 – Reston, Va. – This summer, students in grades 8–12 nationwide can meet astronauts and design an experiment that could be launched to the International Space Station next year through a partnership with the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and Higher Orbits to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing.

In the AIAA Apollo Series Go For Launch! program, students will work with astronauts and experts in human spaceflight, including flight controllers, astronaut instructors, scientists and engineers to learn more about aerospace and how to design a launch-worthy experiment.

“We created this hands-on program for students who love science but also for students who simply want to know more about space and, most of all, have a great experience!” said Michelle Lucas, who founded Higher Orbits in 2015 and spent a decade working at NASA primarily in ISS Flight Control Operations Planning and as an Astronaut Instructor in the Daily Operations Group.

AIAA Executive Director Dan Dumbacher said he hopes AIAA Apollo Series Go For Launch! will encourage students to consider aerospace as a career.

“It’s a simple fact––we need more aerospace professionals, engineers of all disciplines, financial analysts, legal experts, business people, and many other backgrounds,” Dumbacher said. “Aerospace is an incredibly meaningful field and Higher Orbits gives students a glimpse of how much it has to offer.”  

Sarah Bloom, a recent high school graduate, described Go for Launch! as a life-changing experience.

“Watching the launch of my experiment (in 2018) to the International Space Station solidified my dream of working in the space field and launched me towards new heights and new goals I had never considered before,” she said.

Plus, the AIAA Apollo Series Go For Launch! series also gives students the opportunity to meet aerospace professionals and astronauts including Mike Foreman, retired U.S. Navy pilot and NASA astronaut, who flew on two shuttle missions, spent more than 26 days in space, and performed five spacewalks.

“Growing up in Ohio during the early days of our space program, I heard a lot about what Ohio astronauts John Glenn and Neil Armstrong were doing in space. That inspired me to become an astronaut. Participating in Higher Orbits events gives me the opportunity to pass that inspiration on to the next generation.”

Apollo Series Program Dates

  • 23-24 July with Astronaut Kay Hire at the Shore at Turtle Creek (facility across from Scot Forge) in Spring Grove, Ill. (In partnership with Scot Forge)

  • 7-8 August with Astronaut Mike Foreman at Lockheed Martin Vision Center in Arlington, Va. (In partnership with Lockheed Martin Corporation)

  • 12-13 August with Astronaut Greg H. Johnson at the Frontiers of Flight Museum in Dallas, Texas (In partnership with Frontiers of Flight Museum)

  • 15-16 August with Astronaut Don Thomas at the Metropolitan State University in Denver, Colo. (In partnership with Metropolitan State University)

  • 24-25 August at the Astronaut Memorial Foundation in the Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, Fla. Astronauts Mike Foreman & Nicole Stott. (In partnership with Astronauts Memorial Foundation)

  • 7-8 September with Astronaut Greg H. Johnson at the Pima Air & Space Museum in Tucson, Ariz. (In partnership with Pima Air & Space)

To learn more about Apollo 50th Anniversary activities, please visit:

To become involved, donate or learn about additional AIAA-supported educational activities, visit:

About AIAA
The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) is the world’s largest aerospace technical society. With nearly 30,000 individual members from 85 countries, and 95 corporate members, AIAA brings together industry, academia, and government to advance engineering and science in aviation, space, and defense. For more information,, or follow us on Twitter @AIAA.

About Higher Orbits
Higher Orbits, proud corporate member of AIAA, is a 501(c)3 non-profit with the mission of promoting Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM); along with leadership, teamwork, and communication through the use of spaceflight. Mankind's journey into space serves as an ideal launchpad to excite students of all ages about STEM and working to fulfill their dreams and ambitions. Higher Orbits uses a variety of programs and partnerships with other organizations to achieve these goals. To learn more visit



American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics 
12700 Sunrise Valley Drive, Suite 200, Reston, VA 20191-5807  
Phone: 703.264.7558 Fax: 703.264.7551