Brothers to launch science experiments into space


Thomas Hall, 15, recently found himself the recipient of a new nickname.

He said, "Some people at school call me Cheeseman."

"Cheeseman" because the experiment he's put together to fly into space will see how buttermilk reacts in zero gravity versus on Earth, and what happens as it turns into cheese.

"I'm 15 and I'm putting it up on the station," Thomas said. "I think that's kind of amazing."

His younger brother Nicholas is testing how the elements of toothpaste will mix in microgravity.

"You unclip the clips right here, mix it up and see how it mixes and if it's any different than how it would be on the ground," Nicholas explained.

The experiments will fly aboard the orbital module and be unloaded by astronauts into the space station. The astronauts will then perform the experiments according to videos the students have made and will send up as well. It's an opportunity that these brothers know is rare.

"On a rank of 1 to 10, it's probably a 10," said Nicholas. "It's really cool."

These teens and students from three other Houston area schools will have their experiments on board that flight. If something like this can pique a teen's interest now, those who run the program know, they can hold their interest for life.

Rob Alexander with Nanoracks said, "It really shows to them that science is really interesting and that they can do and it's something worth pursuing."

These experiments will fly in September. They'll come back down in a Russian Soyuz in November.

If this sounds like something you'd be interested in for your child's school, or if you'd like to be involved in a worldwide competition that will cover most of the fees for a future mission, you can visit the Conrad Foundation's website.

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