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Go for Launch

UCF Professor Joshua Colwell and his team of physics faculty and students watched as their experiment rocketed to space aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard. 

Summer 2016
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Images Courtesy of Blue Origin

On April 2, 2016, a team of UCF scientists made history as their experiment became the first to go to space aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard. The project, known as MEDEA and led by Professor Joshua Colwell, examines how space dust builds up to form planets and the rings around planets. The experiment is one of several that Colwell, along with Assistant Professor Adrienne Dove, Post Doctoral Associate Julie Brisset and a team of UCF students, has worked on. The others include four experiments that were conducted on parabolic flights and two on the International Space Station — earning the team another historic distinction: the first to partner with Blue Origin and the ISS to conduct research.

Read more on UCF Today.
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“We want to understand how planets form and what conditions are needed to form planets — in particular, planets that could be habitable like Earth.”

— Joshua Colwell, UCF professor
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Post Doctoral Associate Julie Brisset, undergraduate students William Santos and Alexandra Yates, and Professor Joshua Colwell stand in front of the capsule that housed their experiment.
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Height reached in feet (2 miles above the Kármán line, which marks the boundary of space)
Feet at which rocket engine was re-ignited for landing
Minutes from liftoff to landing
Minutes in high-quality microgravity environment
Test flight of this vehicle to space
Science payload on New Shepard
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The New Shepard booster successfully completed its vertical landing.