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Weiss-Sat 1/HR 109

Wolverine CubeSats in Education/HR85

Working Title:  A resolution to increase public awareness of the educational benefits of the CubeSat Launch Initiative and prioritize funding of CSLI in the annual budget.

Rationale: Since participation in CSLI appears to be impacted by both lack of awareness as well as lack of funding, this resolution seeks to increase the public’s awareness of why CubeSats are an important educational tool as well and to inform about the process to apply for launch.   The resolution assumes that with more applicants, there will be a need for more targeted funding.


Background:  According to NASA’s website, the “CubeSat Launch Initiative provides opportunities for small satellite payloads built by universities, high schools, and non-profit organizations to fly on upcoming launches. Through innovative technology partnerships, NASA provides these CubeSat developers a low-cost pathway to conduct scientific investigations and technology demonstrations in space, thus enabling students, teachers, and faculty to obtain hands-on flight hardware development experience.”

The Weiss CubeSat Development Team applied to ELANA’s Launch Initiative in 2016, and, consequently, was the only middle school to be selected for the 8th Class of Candidates for Launch.   WCST seeks to validate a novel lab-on-a-chip system that will demonstrate a live/dead fluorescent dye staining approach and microfluidis to assess the viability of aerobic and anaerobic bacteria that have been thawed after being entrapped in water ice.

Summary:  Due to the success of WCDT, students wanted other students to be able to participate in such exciting and important endeavors.  The question as to why more middle and high school students do not participate in launch missions was an impetus to creating a solution. In September 2017, students submitted a “Letter to Congress” detailing a need along with original proposed legislation. Since then, the Legislative Director for Representative Brian Mast has presented our ideas to both NASA and Congressional Research Services.  Based on his input, we have revised the legislation and are awaiting the next step towards a non-binding joint resolution.

Participants:  Members of The Weiss School CubeSat and Debate Teams  (select 6-8th graders)

                         Shawna Christenson (Policy and Debate Advisor)

                         Kevin Simmons  (Aerospace Advisor and CEO of BLUECUBE Aerospace)

                         Barry Smith (Legislative Director for Representative Brian Mast)     HR 109

                         Sarah Miller (Legislative Aide) HR 85

UPDATE 2/27/18 Rep Brian Mast introduced the legislation to Congress.  See his presentation here: 

As of 1/2020:  This initiative is currently reintroduced as HR 85 and has been assigned to the Science, Space, and Technology committee.  Seeking bipartisan support from outside Florida

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