Amateur Space News Roundup May 27, 2014

Today’s headlines include high school students launching rocket for class credit, undergraduates on Nasa microgravity flights, meteors and comets, and a Tennessee Mars One candidate interviewed.

Indiana high school students complete their honors physics class with a rocket launch, reports the South Bend Tribune. 40 students at the Riley High School Engineering and Technology magnet program applied the physics they learned throughout the year to design and build their final project. Tribune reporter Howard Dukes interviewed several of the students and their teacher, former Nasa research scientist Susan Sakimoto, about the role the class played in their plans for studying science and mathematics.

Space.com went weightless with University of California, San Diego undergraduates. Nasa selects a handful of university teams every year to conduct microgravity experiments on Zero Gravity Corporation’s parabolic flights. The UCSD students used the brief periods of microgravity to measure combustion kerosene and other fuels. Space.com’s News Editor Megan Gannon joined one of the flights. Her full report includes videos and photos of the science - and fun - of the flight.

The weekend’s disappointing Camelopardalids meteor shower sparked several similar reports like this wire story on Yahoo News. Balancing that out, amateur astronomer Victor Rogus wrote an op-ed at Space.com about his experience observing Comet Lovejoy’s passage through the Solar System last winter.

Mars One candidate Darlene Denis doesn’t just want to explore the planet. “When the first crew lands on Mars, all we will have is our resources, we won’t have anything else,” Denis told the Johnson City Press in a detailed interview. “Money will be nothing to us, we can’t buy an easier way to do something there.” Denis will deliver a presentation on alternative socioeconomic systems at the upcoming Mars Society conference.