Troy High School Team to Send Gene Experiment to International Space Station

An experiment designed by recent Troy High School graduates Finsam Samson and Yujie Wang will be performed by astronauts on the International Space Station’s U.S. National Laboratory next year. The honor comes from the pair winning the fifth annual Genes in Space competition.
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Finsam Samson and Yujie Wang
Genes in Space 2019 competition winners Finsam Samson (18, left) and Yujie Wang (18). Samson and Wang graduated from Troy High School in Troy, Michigan in 2019. // Photo courtesy Genes in Space

An experiment designed by recent Troy High School graduates Finsam Samson and Yujie Wang will be performed by astronauts on the International Space Station’s U.S. National Laboratory next year. The honor comes from the pair winning the fifth annual Genes in Space competition.

The team’s experiment will investigate how microgravity influences the function of the nervous system. While it is known that astronauts experience neural and cognitive changes when traveling in space, the genesis of these changes is not well understood.

The team hopes its project will contribute to the understanding of how spaceflight affects brain function, enabling scientists and researchers to keep astronauts healthy as they prepare for long-duration missions in low-Earth orbit and beyond.

Samson and Wang developed their proposal with guidance from their sponsor, Samson Jamesdaniel, and their mentor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology scientist Deniz Atabay. Samson and Wang, along with their sponsor and mentor, will travel to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center this spring to watch their experiment launch to space.

The pair’s winning proposal was selected from a competitive field of 789 applications submitted by student teams across the country. Authors of the top five proposals were invited to present their ideas to a panel of scientists, educators, and technologists at the ISS Research and Development Conference at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta, July 29-Aug.1

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