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Blast off for Aussie kids space mission

AAP logoAAP 9/12/2016

About 1000 Aussie high school students will be gazing up at the stars as the International Space Station-bound rocket carrying their work blasts off from Japan.

The experiments will be aboard the Japanese H-IIB rocket which is set to blast off just after midnight (AEST) on Friday from Tanegashima Space Centre with the support of the Japanese Aerospace Agency.

They will be first Australian-owned experiments on the ISS.

The pioneering schoolkids have been designing and producing a payload of science and maths experiments, which will be tested by NASA astronauts in the ISS as part of a program developed by Sydney startup Cuberider.

The students are from 60 schools across Australia, mostly from Years 9 and 10.

One of the experiments will hack a camera to search for radiation on the ISS, while another will measure the Earth's magnetic field.

The program is designed to get kids excited about STEM learning (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and encourage student to reach for the stars, Cuberider's 23-year-old chief executive Solange Cunin said.

With recent international reports showing Australian students slipping behind in these areas, Ms Cumin says this mission is more important than ever.

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