BRPH Proud to Sponsor the Higher Orbits’ Go for Launch! Program and Team Laika

MELBOURNE, FLA. March 16, 2023 – When the Dragon capsule aboard SpaceX’s CRS-27 launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on March 14, it carried with it several science experiments, including one by a team of student scientists who won that honor in a competition sponsored by BRPH.

The firm is proud to be a repeat presenting sponsor of Higher Orbits’ Go for Launch! BRPH Series, through which students explore STEM and space topics while working on a viable experiment design that could be successfully researched in space. The BRPH Series consisted of Go For Launch! events at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, and in Arizona and Alabama in 2022.

“We are proud to be the title sponsor for the Higher Orbits Go for Launch! BRPH Series and are thrilled to foster a love of science, engineering and space exploration among young people through meaningful programs like these,” said Raul Aviles Jr., president of architecture and engineering for BRPH. “We cannot wait to see what these four amazing students, and all those who participated in the Go For Launch! event series, will accomplish in the future.”

Team Laika, who competed at the Kennedy Space Center event includes students Daisy Li, Stella Ristic, Joshua Suarez and Elena Zhu. Their experiment, developed in partnership with Higher Orbits payload integration partners, Space Tango, will explore the effects of microgravity on methanotrophic bacteria aboard the International Space Station. The team derived its name from the first dog in space.

“I will forever be grateful for the privilege of attending Go For Launch! and the opportunities it provided me with…,” said Stella Ristic. “Being a member of the team of a project that has been selected to travel to the International Space Station has been such an amazing experience and created memories that I will never forget.”

Team Laika’s experiment is among three other Go For Launch! student experiments aboard SpaceX-27, bringing the grand total of experiments sent to space from the Higher Orbits program to 17.

“We are over the moon for Team Laika and grateful that they get to experience this incredible research opportunity,” said Michelle Lucas, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Higher Orbits. “These life changing opportunities become available when you have out of this world organizations like BRPH, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and Delaware North, that are dedicated to getting students interested in STEM.”

ABOUT BRPH – BRPH is a technically focused, creative AEC firm dedicated to solving clients’ most challenging problems through architecture, engineering, design, interior design, construction and mission solutions. The firm partners with mission-driven clients in the aerospace, defense, manufacturing, commercial, education, entertainment and hospitality markets to identify gaps in their program delivery, then plans, designs, manages and constructs facilities and solutions that get the job done – beautifully and intelligently. Founded in 1964 to support America’s space program, BRPH is consistently ranked among the nation’s top firms and has completed a wide range of projects across the United States and throughout the world. Headquartered in Melbourne, Florida, BRPH operates regional offices in Orlando; South Florida; Atlanta; Charleston, South Carolina; Huntsville, Alabama; Seattle; Phoenix; and Palmdale, California. For more information, visit