Press Release

15 Year Old Mpls High School Girl to Attend Exclusive Russian Soyuz Launch in Kazakhstan

By SpaceRef Editor
March 19, 2013
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H.S. Sophomore Credits Public School STEM Education for Inspiring Her Dream to Be First Astronaut on Mars

High School Sophomore and Astronaut-in-Training, Abigail Harrison, will be the only American teenager in attendance at the legendary Russian Soyuz launch, Soyuz-TMA-09M, in Kazakhstan on May 28, 2013. As a special VIP guest of her mentor, Italian Astronaut Luca Parmitano, this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Harrison is a pinnacle moment of her STEM education through her urban public school, which has led her to her ultimate dream of being the first person to land on Mars.

Harrison’s goal for this upcoming adventure is to share her experience with young, budding scientists throughout the country and bring the STEM {Science Technology Engineering Mathematics} model to the forefront of the education conversation. For Harrison, STEM education has been life-changing.
Inspired by her teachers and their love of science, Harrison has created opportunities for herself to witness several Space Shuttle launches in person, built relationships with NASA, the European Space Agency, the Canadian Space Agency and the Russian Federal Space Agency, and has had the privilege and honor to meet and have received guidance from several astronauts, scientists and engineers from around the world.

“Attending the Russian Soyuz launch is truly a dream come true and it gets me that much closer to my life’s goal of landing on Mars in 2030,” said Harrison. “I am so grateful for this amazing opportunity and am determined to share my experience to inspire and educate kids everywhere, showing them how much fun science can be.”

Multitude of Ways Harrison will share and broadcast her travels to Russia :

* Frequent updating on her blog
* Regular postings on social media: Facebook, Twitter , Google+ and YouTube
* Launching hashtag campaign #SoyuzAdventure
* Penning articles for national science magazines and NASA ISS Blog
* Leading Skype classroom chats with students + teachers nationwide
* Presenting to classrooms in her local community upon her return

When : Leave for Russia on May 16, 2013; Attend pre-launch and launch events May 20 – May 29, 2013; Return to Minnesota on May 30, 2013

Contact :

To contact Abby Harrison for interview or information and images throughout her preparations and travel : Lindsay DiLorenzo,; 612–723-3606

To contact for information on the Russian Soyuz Launch: Alessandra Vallo,

For more information on {Minneapolis High School’s} STEM program: Larissa Chinwah, 612-668-0239

SpaceRef staff editor.