Space Lab: The Next Frontier

Science is ready for liftoff. The Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) rocket launching this Saturday, July 21--or Friday night for those on the US East Coast— will be carrying some extra special cargo: two experiments dreamed up by the winners of the YouTube Space Lab competition. These science experiments are out of this world, designed by aspiring young scientists to be conducted in space to answer some intriguing scientific quandaries.

The winning experiments? U.S. residents Dorothy Chen, 16, and Sarah Ma, 16: “Could alien superbugs cure disease on Earth?”  Egypt-native Amr Mohamed, 18: “Can you teach an old spider new tricks?”

The HTV3 space rocket lifting off from the Tanegashima Space Center in Japan is headed to the International Space Station (ISS). The rocket launch will be broadcast worldwide on the JAXA YouTube Channel. NASA astronaut Sunita Williams and JAXA astronaut Ahikio Hoshide will carry out the experiments aboard the ISS. The world will be excitedly awaiting the results of the experiments this fall, with the exact date still TBD, and be live-streamed from space from a Lenovo ThinkPad laptop via YouTube. Quick fact:, ThinkPads are the only laptop computers on the ISS.

The YouTube Space Lab competition gave teens in two age categories, 14-15 and 17-18, a rare opportunity to participate in an online “science fair,” posing intricate questions about science and the world around them that could possibly be answered by experimenting in space. Out of thousands of YouTube video entries, and after announcing 60 regional finalists, two winning teams emerged, earning some amazing prize packages.

Not only did each winner take home a new Lenovo Ultrabook laptop, the global winners could also choose between two unique space experiences: a trip to Japan to watch their experiment blast off to rendezvous with the ISS; or a one-of-a-kind astronaut training experience in Star City, Russia, the training center for Russian cosmonauts. Winners Dorothy and Sara are traveling this week to Japan to watch their experiment blast off on the HTV3 rocket, while winner Amr just completed his astronaut training experience in Russia.

Tune in to the JAXA YouTube Channel this Saturday, July 21, at 11:20am local Japan time (Friday, July 20 at 10:20 pm EDT) and watch the winning experiments launch into space.

Ninis Samuel is Lenovo's Global Director of Partner and Brand Marketing.