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We are in Washington this week with some very powerful people. Nope, it’s not the ones you think—it’s the teenage finalists in the YouTube Space Lab competition.

The global winners will be announced later in the week; in the meantime, we wanted to step back and remind you why Lenovo got involved with YouTube Space Lab. It’s because we believe strongly in the importance of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education. We believe in the promise of science and the importance of connecting people from every corner of the world. Of course, YouTube does a fine job of this, and the Space Lab regional winners come from India, Egypt, Spain, New Zealand and USA.

Through our ThinkPad line of laptops, we also have a special connection to space. It just so happens that ThinkPads are the only laptops certified for use at the International Space Station. (We never get tired of saying that.) We often talk about the military-grade spec tests ThinkPads have to pass before they come to market—I like to think about how rugged a laptop must be to survive that moment a spacecraft leaves the Earth’s atmosphere.

With this in mind, here are 10 (or so) fun facts about ThinkPads and space.
• ThinkPad is the only laptop certified for use on the International Space Station (ISS).
• ThinkPads have been used aboard the International Space Station since 1998.
• ThinkPads have been on every NASA Shuttle space flight since 1995, when the ThinkPad 755 blasted off with the crew.
• ThinkPad laptops are used by all the major world space agencies (e.g., JAXA, ESA) thanks to their partnership with NASA.
• Some tests ThinkPads have to pass before they lift off: radiation testing, off-gas testing, thermal testing, fire & fire suppression.
• Number of ThinkPads aboard the International Space Station: more than 60.
• Number of NASA shuttle flights that have lifted off with ThinkPads aboard: more than 50.

That’s it for now. What does ThinkPad’s long-standing heritage in space mean to you? Tell us in comments.

Gavin O’Hara is Global Publisher for Lenovo Social Media.

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