It’s official.  YouTube is now officially going to outer space, with a competition geared towards students aged 14-18.  The competition involves kids sending in their ideas for experiments to be performed on the International Space Station.  Six regional winners will be selected to go to Washington D.C., where each will be taken on a zero-G flight and be given Lenovo IdeaPads.  Then two winners will be selected from that group to have their experiments performed in space for the whole world to see on the largest video site known to man.

Details of the YouTube Space Lab Competition

Here’s YouTube’s Space Lab trailer:

And here’s Commander Mike Fossum from the International Space Station explaining the competition:

This is a really exciting opportunity for high school students all around the globe.  Imagine the kind of experience that would be at that age, to have your idea taken seriously by NASA scientists, performed in space, and streamed live to potentially millions of people.  And just being chosen as a finalist is a pretty good prize.  Potentially some 14-year-old will get to go to Washington and experience weightlessness and be handed a free tablet computer in the deal.  Also, they have a choice to go to Japan and watch the rocket launch for their experiement, or if they’re 18, or when they turn 18, a VIP trip to Moscow and touring Yuri Gagarin’s old stomping grounds is waiting in the wings.

Entries are being accepted now to December 7.  Then a finalist voting period occurs in early January.  Finalists will be going to D.C. in March of next year, and the winners get to see their experiment idea performed later, probably the summer somewhere.  The YouTube Space Lab channel can be found here, and there’s all sorts of videos on this channel to generate excitement.  Makes me wish I was in high school again.