August 11th, 2020

Video: Relive the 2020 Finalist Launchpad

In 2020, the Genes in Space finals went online for the first time ever. At the Finalist Launchpad, viewers on YouTube could follow along as our five Finalists presented their ideas to our panel of judges, and had the opportunity to watch live as the winner was announced. Miss the live event? No worries: watch the videos below to relive the highlights of this action-packed week.

Day 1: Kickoff

The Launchpad began with a series of research talks from space biology luminaries, starting with NASA microbiologist Dr. Sarah Wallace. The Genes in Space 2018 winning team joined to explain their groundbreaking research on DNA repair. Completed aboard the ISS in 2019, this experiment involved the first use of CRISPR gene editing technology in space. Finally, the Genes in Space 2019 winning team offered a sneak peek into the experiment they will launch in fall 2020.

Day 2: Finalist Presentations

The Finalist Presentations were the centerpiece of the Launchpad program; in this session, five Finalists pitched their ideas to a panel of judges for a chance to launch their experiment to space in 2021. Following their presentations, Finalists faced a tough round of Q&A from the judges as well as viewers watching at home. Unfortunately for the judges, all five Finalists gave strong, compelling presentations, making for a tough decision ahead.

Day 3: Award Announcement

After a long deliberation, the judges selected the winner of Genes in Space 2020. The announcement was made live by Genes in Space co-founder Scott Copeland. We also presented the first-ever John Hatch Memorial Prize in Mentorship, established to honor the outstanding mentors who dedicate their summers to working with our Finalists.

We thank all who tuned in to take part in this unprecedented event, and congratulate winner Kristoff Misquitta, who will be launching his experiment to space next year!