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YouTube Space Lab wants your experiments

YouTube has launched a channel called Space Lab, and it wants students to submit experiments to carry out in deep space…

YouTube is going where no video streaming site has gone before -- outer space. A new channel called YouTube Space Lab has just launched, and is inviting students to submit ideas for experiments to be carried out in deep space. If yours is selected by the panel of judges that includes Professor Stephen Hawking, it'll be performed aboard the International Space Station and streamed live on YouTube next year.

Participants must be between 14 and 18-years-old, and have until 7 December to submit their entries, so if that's you, better get your thinking cap on.

YouTube Space Lab lead, Zahaan Bharmal, wrote in a blog post announcing the competition: "Interested students are invited to come up with an idea for a science experiment that can be conducted in space and upload a video explaining it to YouTube by December 7, 2011." But better make sure your entry is good, because as well as Stephen Hawking, the panel of judges consists of astronauts and NASA chiefs. So any joke entries are likely to be weeded out at an early stage.

As well as seeing their experiment streamed from outer space, contestants can win ZERO-G flights, Lenovo IdeaPad laptops, and a choice of one of two trips of a lifetime: a journey to Tanegashima Island, Japan, to see a rocket carrying their experiment blast off to the International Space Station, or, once they're 18, a chance to be trained as a Russian cosmonaut in Star City, Russia.

Partners for the channel include Lenovo, Space Adventures, NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). The channel will also bring loads of space-themed videos, so keep a look out even if you're more of an armchair astronaut.

What would you submit? Would it be better than the ants experiment in the Deep Space Homer episode of The Simpsons? Let us know on our Facebook page.