Local students' science projects destroyed in rocket explosion

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WZZM) -- Several students in the Catholic Diocese of Kalamazoo were watching the Antares rocket as it exploded on live television Tuesday night.

Grace Brennan says the explosion was a shock, "and we were all just arms around each other, looking at each other, like, 'What just happened?'"

The students had science experiments on the rocket, as part of the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program.

The group started that project, involving tiny shrimp, last year. The experiment was to study muscles and their development in microgravity. It was one of several projects that were supposed to be taken to the International Space Station.

On Monday, the girls went to Wallops Island, Virginia, to see the launch, says Natalie Moyer, "and it was like six minutes and 55 seconds until it was supposed to take off, and [then] it was canceled. So, we were upset by that."

The students couldn't stick around, because they were flying back to Michigan the next day. So, Tuesday night, they gathered at their school.

It was devastating when all their hard work went up in flames. But, as hard as that was to accept, the girls were just glad no one was hurt.

They will get to re-do their experiments, which will be put on another rocket for a future flight.


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