VANCOUVER — A science project dreamed up by a group of students in central British Columbia that exploded on a rocket launching pad two months ago is about to get a second chance at space travel.
Four boys, who were students at McGowan Park Elementary School in Kamloops, B.C., won a contest to send their microgravity experiment to the International Space Station during a launch in late October.
But the NASA-contracted rocket exploded on launch, destroying a payload of cargo destined for the space station along with 18 student experiments from across North America.
Paul Hembling, the Kamloops project co-ordinator, says he’s crossing his fingers the students’ experiment finally launches early Tuesday morning on a SpaceX resupply mission to the space station.
The McGowan Park school experiment examines how the zero-gravity environment of space affects the growth of crystals, although the boys have since graduated to Grade 8 at a new school.
Hembling says he expects all the students will be watching the Cape Canaveral launch — despite the planned liftoff at 3:20 a.m. local time — because having astronauts take their idea into space makes science lessons real.