SpaceX Rocket Crash Destroyed Minnehaha Academy Experiment

July 8, 2015 – 12:34 pm

(Credit: Bruce Weaver/Getty)MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Among the experiments lost when an unmanned SpaceX rocket exploded after launch Sunday in Florida was the latest project by the Minnehaha Academy International Space Station team.

Hazen Mayo is one of the students who put together an experiment on bacteria growth prevention.

“I was in a complete state of disbelief, ” said Mayo, who just graduated from Minnehaha and is getting ready for her freshman year at Yale. “I really wasn’t expecting that.”

The team of students that worked together for nearly a year were set to go over results of the experiment after it reached the space station.

That’s all over now.

“My year’s worth of research and collaboration with my teammates has indeed come to a premature and untimely end, ” she said. “I choose to take the positive spin. I’d rather see it as a lesson that’s imperative toward our next great leap forward. A lesson we can all learn from because it’s just one more step toward getting the right solution.”

This was the third experiment Minnehaha Academy has created in space for NASA.

Last year, a team of students put together a fluid flow experiment that’s critical for mechanical operations on board a spacecraft and for astronauts’ hearts and cardiovascular systems. The project in 2013 involved polymer formation on space hardware, which would help make long-term exploration possible.

The bacteria growth prevention project that was lost in the explosion was Minnehaha Academy’s first biologically focused experiment. The project’s goal was to find out why bacteria grows faster in space and how to prevent it from doing so.

“I’m definitely taking comfort in the knowledge that I’ve had the chance, especially at a such young age, to experience the full nature of scientific research, ” Mayo said. “I’m doing that alongside many others.”

The explosion of the unmanned rocket is the second consecutive failure of a cargo ship bound for the International Space Station, and the third in eight months. In April, a Russian ship spun out of control and came down. Another company’s supply ship was destroyed in a launch accident in October.


Source: minnesota.cbslocal.com

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