Houston students' projects aboard exploded rocket

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Houston students watched as their science experiments aboard the Antares supply rocket exploded seconds after lift-off in Virginia.

"It was really disappointing to see all of our work go up in flames," said Duchesne Academy 9th grade student Eva Van Pelt.

Van Pelt was a part of a team of students who birthed an experiment to see how algae grows in space when using different colored UV lights. The girls programmed a device to run the experiment once it was loaded on to the International Space Station.

"We had to test the growth media that our plants would grow in several different times," said Julia Powell.

Other Houston area schools also had experiments on Antares, destined for space. Students at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School traveled to the launch site and witnessed the explosion. The students were evacuated and were not injured.

"I already got an email from one of my friends. He said the rocket blew up. Can you believe this," said Cristobal Ramirez at Awty International School. Awty had a number of projects aboard the Antares rocket as well.

"Kind of weird to hear that something we've been working on all year long had just gone to waste and wasn't there any more," said Mary Crace Meyer, a fifth grader at Duchesne.

Yet, out of the destruction, these kids are still learning: the challenges of space flight and what went wrong.

"When we go into the field of education, when you become a teacher, you don't know when you're learning opportunities will come about, but I know that Susan and Cathy will turn this into a learning opportunity," said Tony Houls.
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