Four boys from McGowan Park Elementary School in Kamloops, B.C., won a contest to have their experiment join 17 other student projects from across North America on a trip to the orbiting station.
On Oct 28, 2014 the experiment along with other supplies were destroyed when the NASA-contracted rocket destined for the space station exploded. Subsequent launches containing a reconstructed second experiment were cancelled or delayed. Despite these major set backs the boys finally saw their experiment launch successfully on January 10, 2015.
Once at the Space Station, the Kamloops students’ experiment will examine how the zero-gravity environment of space affects the growth of crystals.
The students prepared silicon tubes containing solutions that, when mixed, cause crystals to form. On the space station, astronauts will remove small clips keeping the solutions apart. When the tubes are returned, (hopefully as early as February) the students will analyze the crystals and compare them to crystals grown on Earth.
The projects are part of the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program, which is run by the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education.
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