High school students from Los Angeles County were "saddened" after their science project was destroyed when a space-bound rocket exploded Tuesday.
Students from San Marino High School in the city of San Marino could not believe it when the Antares rocket exploded just six seconds after it launched from a NASA launchpad in Virginia at 6:22 p.m. ET.
A worker at the school said juniors David Hengky and Nathaniel Rolfe, whose work had won a spot on the rocket as part of the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program, reacted maturely upon learning of the accident.
"The students who sent up the project are obviously shocked by the incident but are relieved that no one was hurt," teacher facilitator Wyeth Collo said. "I was texting student participants about the launch during the day."
Collo said he learned about the accident on social media, then followed TV coverage.
"The kids are sad, but one of the things that teach is that failures happen. What matters is what we make of them,” Collo said.
The boys had proposed an experiment to investigate the development of the common housefly from pupae to adult in microgravity.
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Students across the country had science experiments included in the payload.
The projects were chosen from among nearly 1,500 proposals submitted by students in school districts in the U.S. and Canada under the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program.
The Orbital Sciences Corp’s rocket was carrying a Cygnus cargo ship filled with supplies bound for the International Space Station.