Launch date for student experiments moved again

Lauren Bowersock, one of six Ocean City High School students who designed a science experiment that was chosen to be tested in space as part of the Student Spaceflight Experiment Program, speaks during a press conference Wednesday at the high school.

The launch date for the SpaceX CRS-5, carrying 18 student experiments to the International Space Station, including one from Ocean City, was pushed back again, to Saturday, Jan. 10, with a back up launch date of Jan. 13.

The launch will take place at 4:45 a.m. “SpaceX needed the extra day for review and testing after the first attempt,” according to a post Jan. 7 on the Student Spaceflight Experiment Program blog.

The launch, which was rescheduled from December and was to carry supplies to the ISS, was last expected to occur at 6:20 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 6 from Cape Canaveral, Fla.

With 1 minute and 28 seconds until launch, it was aborted and tentatively rescheduled to Friday, Jan. 9.

During the last school year, six students from Ocean City High School created an experiment analyzing the effect of microgravity on the attachment rate of E. coli bacteria to lettuce cells. The experiment, designed by Lauren Bowersock, Mercy Griffith, Kristine Redmond, Daniel Loggi, Kaitland Wriggins and Alison Miles, was one of 18 chosen from school districts across the nation to make the trip on Mission 6 aboard the Orbital Sciences’ Cygnus spacecraft.

The experiments were supposed to travel to astronauts at the ISS Oct. 28 from Wallops Island, Va., but were destroyed when the Antares rocket exploded just after liftoff.

After the loss, NASA and NanoRacks assisted the students in recreating their experiments for a new launch.


Relaunch of student experiments rescheduled to after Jan. 6