Spaceport America Rocket Launch Friday to Carry Student Experiments
Las Cruces students and other watchers will gather at Spaceport America early this morning to watch their scientific experiments sail into space alongside other payloads.
Two public schools in Las Cruces and New Mexico State University will have payloads aboard the UP Aerospace-owned rocket set to launch from the facility.
Also on the flight will be a small portion of the cremated remains of 36 people, including the late Hatch Mayor Judd Nordyke, as part of a memorial flight by the Houston, Texas-based company Celestis Memorial Spaceflights. Thursday, the company held a news conference at Hotel Encanto announcing its first “deep space” memorial flight, set to launch in late 2014 from Florida.
Friday, three current and two former students from Camino Real Middle School in Las Cruces will attend the event, said Scott Chaapel, science teacher for the school. They created an experiment involving algae, yeast and “desert shrimp,” a tiny organism that emerges from desert ground after a rainstorm, he said.
“I think it made a big difference about how they viewed science, as a possible career,” he said of students’ work on the project.