OCHS Experiment Reaches Space Station and Is Activated

first_imgMark Staples captured this image of the SpaceX launch on January 10, 2015, at Little Lake Santa Fe Waldo, FL, 150 miles NW of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The launch carried an Ocean City High School science experiment.Astronauts aboard the International Space Station activated a science experiment designed by Ocean City High School students at 7:58 a.m. Tuesday (Jan. 13).The crew members broke a seal separating two small chambers within a larger plastic cylinder. That allowed E. coli bacteria to mix with lettuce cells. The experiment tests the effect of microgravity on the attachment rate of the bacteria.The students are now working to duplicate the experiment here in Ocean City as a control test in the presence of gravity.The information could be practical if people ever tried to cultivate food during long periods of travel in space.The start of the experiment marks the pinnacle of a journey that began last winter when  Ocean City High School seniors Lauren Bowersock, Kristina Redmond, Mercy Griffith, Daniel Loggi, Kaitland Wriggins and Alison Miles competed within the school district then competed against students nationwide  to have their experiment conducted aboard the International Space Station.The OCHS experiment is part of the Student Spaceflight Experiment Program (SSEP), a national program designed to inspire a new generation of scientists and engineers in the U.S. Other experiments from students in Somerville, Tenn.; Oakland, Calif.; Rockwall, Tex.; and San Antonio, Tex. were activated Tuesday.The experiments were transported to the space station on an unmanned rocket that was launched on Saturday. They will return to Earth for analysis by students in about four weeks.“This is what we’ve all been waiting for, Congratulations Team,” SSEP Education Program Manager Stacy Hamel said in an update to students on Tuesday. “You have all been so incredibly patient. This has been a long road, full of disappointments and the loss of Orb-3 was a tragedy no one could have anticipated.  Enjoy this time on-orbit, you deserve it.”__________Sign up for OCNJ Daily’s free newsletter and breaking news alerts“Like” us on Facebooklast_img read more