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Lift Off!

Student Scientists See Research Launched Into Space

Catholic school students have been waiting since October for their research to be launched on an unmanned NASA-contracted rocket to the International Space Station.  That amazing goal was achieve on Saturday morning, Jan. 10 at 4:47 a.m. at Cape Canaveral, Florida. The science experiment was created by four Hackett Catholic Prep freshmen, pictured above (from left): Mackenzie Ortlieb, Natalie Moyer, Grace Brennan and Delaney Hewitt.  The girls began their experiment, titled “Microgravity’s Effects on Dry Lake Fairy Shrimp,” while 8th graders at St. Monica Catholic School, last spring. 


Becky Reits, principal of St. Monica Catholic School, brought this unusual space curriculum to schools in the Catholic Diocese of Kalamazoo.  The program is sponsored by the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program, through the National Center for Earth and Space Science Foundation (NCESSE), headquartered in Ellicott City, Md. The launch, initially scheduled in October, was aborted three times due to weather and other problems, including a massive explosion of the rocket just seconds after a launch scheduled Oct. 28 from Wallops Island, VA, in which all the students’ work was destroyed.  The students recreated their research and it was part of the cargo that was launched into space on Saturday morning, Jan. 10.  Congratulations! 

Shuttle Image Credit:  NASA/Jim Grossmann

The Traveling Holy Family Statue   

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