Wyoming Student Space Experiment Explodes After Launch
Newcastle High School students had worked hard on a project that was then loaded on a rocket, set for space.
NASA’s TechRise Student Challenge exploded shortly after takeoff.
This was to be a suborbital rocket. It was to scrape the edge of space for a short period of time then come back down.
There were 117 payloads of student projects and the unlucky number of 13 were selected for that rocket, including the one from Wyoming.
“It's pretty upsetting [and] really stinks that like given the nature of it, it's not possible to try again,” said Logan Wynia, a graduate of Newcastle High School that participated in the TechRise program. “But I'm focused on what, like where my future is headed, so, got to keep going, I guess.” (Wyoming Public Media).
The TechRise Student Challenge worked with 6th through 12th grades to design science experiments for space travel.
Newcastle Wyoming High School students worked on a small computer microprocessor that was only 4x8x8, in a small box.
The goal was to discover if cosmic radiation would scramble code entered by the students into the microprocessors.
We need to know how radiation affects computers if we are to push onto a moon base and Mars.
“[What] I did was some of the programming, and I learned to solder for this project,” he said. “Earlier that year [we] did a project requiring a geiger counter. So we used the same code for that geiger counter project, [and] kind of recycled it and made it fit with what we needed for the TechRise project.” (WPM).
Wynia is undeterred and is still planning to be an astronaut.
Such disappointments like this are part of the risky business of space travel.
Students will learn to push past their disappointment and push on with their projects.