Skip to main content

Minnesota students' science experiment lost in SpaceX explosion

  • Author:
  • Updated:

They'd come a long way to watch a year's worth of work soar to the stars aboard an unmanned SpaceX rocket, but for the Minnesota students gathered at NASA's Cape Canaveral on Sunday, it was not to be.

The "Dragon" rocket burst in mid-air just minutes after it took off from the Florida site, CNN reports. It was headed to the International Space Station (ISS) on a supply mission.

On board was a science experiment from a team of students at Minnehaha Academy in Minneapolis.

According to a news release, their work focused on slowing the "rapid growth" of bacteria in space, where it is especially aggressive compared to how it behaves on Earth.

For one of the students who attended the launch, it was an emotional end to a potentially important project.

"It was definitely incredibly disappointing ... I would have loved to see the fruition of all my team's work in the past year, but I'm grateful for the opportunity and proud of the incredible work we accomplished," student Hazen Mayo told KSTP.

Watch the explosion:

This embed is invalid

Sara Stone Jacobsen, Executive Director of Institutional Advancement at Minnehaha, told BringMeTheNews it was the third time time one of the school's science projects had found its way aboard a rocket.

One of those, an experiment launched aboard a similar SpaceX mission in 2013, involved the effects of weightlessness on paint polymers.

The school says such projects are a regular part of the curriculum, and that students will have an opportunity to see another science experiment fly to ISS next year.

Meahwhile, FOX 9 says an investigation into the cause of the blast that claimed the rocket this weekend is now underway.

SpaceX is a private company contracted by NASA to carry out supply missions.

Next Up

monkeypox virus

Minnesota up to 6 confirmed cases of monkeypox virus

Most people recover at home within 2-4 weeks.

thc edibles

Did Minnesota just accidentally legalize THC?

A Republican lawmaker who voted to approve the new law in May is already talking about rolling it back.

Screen Shot 2022-06-30 at 3.19.42 PM

Gasoline may be cause of sewer explosion on U of M campus

An all-clear was given around 9 p.m. Thursday, with residents in the area allowed to return to their homes.


Overwhelming demand for THC products on first day of new law in MN

One shop owner said his Chaska store broke the online sales record before they opened Friday morning.

Flickr - Lake Minnetonka boat - Greg Gjerdingen

Increased drunk boating enforcement over 4th of July weekend

The increased enforcement is part of the Operation Dry Water initiative.


Four kayakers stranded, rescued in Chisholm park

The kayakers became stranded at Redhead Mountain Bike Park Thursday afternoon.


Duo charged after 10-pound meth package sent to wrong address

More than 10 pounds of meth are off the street thanks to a delivery error.

Screen Shot 2022-07-01 at 11.01.32 AM

Bird Rides' suburban expansion continues in Minnesota

Its scooter season in Minnesota. The latest on where you can find Bird e-scooters:

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Man found dead with 'trauma to his face' in St. Paul

A man was found dead with "trauma to his face" in St. Paul after 3 a.m.

Hibbing ambulance

Boyfriend jailed after woman found dead in Hibbing

The woman was found dead on Tuesday, June 28.


2 motorcyclists killed in crash near Duluth

The crash happened at a curve in the road north of Duluth.

Life Link

18 injured in two separate crashes involving teen drivers

The crashes happened Thursday in Ham Lake and North Branch Township.


Oversight of classroom science experiments thin in Minnesota

Minnesota has no state guidelines governing classroom science experiments. A teacher's association has issued recommendations, but following them is purely voluntary. This month's accident that burned four Maple Grove students may lead to more scrutiny.

Burned student recalls science experiment gone awry

A 15-year-old student at Maple Grove Junior High School was taking notes while his science teacher conducted an experiment. The next thing he knew, he was burning. Fox 9 says the class was learning about methanol, a flammable substance, when a container exploded.