Ballard High students' experiment on board Endeavour

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by NATALIE SWABY / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @NSwabyKing5

KING5.com

Posted on May 16, 2011 at 7:14 AM

Updated Monday, May 16 at 12:29 PM

SEATTLE -- Space Shuttle Endeavour is headed for the International Space Station to install a $2 billion physics experiment. But also on board are some student experiments from 16 schools around the nation, including one from Seattle's Ballard High School.

Inside one Ballard High School classroom is where astronomy and biotech students came up with and worked on their idea. That's also where they found out about the big honor being one of 16 schools chosen to have an experiment launched into space Monday. So it was fitting that inside the classroom is where some students watched the Endeavour launch early Monday.

Teacher Eric Muhs and a few of his students were at school at 5:56 a.m. to see Endeavour's last mission, NASA's second to last. The juniors and seniors in this classroom were a part of a ten-student team involved in the project.

Their experiment is to grow e.coli in space and investigate how it does in that environment. It's one of 16 experiments chosen by NASA to be a part of the big day.

The students originally planned to watch the launch live in Florida. They raised money and made the trip, but the April launch was scrubbed and rescheduled for Monday.

While they could not be there in person, the teacher brought in bagels and a few of them watched together.

"It's really exciting, just because we have an experiment on board, but also because we traveled to Florida to see the launch, and then it got delayed." said Paul Menedez, Ballard High senior. 

Menedez said while it was bittersweet, they were able to get a behind the scenes tour of the Kennedy Space Center.

Endeavour is scheduled to return June 1.

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