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Bay Area Students' Shrimp Project Destroyed In Tuesday's Rocket Explosion

MOFFETT FIELD (CBS SF) -- The explosion of unmanned Orbital Sciences rocket lifting off for the International Space Station is not only a setback for scientists and the space program, but also a disappointment to the hundreds of school children across the country, including right here in the Bay Area.

Dozens of schools had placed science experiments, in addition to cargo on board the Antares supply rocket that exploded on an island off the coast of Virginia Tuesday afternoon.

Students at Mark West Charter School in Santa Rosa had been working on their project for months. They wanted to see if tiny shrimp-like triops could survive a rocket launch into space, with the hopes that one day, the trips could be a food source for astronauts.

Watching their hard work go up in flames was painful.

"We spent all this work on it and then it blew up," one student student.

In addition to the science experiments, the capsule was carrying supplies to astronauts in an orbiting lab. None of the supplies were urgent.

This is a setback for the commercial space industry where NASA is paying billions of dollars to privatize space flight. NASA is counting on US companies to fly astronauts into space as early as 2017.


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