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Connecticut Students Eye Shuttle Launch With Interest

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US space shuttle Endeavour on March 11,

CAPE CANAVERAL (CBS4) – When the space shuttle Endeavour blasts off on its final mission later this month from the Kennedy Space Center, it will be carrying a very special package from Connecticut.

Shelton High School was the only Connecticut school district selected to have an experiment on the shuttle, which is scheduled for a 14-day mission to the International Space Station.

Five seniors from Shelton High School recently worked on final touches for the experiment at the nearby labs of PerkinElmer, a science and diagnostics company which helped pay for the team’s work.

The experiment involves growing bacteria to test microgravity’s effect on how certain cell walls develop.

Endeavour was supposed to blast off April 19 with the husband of wounded congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, Mark Kelly, at the helm.  NASA has delayed the mission because it conflicted with Russia’s plans to send an unmanned cargo ship to the orbiting platform.

Endeavour is now scheduled launch on April 29th and the five Shelton students who worked on the project say they plan to see it in person.

Shuttle Atlantis will close out the 30-year shuttle program this summer.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

 

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