Rocket explodes

This image taken from video provided by NASA TV shows Orbital Sciences Corp.'s unmanned rocket blowing up over the launch complex at Wallops Island, Va., just six seconds after liftoff. The company says no one was believed to be hurt and the damage appeared to be limited to the facilities. (AP Photo/NASA TV)

OCEAN CITY — The third time will not be the charm for a group of Ocean City High School students whose science experiment has been chosen to go into space.

The launch, scrubbed for Dec. 9 and Dec. 16, had been planned for 1:22 p.m. Friday but has since been postponed to next year. According to the Kennedy Space Center, the rescheduled liftoff, “including new science experiments,” will happen at 6:18 a.m. Jan. 6 from Cape Canaveral, Fla.

The original project, an experiment analyzing the effects of microgravity on E. coli bacteria, was aboard a rocket that exploded six seconds after liftoff on Oct. 28 in Virginia. That failure was witnessed by the six OCHS students who had been on the scene the night prior, too, when the originally scheduled Oct. 27 launch was scrubbed due to a boat in the marine hazard zone.

The Falcon 9 rocket that will carry the OCHS science project, part of the Student Spaceflight Experiment Program, is scheduled to fly a resupply mission to the International Space Station.

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