OCEAN CITY (AP) — Ocean City High School students were on hand when a space-supply rocket exploded moments after liftoff in Virginia.

The Orbital Sciences Corporation Antares rocket suffers a catastrophic anomaly moments after launch from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Pad 0A at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. (NASA/Joel Kowsky)

An experiment that the students had designed for the International Space Station was aboard the craft. The students wanted to determine whether E. coli bacteria attach to lettuce leaves at a lesser rate in space.

Tuesday's launch pad explosion occurred one day after the launch was postponed because a sailboat had ventured into the launch area.

Kevin Redmond, who is the father of one of the students, tells the Press of Atlantic City he feels bad for the kids and hard to believe that it happened.

NJ.com reports an experiment created by Long Branch sixth graders was also destroyed in the rocket explosion reports NJ.com. Their experiment was titled "Hydroponics vs Microgravity"  according to the district Facebook page. National Center for Earth and Space Science Exploration Director Jeff Goldstein urged all the students from around the country whose experiments were lost to "hang tight" in a tweet and will make a decision about including them in a future mission.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Ocean City school superintendent Dr. Kathleen Taylor said she has been told the mission will be flown again and all experiments would be included according to the Press of Atlantic City.

No one was injured and officials are trying to determine what caused the failed launch.


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