Launch of a Lifetime: University of Idaho science project blasts off to space

MERRITT ISLAND, Flor. — The countdown is over, and a student-created science project is off to space!

After more than a year of intense work, University of Idaho students watched their project blast off to the International Space Station on Tuesday.

Eight UI students created a bacteria-resistant polymer that caught NASA’s eye. They wanted to test the engineering students’ research in microgravity.

The project will spend 30 days on the space station to see how the experiment reacts in harsh conditions and if the research holds up in this alternate environment. When it comes back to earth, the students will analyze the samples.

The long-term goal is to take their experiment and apply it to high contact surface areas such as handrails, doorknobs, keypads, etc. to stop the spread of bacteria and other germs that can get people sick. The students would love to see their experiment used on earth and in space.

One student, Kaitlyn Harvey, watched the launch from the countdown clock at NASA, and the others took it all in from a nearby beach.

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READ: Vandals Voyage: Engineers from the University of Idaho share project excitement