Soil Dug Up by New Hampshire Students is Soaring to the International Space Station
Editor's note: This article was written by a Townsquare Media Northern New England contributor and may contain the individual's views, opinions or personal experiences.
This is so amazing, isn't it? Soil samples dug up by students from Newington, New Hampshire, the town right next door to Portsmouth, will soon soar into space and make a home on the International Space Station in the name of science and medicine.
Here's the deal. According to the University of New Hampshire, Manchester, UNH science students known as Team Cooke plan to study the soil upon its return with the help of some middle school students from Newington. Those middle school students won a statewide Junior Scientist competition to be a part of this incredible moment with NASA and UNH.
NASA chose Team Cooke for this experiment to see exactly what happens to the soil samples and if, or how, the soil mutates differently and can possibly create new antibiotics. UNH says they chose Newington Middle School students to assist them from a statewide competition they created. The soil Team Cooke sends to space will come from Newington's town forest, because it's the oldest forest in the entire country.
That's actually a big part of how those students won this junior scientist competition to join Team Cooke. Along with essays, the middle schoolers said they chose soil from Newington's town forest because of its historical relevance.
For several months now, Team Cooke has been working, experimenting, and learning about bacteria and antibiotics as well as performing microbiology experiments.
The project itself is called NoMads, short for Novel Methods of Antibiotic Discovery in Space, and the launch of the soil to the International Space Station is officially set for Fall, 2022.
Here's a recent video posted by the International Space Station on its Facebook page, which gives me the chills because this fall, something similar will happen with soil from these students.