Why Dirt From New Hampshire is in a Rocket in Space Right Now
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.
It finally happened after months of preparation! I'm so excited for the University of New Hampshire and Newington Middle School students, who saw their project called NoMads, short for Novel Methods of Antibiotic Discovery in Space, launch into space towards the International Space Station.
According to the University of New Hampshire, NASA launched the rocket. The ship carried several supplies, science experiments, and equipment, including dirt from Newington, New Hampshire, that will see how bacteria in the soil reacts to microgravity.
Here's the deal. According to the University of New Hampshire, Manchester, UNH science students known as Team Cooke will study the soil once it returns to earth, with the help of those middle school students who won a statewide Junior Scientist competition.
For several months now, Team Cooke has been working, experimenting, and learning about bacteria and antibiotics, as well as performing microbiology experiments. Once reaching zero gravity, the team hopes the experiment will provide critical information that could lead to new medical treatments.
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 came from Newington's town forest because it's the oldest forest in the entire country.
So as they say, to be continued.