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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The failed launch of a rocket ship bound for the International Space Station was especially disheartening for engineering students at Minnehaha Academy in Minneapolis.

They had spent the last year working on an experiment that was on board the SpaceX rocket that blew apart shortly after launch at Cape Canaveral Sunday. Eleven students were exploring the effects of artificial shark skin on bacteria growth in microgravity. The students were to receive data downloads from the space station three times a week.

KARE-TV  reports alumna Hazen Mayo worked with students on the research. Mayo attended the launch in Florida and watched as the rocket and its cargo were destroyed.

Mayo says it was an incredible disappointment to see a year's worth of time and energy come to an abrupt end.