NASA rocket explodes destroying local reading program initiative

The explosion the SpaceX CRS −7 rocket June 28 just after lift off from Cape Canaveral, Fla. was felt as far away as the Peach City.

Penticton's Patricia Tribe with one of the books by Jeffrey Bennett that is being used in the children's literacy program Story Time From Space which she has been working on for several years and was recently approved by NASA.

The explosion the SpaceX CRS −7 rocket June 28 just after lift off from Cape Canaveral, Fla. was felt as far away as the Peach City.

On a resupply mission to the International Space Station, the vessel was carrying about $70,000 worth of mostly one-of-a-kind hardware which was to be part of the Story Time from Space program developed by Patricia Tribe of Penticton.

That hardware included nine experiments and demonstrations designed specifically for the project by Canadian astronaut Bjarni Tryggvason.

“We were actually on the phone together watching the launch on computer, Bjarni was out in London (Ont.) and I was here and we were watching it and at the start it was ‘all right, this is good,’ and then, and then we saw this little bit of a blip and we both just went silent,” said Tribe. “But then it wasn’t very long after we both said well we’re willing to go ahead and give it another try. You put so much into it, you put years into it and you just can’t turn around and walk away. So we’re starting to rebuild.”

Tribe has already received encouraging emails from NASA officials about getting new hardware and has started a GoFundMe campaign to help raise money for the  needed materials.

Story Time From Space involves astronauts being video taped reading books on board the space station as well as doing the demonstrations which the public can then access. The concept is promote interest in science and reading especially among children and has already gained a lot of attention from educators around the world. A number of author Dr. Jeffrey Bennett’s books are already on the station and the experiments were to be the next component.

For his part Tryggvason was not counting on anything until his materials were safely on the station.

“It’s a high, high risk getting stuff up there,” he said prior to the launch. “We’ll wait see when it gets up there, if the rocket doesn’t blow up…”

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