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Space Experiment Lost; Lindbergh High Schoolers Wait For Next Year

Biraj Pokhrel and Dylan Rice have been working to get their experiment into space for the last few years. They now have to wait until 2022 after FedEx lost the experiment.
Lindbergh Schools Communications Department
Biraj Pokhrel and Dylan Rice have been working on their experiment to go into space for the past few years. They now have to wait until 2022 after FedEx lost the experiment.

A space experiment developed by a couple of area high school students has been lost by FedEx.

That means the work of Lindbergh High School sophomores Dylan Rice and Biraj Pokhrel won’t be going into orbit until next year. The launch was supposed to be Thursday at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

“I’m upset. It was going to be really cool,” Rice said. “They are planning to reschedule for next year, so, fingers crossed that that goes well.”

The two are trying to determine if tools can be built in space with 3-D printing technology. The experiment was originally supposed to blast off on a rocket last year but was delayed by the pandemic.

Pokhrel is disappointed their work is not going up again this year. He’s been told FedEx is looking for the package that contains the experiment.

“If we don’t find it, then we’re just going to have to do it again,” he said. “All we have to do is just print out chips again and hopefully they give us another cube.”

The two started working on the project a few years ago while they were in middle school.

It’s part of the Cubes in Space program, which encourages creative problem-solving by students.

In an email, Cubes in Space said the FedEx facility receives upward of 2 million packages a day and has not been able to locate the organization's 19-pound shipment.

The group said 80 experiments from around the world were supposed to go into space this week.

The rocket that was supposed to carry them into orbit is still scheduled to lift off Thursday morning, NASA said, without the experiments.

FedEx said the company is continuing to look for the package. An official was not immediately available for an interview.

Wayne Pratt is the Broadcast Operations Manager and former morning newscaster at St. Louis Public Radio.