Five CT homeschool students have partnered with NASA to blast off their solar panel experiments into space.

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Five students from Redding and Bethel ages 13 to 16 and all homeschooled, are attempting to find out if raspberries and the sun could power future space travel. That's just a simple explanation. These experiments were conducted as part of international competition, "Cubes in Space."

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According to an article on the website, ctinsider.com, the two experiments, "look at the effects radiation and rocket launches could have on dye-sensitized solar cells." Don't be intimidated; I have no clue what they're talking about. A 13-year-old from Redding, Max Singleton, is one of the students on the team, and Max said,

The balloon will be testing the radiation, and the rocket launch will be testing if it can withstand the rattle and g-forces of the rocket taking off.

Of course, Max, who doesn't know that?! The motivation for the experiment was the solar panels on team member 16-year-old David Hunter's house. What they discovered was the solar panels can be toxic to make, so they researched more environmentally-friendly components. What they came up with were dye-sensitized solar cells, but they needed to find out if the cells would survive in space. Team member, 14-year-old, Ellie Hunter, told ctinsider.com,

We decided to do this experiment because we try to learn through real-world problem solving, and this was an opportunity for that and out-of-this-world problem solving.

Once the rocket launches in April of 2021, the five students will be sent data from the launches, so they're able to compare it to the one on which they formulated on the ground.