Students in Philadelphia are attempting to virtually colonize the moon now that their beloved space program has been saved from the budget ax.
Project SPARC is the nickname of Northeast High School's Space Research Center. It includes a 21-foot-long shuttle simulator and an actual Apollo mission training capsule.
School officials say SPARC launched about 50 years ago as the first NASA-recognized high school space program. But funding problems threatened to end it this year.
Alumni raised money to save the program, and students "blasted off" on a two-day mission Thursday. They spent the night at school and planned to finish the mission Friday.
Supporters see the rebirth as an opportunity to revitalize the program. A NASA spokeswoman says hands-on experiences are the best way to get students interested in science.
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