NASA's launch with Beaumont student's artwork on board is called off

Published: Dec. 20, 2016 at 5:25 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

UPDATE: The launch has been called off. According to SpaceX's Twitter account, they want to take a closer look at positioning of the second stage engine nozzle. The next earliest launch opportunity is 9:38 a.m. ET tomorrow.


A Beaumont fourth-grader was surprised with an announcement that her design has been selected to go to space on SpaceX.

SpaceX is set to launch a rocket from NASA's historic moon pad. Liftoff is scheduled for 10:01 a.m.

Knox County elementary schools took part in the Mission 9 Patch Design Contest, a design competition held in conjunction with the Student Spaceflight Experiment Program (SSEP) that encourages the creation of a mission patch. Approximately 1,800 students in grades K-4 created patches representing their communities. Art teachers from each school narrowed down the top designs, and submitted 98 patches from 11 elementary schools to a group of 600 high school students who chose the top eight. The top designs were posted on the Knox County Schools website for community voting.

"I put the earth on the bottom, and an astronaut and I put 'let your mind grow' around the Sunsphere," says Nichols.

"Her art is going into space. How do you top that?," her teacher, Cheryl Burchett, joked. "Maybe your art goes to the White House or a famous museum, but this is a rocket and it's going into space. For a little, kid that's pretty hard to top."

SpaceX is sending up a load of space station supplies from the exact spot where Americans flew to the moon almost a half-century ago. The pad was last used in 2011 for NASA's final space shuttle flight.

This is SpaceX's first launch from Florida since a rocket explosion Sept. 1. The accident during prelaunch testing heavily damaged that pad. SpaceX turned to Launch Complex 39A — which it leases from NASA — to resume flights. The company hopes to launch astronauts from 39A next year.