San Diego students witness final trip to the final frontier - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

San Diego students witness final trip to the final frontier

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  • NASA's last space shuttle blasts into history

    NASA's last space shuttle blasts into history

    Friday, July 8 2011 12:13 PM EDT2011-07-08 16:13:15 GMT
    Atlantis and four astronauts rocketed into orbit Friday on NASA's last space shuttle voyage, dodging bad weather and delighting hundreds of thousands of spectators on hand to witness the end of an era. 
    Atlantis and four astronauts rocketed into orbit Friday on NASA's last space shuttle voyage, dodging bad weather and delighting hundreds of thousands of spectators on hand to witness the end of an era. 

(CBS 8) - A couple of local students were at the Kennedy Space Center to witness the final launch of the NASA space shuttle. But the students from High Tech High didn't just watch the launch, they were part of history.

Because of the weather, not only did the shuttle Atlantis almost not make its launch, but Bobby Russell and his students almost didn't make theirs. At the last second they had to change their flight path, a move that got them closer to the shuttle than they anticipated.

It was an experiment with weather balloons attached to a tiny box of cameras and circuit boards that produced images of the shuttle Endeavour's launch, and in turn caught NASA's attention.

"I believe they're intrigued by the design, and the fact that the students are designing it," Russell said.

Russell, along with teenagers Max Wasserman and Grant Garrity, were invited by NASA to Cape Canaveral, Florida and the Kennedy Space Center for NASA's final shuttle mission into space. But they weren't there just to witness history. They were there to make history as well.

With the same device used to capture shuttle Endeavour, they used their "balloon box" to fly high in the sky and snap the very last photos of Atlantis in action from the closest any person or device can possibly get without being shot down.

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