Ten junior high and high school students from Urban Ventures in Minneapolis are at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida Monday to watch the launch of the space shuttle Atlantis.
The students submitted winning entries to an essay contest sponsored by Eden Prairie-based ATK, which makes the twin booster rockets that power much of the shuttle's ascent. ATK is sponsoring the trip.
Eighth grader Abenezer Merdessa said he's looking forward to seeing the shuttle blast off.
"It's kind of cool because it's going to outer space, and the fact that we get to see it is kinda awesome," said Merdessa. "I've seen the space launch on television, but I don't think it's going to compare with being there."
The students will also tour Kennedy Space Center and meet with five-time astronaut and former shuttle program manager Jim Halsell.