DURHAM -- Some Triangle high school students are taking their skills out of this world.

  • Triangle high school students won a competition that will take their project into space
  • The high schoolers named their team, "Team Orion"
  • Their project is a mobile lab measuring radiation levels using fungus

They won a competition to have their project placed onboard the SpaceX's Dragon Spacecraft. It launched Wednesday afternoon and is heading to the International Space Station for a resupply mission.

The teenagers named themselves, “Team Orion.” It consists of Graham Shunk, Finn Poulin, Srikar Kaligotla, Xavier Gomez, and Jamison Fuller. They attend various high schools in Durham and Wake counties.

They watched the launch in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

“I'm just so excited because we're just five kids from a small town in North Carolina and our experiment is going to the space station which is pretty amazing,” says Shunk, who's also the team captain.

Their project is a mobile lab, which will measure radiation levels in outer space using a fungus. The data will be transmitted back to Earth. Shunk says the hope is to lower radiation levels to make space travel safer.

“We're hoping to learn that radiation is beatable in space. That it's not deadly to astronauts and that we can find ways to overcome it, to lower it in space,” he adds.

The Durham Library Foundation helped fund the experiment and the trip.

The spacecraft is scheduled to reach the space station in the next few days.