Students Capture Video of Disintegrating Spacecraft

Consider this awesome scenario: your science teacher assigns you to imagine a situation in which a fiery spacecraft plummeted to earth, and you had to record it for later analysis. You work on the idea, and then find out that this is not a hypothetical situation at all. You are really going to record a fiery spacecraft re-entering earth's atmosphere! That's what Brookline, Massachusetts high school science teacher Ron Dantowitz did to his three best students, James Breitmeyer, Brigitte Berman, and Yiannis Karavas.
For 6 months, they worked hard on their assignment, never suspecting the surprise Dantowitz had in store.

On March 12th, he stunned them with the news: "The mission is real, and you're going along for the ride."

In early June, Dantowitz and the teenagers traveled halfway around the world to help NASA track Japan's Hayabusa spacecraft as it plunged into Earth's atmosphere at 27,000 mph and shattered over the Australian outback. After boarding the DC-8 and flying to 41,000 feet, their hard work finally paid off when they successfully recorded the fiery re-entry:

See the video, and read all about the mission and the high school science project at NASA. Link -via reddit

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According to the notes at the bottom of the article, Dantowitz runs an observatory that is shared by two schools. NASA contacted him about using the observatory, and he then talked them into using his students. I would guess that he also had to submit their research before final approval.
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Wow! How in the world did that teacher work it out with NASA? I wish I could do the same for my students and give them the chance to do something like that in the real world.

The video was cool... but it seemed cut short. Perhaps it was just my computer.
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