Cheerleaders heading to space! Girls preparing for first launch from Earth

Two high school classmates are gearing up for a launch that’s never been attempted before: They’re preparing to go to space. Nina Kuiper and Helena Deneva will board Russia’s Vostochny Cosmodrome launch site in…

Cheerleaders heading to space! Girls preparing for first launch from Earth

Two high school classmates are gearing up for a launch that’s never been attempted before: They’re preparing to go to space.

Nina Kuiper and Helena Deneva will board Russia’s Vostochny Cosmodrome launch site in Russia early Friday. The window closes at midnight.

Kuiper and Deneva each have a little over a week left in an intense “make-it-or-break-it” preparation.

From 4,000 feet in the air, Kuiper will study Earth from a distance; Deneva will float in zero gravity.

“So, I will spend two nights at a time on the ground and two in space, and I’ll be attached in outer space in the air for two nights and in land mode for three nights,” Deneva said Thursday.

Kuiper first discovered her love of space at the age of 11. During the trip, she said she’ll also be wearing a couple spacesuits and looking for objects that look like an astronaut’s suit.

The girls go to a school in a remote part of the Russian state. The town has no air-conditioning or internet. So, they’ve only practiced in tents and wood fire pits.

Kuiper and Deneva first had their eyes set on space after watching a space walk on YouTube. They said they weren’t aware they would be going for this summer’s journey.

They’re doing it with their friends and teachers. The cost for a single day is about $600, but they’re asking for contributions to pay for the rest of the trip.

The girls said they’re not afraid of any experiments that will take place in space, although they are a little worried about what they’ll eat. If the experiment was successful, they would get dinner of “bugs from space” so delicious, they said, “everyone would die.”

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