By Alan Gionet

LAKEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) – If it sounds unusual, it is. NASA has delayed an entire rocket launch because of moldy mouse food. The rocket was scheduled to go blast off before noon Tuesday to re-supply the International Space Station.

The 16th SpaceX cargo re-supply mission was delayed. NASA released a statement, “After mold was found on food bars for a rodent investigation prior to handover to SpaceX.”

(credit: CBS)

The mission included an experiment created by Warren Tech/Lakewood High School students in Colorado to help NASA grow food in space. The experiment was one of two to win a national high school level competition run by the Marvel Corporation to place an experiment on the space station.

(credit: Lakewood High School)

The students are trying to solve a problem of growing plants in micro-gravity that may help extend human space travel. A previous launch in 2015 carried a similar experiment by teacher Matt Brown’s class. That hydrofuge for growing plants got clogged because of a rusty bearing.

This launch delay has nothing to do with the Warren Tech/Lakewood High experiment. Another experiment heading to the ISS included mice.

(credit: CBS)

“The delay is just a part of the experience,” said Brown, who traveled to Kennedy Space Center with three current and two former students to watch the launch.

“We came down knowing that this is a fluid process and all you can do is make the most of the opportunity.”

(credit: CBS)

“The teams will use the extra day to replace the food bars,” according to NASA.

Launch is scheduled for Wednesday at 11:16 a.m.

Alan Gionet is anchor of CBS4 This Morning and reports on a wide variety of issues and “Good Question” stories. He started at CBS4 in 1994. Follow Alan on Twitter @AlanGTV or on Facebook.

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