BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A Rocky Mountain College professor says he's ready to replace an algae experiment lost on board a supply rocket that broke apart following its launch Sunday.

The Billings Gazette reports ( computer science associate professor Andy Wildenberg says he and the three students he advised in designing the experiment watched the rocket launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida and assumed a puff of smoke they saw was a stage separation.

SpaceX broke apart about 2½ minutes after it took off. The rocket also carried experiments by students in South Carolina and Colorado.

Wildenberg says he and his students have two replicas of the experiment, which would test whether algae grown in a gel-like laboratory substance called agar can filter carbon dioxide and produce oxygen more efficiently.

More From Newstalk KGVO 1290 AM & 98.3 FM