An experiment by a former Hampton School student was successfully launched into space after two previous attempts were thwarted by solar storms.

Laurence Cook, 19, worked with five others during a workshop at King’s College in London on the Mission Discovery project.

They designed an experiment which tests the effectiveness of antibiotics on E-Coli in space, a subject which has not been explored in great detail.

It was the first time an experiment designed by UK secondary school students has been sent to the International Space Station, as part of the International Space School’s Education Trust (Isset) Mission Discovery programme at King’s.

The launch was originally scheduled for January 7 at 7pm but was delayed twice because of the solar storms.

Mr Cook, who now reads physics at Oxford University, said: “We realised antibiotics appear to be less effective in space than down here and it went from there.”