Eighteen groups of students have lost science projects that were onboard an unmanned rocket that exploded in Virginia after taking off for the International Space Station.

Students at the Urban Promise Academy in Oakland, California, were among the teams who lost long-planned experiments -- in their case, testing red worms to turn garbage into compost in space.

Urban Promise student Cithlali Hernandez told the Oakland Tribune that the explosion surprised her and she was sad thinking about the worms dying.

No one was injured or killed when the Orbital Sciences' unmanned Antares rocket blew up Monday afternoon moments after liftoff from the Virginia coast.

Houston television station KTRK reports that school projects from Texas, New Jersey and Michigan were also lost, along with about 5,000 pounds of equipment for NASA, mini research satellites, food and a meteor tracker.