A medical student who thought his dream of sending a science project into space exploded with the ill-fated Challenger mission will get another chance with the launch of the space shuttle Discovery next Thursday.

"It's good to continue something you believe in," said Richard Cavoli, 24.Cavoli's project involves growing crystals under zero-gravity conditions. He theorizes that gravity creates currents in chemical solutions that disrupt formation of crystals. He said lead-iodide crystals formed in space might be larger and purer and lead to improved film for X-rays and improved semiconductors.

At a news conference in Buffalo Thursday, he said, "A lot of problems we have on Earth can be solved in space."