Montana students contribute to SpaceX

Published: May. 27, 2020 at 5:39 PM CDT
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High School Students in Montana created parts of the SpaceX Crew Dragon that is scheduled to launch NASA astronauts to the International Space Station Saturday.

At the Billings Career Center, students created complex components called actuators that keep lockers inside the spacecraft closed. It’s part of a program called HUNCH, or High Schools United with NASA to Create Hardware. The five to 10 students who participate every semester are taught to continue working, even if they fail.

“From those failures they’re really able to learn a lot,” said BCC metals manufacturing teacher Mike Wagner. “The really cool part is that the students who actually create the hardware get to sign the locker at a ceremony, and have their signature on the locker that’s flying above us right now.”

For seven years, Montana high schoolers have been creating components and prototypes for NASA that are sent into space. Wagner says the program could help push students toward bigger space projects.