LEBANON COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM) — NASA has a bigger mission ahead, but sometimes it comes down to the nuts and bolts, and the Lebanon County Career and Technology Center is working side by side with the administration.
“They get excited that they hear space and it’s kind of like uncharted territory,” said Eric Tanger, an instructor at the Lebanon County Career and Technology Center.
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The center’s students get to make parts for NASA.
“The ultimate hardware is known as the grab handle,” Tanger said.
It’s not as complicated as it sounds.
“Think about it if you’re in the international space station, there’s no gravity how do you move from one area to the next so the astronauts are grabbing onto these bars and they are pulling themselves through these tubes, “ Tanger said.
It’s the only school in Pennsylvania doing this type of work, as part of HUNCH — a program that challenges students to design and build equipment that is then launched and used aboard the space station.
“They need engineers, they need machinists, they need people in these trades and they need to find ways to get kids excited,” Tanger said.
This proves that students can learn and produce quality hardware, up to NASA standards at the same time.
“There were parts that I don’t want to say aren’t critical but they are easier to make by a high school student,” said Eric Tanger.
And it’s a pretty cool thing to put on a resume.
“It’s pretty exciting knowing that it’s going to be used and everyday people in space are going to use it,” said Adam Gundrom, student.
The school’s targeted timeline is to send those prototypes to the Johnson Space Center in March for final approval.