Getting From Here to There; Putting Satellites into Space
Posted on 11/17/2016
Group photo of FRC robotics teams

Where will robotics get you? A great career in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics, as 26 students from the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) team 2068 (Osbourn Park High School MetalJackets) and team 4472 (SuperNOVA) learned yesterday. The teams toured the manufacturing facility of Orbital ATK located in Dulles, VA.

The visit was an extension of Orbital’s outreach to robotics teams in the county which includes sponsoring and mentoring students.

While on site, the students saw various stages in the manufacture and launch of rockets, including: 

  • Five satellites in various stages of completion that will be in space in the next year;
  • Command Central where the directors sit during the rocket launches from Wallops Island;
  • Video from the International Space Station showing a robotic arm holding a rocket that will be released in three days to disburse satellites into space; and
  • A clean-room to see how and where engineers test the rockets and satellites with hot and cold temperatures and vibration to simulate space travel and exploration.

Our students talked with the rocket scientists, heard where they went to school and their field of study, and got answers to their space questions.