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MHS senior learns at NASA

A student from Middlesex High School spent this week planning a mission to Mars at the Virginia Aerospace Science and Technology Scholars (VASTS) Academy at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton.

Rising senior Melissa Baltrusaitis was one of 43 students who took part in the VASTS Academy July 27 to August 1 hosted by NASA Langley in a partnership with the Virginia Space Grant Consortium.

“I applied for this program because I have always had an interest in space, and I believed this would give me a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said Baltrusaitis.

Prior to the academy, Baltrusaitis completed a three-month interactive online program that challenged her to help create a plan for sustaining a human presence on Mars. Baltrusaitis worked with a team that dealt with a specific challenge of operating an outpost on the red planet.

Baltrusaitis and her teammates also built, programmed and tested robots, toured NASA labs and facilities, and interacted with NASA researchers, scientists and astronaut D. Thomas Jones.

posted 08.25.2008

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