MILFORD -- The International Space Station is one of humanity’s greatest scientific achievements, orbiting the earth at 250 miles above our heads. Astronauts and Cosmonauts from 18 different countries have continuously occupied the station since 2000. Those astronauts have strict schedules to follow, and that brings us to the problem that NASA is trying to solve.
Shayne White, a sophomore at Platt Tech in Milford, explains: “On the space station, everything’s mapped out for them (their scheduling), so right now they have no way of seeing only their own schedule. They have to review everyone’s, so basically we made something that will allow them to see their schedule to create reminders and stuff like that.”
Shayne teamed up with Ethan Feldman, Austin Art, and Justin Kelly to develop a computer program that shows the astronauts their own customized daily schedule. They used real data that NASA sent them to write the code for this easy-to-use program. They’re one of only three groups selected for the final review, and they get to head down to the Johnson Space Center in Houston next week!
Thomas Viola, the head of the Information Services Technology Department, told us about the process. “They’re going to go to a prototype review. That’s where they’re going to present to NASA engineers their project and their design and they’re going to be questioned just like any other set of engineers would be questioned.”
So how did they react when they found out they were going to meet real NASA engineers and astronauts?
“Oh, ecstatic! Just, I love NASA and just to be able to go down and meet them, it’s amazing.” Ethan told us.
Ethan is actually the state champion in humanoid robotics, as Platt Tech has established themselves as a leader in preparing students for jobs in technology or trade.
Mr. Viola is extremely proud of his students. “You’re looking at 4 sophomores, one of them is only 16, he doesn’t even have his driver’s license yet, they came in and built a commercial-grade application that’s going to go into space… Who does that? These kids are just amazing.”
To help pay for the expenses for their trip to Houston, the boys have set up a GoFundMe page, and by donating, you’d not only be helping them out, but also indirectly helping the astronauts on board the Space Station!
Here’s their GoFundMe page: https://www.gofundme.com/nzcppf-nasa-competition