“This lab was what I wanted in college. You can actually do hands-on stuff. You’re not just on a computer working with numbers. There’s freedom to use all the tools and freedom to use them any time of day,” McCormick said.

“As a young engineer, it’s hard to get opportunities to be part of a demonstration flight. It’s very rare that you get to do that, let alone run the project as students, so it was a lot of experience that I couldn’t get anywhere else,” Adkins added.

The short turnaround time pushed McCormick and Adkins to their limits, working late into the night in the lab.

“It’s not the case that just any student can do what they did. They already had a lot of experience in electronics, mechanical design and making things and debugging them. Even still, it pushed them right to their limits. I’m really proud of them,” Jacobs said.

Sally Young

Senior Communications Specialist, Interplanetary Initiative