Zachary Invited to Attend NASA’s Summer Program

Zachary Invited to Attend NASA’s Summer Program

What did you do?

I was invited to the Virginia Aerospace Science and Technology Scholars Summer Academy program at NASA’s Langley Research Center. During the weeklong program, my teammates and I were able to design a complete proposal for a mission to Mars.

My team, Mission Transit was responsible for the “How” of the mission, how the Astronauts reach orbit, how they get to Mars, how they return home safely. Within that team, I was responsible for EDLA or Entry, Descent, Landing, and Ascent. I designed vehicles equipped with technologies capable of high-speed atmospheric Earth and Mars entry.

I also had the opportunity to attend numerous talks and presentations during the week, including a presentation by former STS Astronaut Roger Crouch. Multiple tours were also held for us, including the Gantry, Fabrication Lab, and my personal favorite: The National Transonic Facility, one of two cryogenic wind tunnels in the world!

What organization recognized the achievement?

The week culminated in an in-depth panel presentation in front of mentors and industry professionals.

The panel presentation was then followed by a condensed version of our presentation in front of family members, mentors, State Representatives, and the Director and Deputy Director of NASA Langley.

How did homeschooling help you achieve your goal?

Seton’s English program furnished me with the necessary composition skills to achieve an invitation to the academy.

To be invited I was required to complete numerous writing assignments that measure the length and breadth of my knowledge and skills.

What are your interests?

I am an avid reader, particularly Sci-Fi and Fantasy, I am a tabletop roleplayer, actor, and Star Wars fan.

What are you inspired to do with your life?

My experience with VASTS has inspired me to pursue an opportunity to return to Langley in a professional capacity.

What are your favorite subjects and why?

My favorite subjects are Science and Physics, they allow me to understand the interactions in the world around me.

The photo was taken at: NASA LaRC Front Gate