MILLBURN, NJ - Their app made it to the Orion spacecraft at NASA. Now, with the 50th Anniversary of the moon landing coming up, several Millburn High School students were honored for their work that may someday return man to the moon.
The group on hand, which included Millburn High School graduates Javier Coindreau, Francis Rose and Max Koenig and their teacher John Yi, were honored by the town for winning the app design challenge. The group used simulated test data in order to help develop the app.
That feedback was used during a flight test for the Ascent Abort-2 (AA-2) program, which is an abort system that can send Orion and its crew a safe distance away if an emergency arises during the climb into orbit.
The Millburn team went to NASA's Kennedy Space Center from June 29 to July 3 in order to attend a variety of activities, culminating in observation of the early morning trial of their program aboard an Orion test launch.
The group was awarded the proclamation by the township committee, and then Coindreau and Yi briefly spoke about their experiences. Speaking with TAPinto Millburn/Short Hills, all three students recounted what it was like to work on the project.
It was really cool getting to look at some stuff that we've actually seen before [but in person]," Koenig said. You can't really feel the scale of anything. So it was really cool to see that. It was great to see what we've been working on for a couple of months actually go into fruition with the launch."
For Coindreau, the project was the perfect chance for him to explore his ideal career field, and see what opportunities may await him in his career path.
"I think it was even better than we expected, at least than I expected," Coindreau said. "I've always been pretty idealistic about doing something in the space industry. Seeing all the opportunities that were available, it was really useful to be able to see what you could do to get into NASA, how you could approach it, where you could work within the organization."
And Rose noted that the AA-2 program was an incredible capper to the high school careers. Rose and Coindreau were on the 2019 World Championship VEX Robotics team, something she noted when talking about her experience.
"Especially for the individuals who were able to attend worlds 2019 and win," Rose said. "It was really nice to be able to get another amazing opportunity to travel and to be able to be [celebrated] for something we were able to do within a short amount of time. We put a lot of effort into both this project and VEX, so it was nice to see both opportunities led us to a very fun ending."