Contributed photo/San Juan Island School District

Contributed photo/San Juan Island School District

Students win space design competition, head to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center

  • Mon May 7th, 2018 7:00am
  • Life

Submitted by the Friday Harbor School District

Over the weekend of April 28-29, the Friday Harbor Aerospace Design Team, known as Island Orbital Technologies, won the first ever Northwest Semi-Finals of the International Space Settlement Design Competition. This event, held at the Museum of Flight at Boeing Field, included students from six regional high schools and is part of a worldwide competition which uses aerospace industry simulated scenarios to engage high school students in engineering design and management.

At the competition, the FHHS team joined forces with students from Raisbeck Aviation High School to produce a 50-page proposal and create a design brief for judges in about a day. Immediately, FHHS engineers took leadership roles, with Arlo Harold heading the structural design section and Lucy Urbach heading human factors. Joely Loucks and Max Mattox joined Urbach in human factors and Brandon Payne and Evan Foley comprised the automation design department. Working non-stop for 20 hours straight, the team produced a design for a lunar outpost that could safely house up to 400 residents by placing the community in a lunar lava tube. They made a positive impression on the judges by repurposing lightweight shipping containers to create pressurized volumes for community centers and laboratories.

The FHHS team distinguished themselves further in the design brief when Harold, Urbach and Payne presented the entirety of their sections and then were joined by the rest of the team in defending their proposal in a 50-minute question and answer period from the judges from NASA, Space X, Boeing and the University of Washington.

Upon winning the semi-finals, the judges let the team know that their design proposal was the finest they had seen in their 30 years of semi-final competitions, a great testament to the tenacity, preparation and collaboration skills of the Friday Harbor students. Judges specifically mentioned the clear and plausible structural design by Harold; the incredible detail of the resources needed to keep humans alive and well by Loucks; the recreational activities available to residents by Maddox; the efficiency of robotic assistance by Foley; and the impressive presentation skills of Payne and Urbach.

As an award, the team will now compete for at the world championship at ISSDC, held at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida late July.

The Island Orbital Technologies team is an offshoot of Aerospace Literature and Design, a class taught by their coach Daniel Garner at FHHS.

 

Contributed photo/San Juan Island School District

Contributed photo/San Juan Island School District

Contributed photo/San Juan Island School District

Contributed photo/San Juan Island School District