CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY) — The West Virginia Space Grant Consortium (WVSGC) and Trinity Christian School were selected to be a part of a NASA mission on Wednesday.
Led by the Montana Space Grant Consortium at Montana State University, the Nationwide Eclipse Ballooning Project (NEBP) chose West Virginia University and Trinity Christian School in Morgantown to participate in conducting atmospheric studies during the 2023 and 2024 solar eclipses.
According to WVSGC, the selected team will comprise of Trinity Christian high school students, and colleges within the WVSGC network including WVU as the team lead, Glenville State University and West Virginia State University. The balloon project’s home base will be built out of Trinity Christian School’s computer engineering laboratories.
Students will have the opportunity to design, develop and operate high-altitude balloon systems during both solar eclipses. As one of the 70 teams across the United States, WVSGC will live stream video to NASA and have the opportunity to conduct individually designed experiments from teams across West Virginia.
“If we can use something cool, I mean, I think it’s fun to fly things at 120,000 feet, you know, especially during a solar eclipse, and be part of a real mission to where we’re responsible for delivering a real product to an organization like NASA, that’s pretty cool to be able to leave high school and say I did that,” Marcus Fisher, Trinity Christian School STEM Teacher.
Through NASA’s partnership with WVSGC, college students will serve as team leaders in roles such as systems engineers and project managers while high school students will serve as discipline engineers developing the systems, according to the WVGC website.