Releasing history

Photos by NASA, ESA, CSA, STSCL, and Kerry Dahlen.

Last Christmas, Amrit Nam Khalsa, B.S. mechanical engineering ’18, woke up to a wonderful gift: the perfect launch of the $10 billion James Webb Space Telescope, the largest, most complex space telescope ever built.

“I thought, ‘Finally, this is actually happening.’ Then I thought, ‘Now comes the hard part,’” Khalsa said. “The launch was not necessarily the hardest thing the telescope had to endure. There were still weeks of nail-biting deployments and positioning.”

Mechanical engineering helps student prepare for takeoff

When Kristen Travers went to see the 2017 film “Hidden Figures” her senior year of high school, she inadvertently found her career path.

“I was just so blown away and inspired by Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson, and Dorothy Vaughn,” she said. “The math that Katherine Johnson was doing in the movie was the same math that I was learning in my calculus class at that time. I thought, ‘This is so cool. I have to study engineering.’”