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Highlands College students making parts for International Space Station

Posted at 10:22 AM, Sep 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-28 12:22:08-04

BUTTE - Students and staff at Highlands College of Montana Tech in Butte are making parts for a project that’s out of this world—literally—for NASA’s International Space Station.

“This looks good on your resume when you leave school: 'I made parts for NASA in there at the space station,'” said Highlands College Department Head Tony Patrick.

The students first made 30 one-handed tape dispensers and will begin a second project soon.

“It’s really nice to have a project that you know is going somewhere, something's going to happen with it, and other people are interested in what we can do,” said student Erik Rees.

Next, they will make 30 camera mounts that need to be ready by the end of October.

“The next project is going to be fun. I’ve heard a little bit about it and just going through the process, doing the drawings, and running the machines and figuring everything out is just going to be a blast,” said Rees.

It might not seem very significant, but working up in the space station is very dangerous, so everything they design has to be done with safety in mind.

“It’s going to be a challenge for them, so we have to be very careful about making them and that we stay within their tolerances,” said Patrick.