Virginia Tech students to present their design to NASA

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Blacksburg (WSLS 10) - A group of Virginia Tech freshmen may soon send their work from Blacksburg to outer space.

The students started working last year on a space arm designed to help astronauts safely dock onto an asteroid in response to a collegiate contest NASA recently launched.

"We've been brainstorming ideas, and when you have it on paper it's one thing," said student Jackie Bertone. "But once you start building these ideas, it really challenges you to think in three dimensions and explore these new ideas out of the box."

NASA put together a list of tools it will need to complete a Mars mission.

The Hokie squad is one of 25 finalists selected to present a design to NASA. If testing is successful, those designs could be used on an actual space mission.

"For these to get sent up on an actual mission, that would be astounding," said student Mitch Woodhouse.

The Virginia Tech students will head to Houston in April to test their tool under space-like conditions.