Gadsden State team has project headed to International Space Sta - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Gadsden State team has project headed to International Space Station

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Back row L-R: : Josh Gaddy, Audrey Webb, Steven Martinez; Front row L-R: Jacob Lynch, Johnathan Williams. Source: Dixon Hayes Back row L-R: : Josh Gaddy, Audrey Webb, Steven Martinez; Front row L-R: Jacob Lynch, Johnathan Williams. Source: Dixon Hayes
This project will test how minerals settle in potable water during a long space flight. Source: Dixon Hayes This project will test how minerals settle in potable water during a long space flight. Source: Dixon Hayes
GADSDEN, AL (WBRC) -

An Auburn graduate and three Gadsden State Community College student - one a high school student from Piedmont, one a laid-off factory worker, and one a member of the band - are all part of a project that will end up on the International Space Station.

Steven Martinez, Josh Gaddy, Johnathan Williams and Jacob Lynch, and their instructor, Dr. Audrey Webb, have been working on a project to test how minerals settle in potable water during a very long space flight. That would be necessary during a trip to Mars, as NASA someday hopes to accomplish. The experiment uses levers and syringes to push liquids through plastic tubing.

"As you store potable water, there's minerals that collect inside there, and they want to see how it reacts in space and how to separate that so they can use this water over and over in space travel," Webb told reporters Thursday.

The team gathered in front of reporters Thursday at the GSCC Bevill Center facility in East Gadsden to give their project one more run-through.

Next week the team members will head to Houston to try it aboard the zero-gravity plane known as the "vomit comet." Auburn graduate Martinez has been aboard before.

"If you go on one of those roller-coasters that takes you all the way up, and just drops you, it's sort of like the drop when you're falling, but you don't stop falling," Martinez says.

Gaddy, a Piedmont High School student enrolled in Gadsden State's early learning program, says his attraction to physics led to his being recruited for the team.

"Never thought in my dreams that it could've come this big and this far, so this is a lifetime opportunity," said Jacob Lynch, a member of the Cardinal Show Band at Gadsden State.

Johnathan Williams reflected on his being laid off from a Piedmont factory last year, then ending up as part of this project.

"Feels great. All the work you put into something, pays off like this, and to be part of a team like this, these guys are great," he says.

The team will spend the summer interning in Pasadena, California, where they'll fully automate the process. They will not go aboard the International Space Station themselves, but will be able to watch from Cape Canaveral as the rocket takes off with their project.

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