BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Do you have what it takes to be a rocket scientist? Students at Johns Hopkins University are finding out.

Alex DeMetrick reports the university has started a unique program to bring more talent to the final frontier.

When it comes to other worlds, there are still plenty of secrets to unlock. But first you have to get there, with the right spacecraft carrying the right tools. And that takes a lot of experts.

“They don’t just have aerospace engineers,” explained Dr. Warren Moos of the JHU Physics and Astronomy Department. “They have physicists. They have chemists. They have biologists.”

Those are just the sort of majors Johns Hopkins is drawing into a new program that awards a minor degree in Space Science and Engineering.

“Before I took this introductory course in space technology, I really didn’t know what went into a space mission,” Connor Henley, a JHU senior, said.

So students are given a mission.

“I really hope to build on that and design spacecraft of the future,” JHU senior David Coren said.

Besides working in teams in class, students in the new minor will also intern at places where real missions are planed, built and controlled.

“And the laboratories get to look at them, and decide whether or not this is the kind of person they want working with them,” Moos said.

As a field, space science is wide open.

“There are basic questions we still haven’t answered. What’s at the core of Jupiter? No one really knows. And nobody’s ever seen the surface of Venus,” JHU sophomore Jessica Noviello said.

Answers that first mean getting there with new tools and ideas.

While Hopkins has been involved in space research for decades, this is the first attempt to help undergraduates find work in the space industry.

  1. Lynn says:

    That’s not quite true about Venus. Infrared cameras have seen the surface of Venus, and some Russian probes have landed on the surface, even if they only lasted an hour. So no one has seen it with their naked eyes, but we know what’s under the clouds.

    Just fixing the science!

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