Joseph Long ‘22 To Attend Intensive Aerospace and Engineering Summer Program

StC junior brings a love of rocketry to the Virginia Aerospace and Technology Scholars Summer Academy.
We’re so proud of Joseph Long ‘22, who's been accepted into the Virginia Aerospace and Technology Scholars Summer Academy!

The junior, who has been interested in space, astronomy, engineering and aeronautics since he was a child, will attend VASTS in July and design a theoretical Mars mission with a group of Virginia seniors and juniors. Long is fascinated by rocketry and the physics of propulsion, and he plans to major in aerospace engineering in college.

Long will join a team dedicated solely to mission transit and focus on propulsion, life support systems and other aspects of the journey to Mars, while other teams concentrate on the scientific goals and setting up a base following arrival. “I’m looking forward to working with like-minded people, people who want to work hard for the same goal and to achieve something,” he said. “Even if the mission won’t be used in real life, at least it’s useful as a practical idea.”

At the conclusion of the program, Long’s group will present and defend the mission plan to a panel of aeronautic and engineering experts. Long, who previously attended the Virginia Space Coast Scholars program and designed a similar mission to the moon, knows how important it is to prepare beforehand. “We had to think of everything so that when the experts ask us questions, we have an answer for them,” he said. “You have to make sure everything in your process is thorough.”