NASA Lands On Ola


Maria Adams

Hunter answers Kylah MacDonald’s, senior, question. Hunter answered many questions ranging from how countries interact in the space industry to space travel.

Maria Adams, Business Manager

Roger Hunter, program manager for the Spacecraft Technology Program at NASA’s Ames Research Center, donated his time to speak to students on Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019. Hunter shared his experiences and enlightened students to certain parts of NASA and life.

Hunter came to visit because of his connection to Jerrie Harris, Ola resident and former OHS nurse. Hunter and Harris went to the same high school. As a student, Hunter’s 11th-grade physics teacher, Tommy Hall, influenced Hunter, and their relationship changed Hunter’s life. Hall helped Hunter decided what direction his life would be going.

“The future is yours to invent,” Hunter said.

Hunter explained how future technology and inventions do not come out of thin air, but future generations build them. He also mentioned how NASA is supported by citizens, so if NASA is to continue then they must make an effort to show the public what they are working on and doing with the funds. 

“NASA will exist as long as the American public wants it to exist…that’s why I like coming out and doing this,” Hunter said.

NASA’s budget is 20.5 million dollars, less than half a percent of the United States’ budget. They use the money to explore space, work with private companies on new technology, and research. Hunter discussed some of the different options for students interested in NASA’s work.

“You can do basically anything in aerospace engineering… you can understand the aerospace engineering or you can do planes or astronomical,” Dayton Morse, junior, said.

The future is yours to invent,”

— Roger Hunter

Morse enjoyed talking and hearing about NASA and other binary stars. Morse plans to major in aerospace engineering and forms his class schedule to provide the skills necessary to succeed in the field. Morse wants to learn more about space and still has many questions.

“James Webb Space Telescope, which I call Hubble on steroids, is going to launch in a year to a year and a half…this one is going out to a much farther place[in space]…so we can look more at the farthest galaxies from us to see if there is anything we have not found so far and there probably will be,” Hunter said. 

NASA needs more than just scientists to function properly. Public relations help people understand the work being done by NASA. Communication is a major part of why NASA is so successful.

“They[experts in their field] basically tell you the ins and outs of the job, stuff you might not expect,” Morse said.

Morse hopes more professionals will visit Ola, so students have the opportunity to grow and learn about their options, whether career, college, or military. Many students miss opportunities because they are uninformed, but Ola does its best working with students through teachers and guidance counselors. 

“We are going to take advantage of it, we are going to take advantage of the best and brightest out there, we do not care if it comes from within NASA, within the industry, or from academia,” Hunter said.

To learn more about job opportunities at NASA visit