Tri-County students build wire ties for International Space Station

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Tri-County students Maxwell Rounds (Franklin), Tony Botteri (Walpole), Rick Hamilton (North Attleborough), Stacy Hale (NASA), Tyler McKinnon (Franklin), James Gingras (Millis), and Brian Belanger (Plainville) manufactured approximately 250 wire ties using an assembly line process to be used on the ISS. Courtesy photo

Tri-County RVTHS’s Engineering major participates in the HUNCH Designing and Prototyping Competition each year and was proud to have three teams of finalists in 2021. Their hard work and dedication was evident to Stacy Hale, HUNCH Founder, when he selected Tri-County as one of the school’s to participate in a special project, the designing and building of EVA Wire Ties. These wire ties are used on the International Space Station (ISS) when an astronaut goes on a spacewalk for a repair. Wire ties are wrapped around cable bundles used during battery replacements.

Hale visited Tri-County in November 2019 to work with the students for three days. During this time students learned the specific and critical specifications required for the wire ties and created a computer-aided design (CAD). The students worked alongside Stacy building, inspecting, and performing quality control measures to ensure each piece was the exact size and shape required.

Tri-County was one of a handful of schools selected throughout the country to work on this project. Our students from the class of 2021 and 2022 manufactured approximately 250 wire ties using an assembly line process. Most, if not all, are currently being used on the ISS.

Hale returned to Tri-County to have a storage locker used in the ISS signed. The honor is used to recognize the hard work and dedication during the manufacturing. The storage lockers are filled with goods that are being shipped up to the ISS and then used to send refuse back to Earth.