Thanks to a robot, three Montana State University graduates will be guests at the scheduled Friday launch of the space shuttle Endeavour at Kennedy Space Center.
This is the last launch of Endeavour and the second-to-the-last shuttle flight before the program is shut down.
Jennifer Hane, Chris Ching and Ben Hogenson will be watching the launch from the NASA Causeway. Faculty advisors Brock LaMeres, Hunter Lloyd and Ahsan Mian will also attend.
The team's robot, Montana MULE, defeated 21 other robots in an excavator student competition last May. The robot dug almost 48 pounds of simulated moon dirt in 15 minutes.
The team won tickets to the launch. The Montana Space Grant Consortium is helping with travel expenses.
By the way, an MSU team has constructed a new robot called Montana MULE 2, which will compete May 26 and 27 in the NASA competition. The number of competing robots has doubled from last year.