Meet the U.S. Rocketry Team: Nathan Wagner, Meteorologist, Launch Control Officer

Name: Nathan A. Wagner
Grade: 9
Role: Meteorologist, Launch Control Officer

What do you think the world will look like by 2050?

I think that the world would look quite different from the one we live in today. For example, there would definitely be an abundance of smart tech, like the robot Alexa and the self-driving car. Also, I think that, by 2050, we would have just landed the first manned mission to Mars.

How has the team grown over the year?

When we started, everyone in the team came into our Rocketry Club without really knowing one another. Over time, we built and designed rockets as a team, and this new shared experience really started to pull us together into a friendship. Now, our team can work like clockwork, and all of us know that we can rely on one another.

Is there anyone who you’d like to thank?

I would like to thank a lot of people for helping me get to where I am now, but the people who I believe deserve it the most are my family. Ever since I was 3, and I was given my first ever solar system model, they have been kindling my love for the sciences, and never failed to get me back on track when the road ahead was looking rough. I think it is very safe to say that, if they hadn’t been as supportive, kind, and enthusiastic about my passions as they are and always were, I would definitely not be going to Paris.

How does it feel to represent the United States of America on an International stage?

I feel kind of nervous, but I mostly feel very excited, because of having this wonderful opportunity to compete at an international level, and meet so many other students that are interested in the same things as I am, but come from different countries and different cultures.

What advice do you have for other students interested in TARC?

If there’s two things that I think every student competing in TARC ought to know, it’s to 1. Learn as much as you can from the experience and 2. Have a wonderful time. To be more specific, I think that each student competing in TARC should realize how lucky they are to be a part of such a great community of budding rocket scientists, and realize how much you can learn from the TARC experience. Not only will each student taking TARC seriously learn physics, mathematics, fluid dynamics, thermodynamics, rocket science, engineering, kinematics, and maybe even some electrodynamics, but they will also learn how to be a part of a team. Also, never forget to have fun during your time competing in TARC.

What food are you most excited about in Paris?

If I had to pick one food, it would definitely be the many different kinds of French cheese, such as Camembert cheese. I am also very excited to try a lot of their excellent pastries.