NASA launches rocket bearing name of aspiring engineer killed in car crash

August 17, 2013

The name of a Maryland high school graduate who died after a car crash this summer was written on a rocket launched last week from NASA’s facility on Virginia’s Atlantic coast.

The rocket, which was launched Aug. 13 and rose to about 94 miles, carried experiments from students at several universities, including the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins University.

It bore the name of Thomas Bradley “Brad” Mason, an 18-year-old from Crisfield who died July 29 of injuries suffered in the crash. He was a summer intern at the Wallops facility on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.

A photograph of the suborbital rocket on the Wallops Island launch site’s Facebook page showed the inscription “In Memoriam — Brad Mason.”

The accompanying posting called him “exceptionally talented and energetic.”

An obituary posted by a funeral home said he was valedictorian of his Crisfield High School class and was to study aerospace engineering at U-Md. He had been a student member of the Somerset County school board.

The 6 a.m. launch was part of a program to give students hands-on experience in developing experiments for space flight.

NASA said the payload parachuted into the water about 90 miles from shore.

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