Jenna C. Maddix
Johnson Space Center, Houston
Lubbock Native Completes Internship at NASA
HOUSTON — Lubbock, Texas, native Jake Baker spent the past spring at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston where he took the knowledge he learned in college and applied it to an internship.
Baker worked in the Materials & Processes division at JSC. He performed failure analysis and material evaluations on components of the space shuttle, International Space Station, Orion and the JSC facility.
Baker wanted to find an internship that was different than what classmates had applied for and decided to do a search on the internet for student programs at NASA. That’s when he discovered the Undergraduate Student Research Project (USRP).
The USRP internship allowed Baker to learn how many different pieces of lab equipment are used to perform an evaluation, including a scanning electron microscope, hardness and micro-hardness testers, spectrometer, stereoscope and a borescope. He also learned about fracture mechanics, heat treatment of metals and protective chemical coatings to do his job.
“This internship has helped me develop for a future as a professional engineer,” said Baker. “The experience proved essential because it gave me a taste of what a job of this nature is like in the real world.”
Baker is attending Texas Tech University with plans to graduate with a mechanical engineering degree in May 2012. After he graduates, he plans to pursue a full-time job at NASA, which has been a lifelong dream.
The NASA Undergraduate Student Research Program is a mentored internship program that provides hands-on experiences in a technical environment. NASA USRP interns work on science and engineering projects that have real application among NASA’s core research focus areas.
To learn more about USRP VISIT: http://www.epo.usra.edu/usrp
For more information on NASA visit: http://www.nasa.gov
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