Lindsay Greene, a senior at Florida Tech in Melbourne, was one of more than 100 high school, college and graduate students and professors who completed a 10-week summer internship at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Greene and others displayed overviews of their projects on posters during a mentor appreciation ceremony, Aug. 14, at the Operations and Checkout Building Mission Briefing Room.
The summer internships were coordinated by the Education Programs and University Research Division of Kennedy's External Relations Directorate.
Greene worked in the Marshall Space Flight Center resident office at Kennedy with mentor Jolene Martin. She reviewed launch facility shuttle propulsion processes and focused on solid rocket booster integration from beginning to end.
"It was great to be with the hardware, and learning the integration process will be priceless knowledge that can be used in the future," Greene said. She compiled and presented her overview to Kennedy and Marshall processing teams.
This was Martin's first time mentoring a student intern. "I want to give young people the opportunity to grow, experience the work world and help them develop a clear vision of life's opportunities and their goals," Martin said.
Jason Dunn, a graduate student at the University of Central Florida, will complete a master's in aerospace in the fall. He worked in the Applied Technology Directorate at the Space Life Sciences Lab with first-time mentor Tony Muscatello.
Dunn's project, the Lunar Greenhouse Amplifier, involved finding a method of building a lightweight, maybe inflatable, lunar greenhouse that keeps temperatures and conditions ideal for growing plants for food during long duration missions to the moon and beyond.
"Jason was an excellent intern this summer and I'm going to miss having him here to help out," Muscatello said.
Dunn currently runs the only student-led team, the "Omega Envoy," competing in the Google Lunar X Prize.
Andrew Kelley, a senior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, will graduate in December with a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering. He worked in the Boeing Design Visualization Group on computer modeling of ground support equipment for the Ares I vehicle. Kelley specifically worked with a computer modeling software program called CATIA V5 on design options for arm or platform access to the vehicle's frustrum hatch. He also worked on designs for a soft cover for the hatch.
"I really enjoyed seeing firsthand the designs that will be used for Ares I," Kelley said.
He plans to pursue a master's in aerospace engineering.
Berta Alfonso is the acting education director and lead for agencywide education projects at Kennedy. Alfonso said interns are competitively selected according to set criteria, including grade point average.
"We appreciate all the mentors who provided their talent to help the students grow," Alfonso said. "The Kennedy Education Office is here to serve the directorates in providing them the resources needed to accomplish their missions."
Alfonso said the Education Office has many programs to bring talented individuals on board. The next call for mentors will be during the Dec. 2009 to Jan. 2010 timeframe.
NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center