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Fairfax Student Accepted for NASA Goddard Engineering Internship
Katherine Heinzen, a student from Fairfax, Va., will spend this summer at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. as a participant of the NASA Undergraduate Student Research Program (USRP). Heinzen is a sophomore engineering student at the University of Notre Dame.

NASA-USRP is a 15-week program designed to provide undergraduate students hands-on experience within a NASA environment. While at Goddard Heinzen will be surrounded by some of the world’s premier scientists and engineers devoted to research in Earth science, space science, technology and space communications. She will be able to gain valuable research experience under the supervision of a NASA mentor.

"I have always been fascinated by outer space," Heinzen said. "My interest was peaked with Apollo13 and October Sky movies and pictures of space in science books. I discovered in high school that I wanted to be an engineer and my end goal is to one day work at NASA."

Competitively selected students must have at least a 3.0 grade-point-average and major in engineering, science (physics, chemistry, biology) math, computer science or other areas of interest to the aerospace program.

“This is a wonderful experience for a student,” said Dr. Vigdor Tepiltz, chief of Higher Education for NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. “NASA’s space program is just about the greatest show on Earth if you are a technical person and having young eager people with fresh points-of-view and questions is good for NASA. It makes for a productive summer for all.”

The summer program begins today and runs through Aug. 8.

“I hope to gain first-hand knowledge of what a typical day for an engineer entails and expand my capabilities,” Heinzen said. “I hope to learn more about NASA’s major space programs and the internal workings of NASA.”

Dewayne Washington
Goddard Space Flight Center