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Meet Space Grant: 6 Interns Gaining Momentum

After NASA formed the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Project in 1989, Space Grant has continuously provided support in expanding opportunities for students.

Space Grant is a national network of colleges and universities aimed to promote understanding and participation in NASA’s aeronautics and space projects. With over 850 affiliates from universities, colleges, industry, museums, science centers, and state and local agencies, Space Grant supports science and engineering education along with research and public outreach efforts. 

Hear from NASA interns involved in the Space Grant Project on their internship projects.

Aaron Vigil

Aaron Vigil (Goddard Space Flight Center)

Aaron Vigil is interning at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. He is sponsored by Wyoming Space Grant and works on rendering three dimensional models of early spacecraft. Vigil’s project involves researching technical documents, photographs, and museum models to compile enough information on a given spacecraft. This information will then be used to produce a detailed, realistic 3-dimensional model of the spacecraft. 

“I have always been amazed by space, and growing up in rural Wyoming provided ample opportunities to look up at the night sky. To intern at NASA is an incredible opportunity and one I have been looking forward to for many years. I am most excited to learn from those around me and eager to get to work,” Vigil said. Vigil studies mechanical engineering and mathematics at the University of Wyoming.

Mason “Will” Sayers (Johnson Space Center)

Mason Sayers is interning at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. He is sponsored by Arkansas Space Grant and works on automation monitoring applications, also known as situational awareness tools, for future CST-100 Starliner or Artemis spacecraft missions. These applications will track and display predictions based on what the spacecraft’s automation processes are doing. 

“I’m extremely excited for the opportunity to work at NASA so that I can learn new ways to help better my technical skills along with injecting some of the skills I already have into real world applications. I’ve always wanted to make an impact and there is no better place to do it than here at NASA,” Sayers said.

Daniel Opong

Daniel Opong-Duah (Stennis Space Center)

Daniel Opong-Duah is interning at Stennis Space Center in Hancock, Mississippi. He is sponsored by Pennsylvania Space Grant and works as a Aerosol, Cloud, Convection and Precipitation intern for robotics. Opong-Duah primarily focuses on the robotics component for the NASA Astro Camp Collaborative Collaborative Partners Program. 

“Being an intern at NASA is a blessing, and really makes me feel part of a family. NASA is a special place and everyone here makes it special. I continue to learn and grow every day from this experience, and I enjoy every second of my internship! Hoping one day I can be a part of this family for good,” Opong-Duah said. Opong-Duah studies mechanical engineering at Pennsylvania State University.

Mayeesha Masud (Headquarters)

Mayeesha Masud is interning at NASA Headquarters and is sponsored by New Jersey Space Grant. Masud’s project is the Continuation of Disasters Program Data Management and Organization. She focuses on consolidating file sharing across centers, building out a database of international and domestic points of contact, and bringing organization to types of data.  

“Not only is interning at NASA a once in a lifetime opportunity, but also a fantastic way to make connections with many people. People with different backgrounds, cultures, experiences, and knowledge all come together to intern at NASA. I am most excited to learn from not only other interns, but also mentors, members, coordinators, and more! I am excited to make lifelong connections that can go beyond the moon,” Masud said. Masud studies computer science at Rutgers University.

Anna Buchholz

Anna Buchholz (Headquarters)

Anna Buchholz is interning at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. She is sponsored by Iowa Space Grant and works on spacecraft performance data analysis. Buchholz’s project is in the Strategic Investments Division within the Office of the CFO. She advises NASA leadership on what investments to make and evaluates how those investments are performing against their goals and commitments. 

“I am excited for this project because I am working on something completely new to me. Studying engineering, I don’t have much exposure to the business and financial operations of an organization, so I am looking forward to gaining a better understanding of the Office of Chief Financial Officer. What I am learning applies to many things and are skills I can take with me for the rest of my life,” Buchholz said. Buchholz studies chemical engineering at Iowa State University.

Haruka Kido (Goddard Space Flight Center)

Haruka Kido is interning at Goddard Space Flight Center and is sponsored by North Dakota Space Grant. Kido’s project involves embedded processing in the Science Data Processing branch as a multidisciplinary group that designs advanced processor systems and implements science applications in software and FPGAs.

“I’m excited for this internship opportunity with NASA because I will learn how to design and fabricate a PCB board, specifically one that integrates a VADIR (Versatile Analog-Digital Interface) and MIPI CSI-2 (camera serial interface). I will be exposed to aerospace engineering, embedded systems, and relevant software, which will propel me forward towards the field of Aerospace Engineering once I earn my PE licensure as an Electrical Engineer,” she said. Kido studies electrical engineering and mathematics at the University of North Dakota.

Interested in the Space Grant program? Find additional resources on the website and follow @spacegrantfoundation on Instagram. Want to learn about NASA internships and read more intern features? Follow @nasainternships on Instagram or @nasainterns on Facebook and Twitter!