National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Glenn Research Center

Week 9

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sunday began rather lazily for the Academites, waking up at almost 10:00 a.m. Immediately, Cameron, Michelle, Logan, Andrew and Molly donned their swimsuits, grabbed Frisbees and kickballs and headed to the beach. Michael B. elected to remain at the StudioPlus, glued to CNN for some NASA news.

The beach crew threw down their towels and immediately sprinted into the water for a good game of water Frisbee, a game perfected by the Academites this summer, Andrew gathered the crew for a rousing game of Spud. They were joined by Anup, 2009 alum, and his girlfriend Rachel, who was visiting from Virginia.

The sunburnt Academites retired early from the beach and headed back to the StudioPlus. They were joined by David and Mike J., who had been at Case all day, diligently working on the GPS systems. From there, they cleaned up and headed out for their dinner at Dr. Kankam’s house.

There they were joined by the Aeros. Good small talk and hors d’oeuvres munching commenced, waiting for the final dinner preparations to complete. At the Kankam residence, there was much table literature and art decorating his beautiful home.

Dinner was delectable and Dr. Kankam was kind enough to allow us to enjoy the beautiful weather and eat on the porch. After dinner, pictures were taken and talk of the program continued.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Monday was a day like any other at the NASA Academy. We had breakfast in the cafeteria, and a scheduled mid-day lecture on aeronautics. Also Dr. Kankam sprung upon us a mandated practice presentation at 9:30 a.m. Fortunately, due to the group’s presentation prowess, the presentation was pulled off without a hitch.

After work, the RAP session ensued. Then it was off to chipotle to consume delicious but filling burritos. Case Western Reserve University professor Joe Prahl, astronaut trainee and researcher, and a man with a positive attitude towards NASA’s future, gave a talk about microgravity research.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Pressure was on Tuesday, as this was the day of the final presentation to Glenn Senior management. The Academites dressed for success and suited up. Overall the presentation went well and was relatively within the scheduled time. The senior management, in true NASA fashion, questioned the safety features of the experiment in order to ensure that the project posed no harm to anyone. Senior management member Dr. Howard Ross, who arranged for the Space Academy to meet with a senior management from NASA HQ the next day.

The Academites took the opportunity to get some group pictures, looking sharp, and returned to an otherwise uneventful work day.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Wednesday was a bit of a blur. Work ensued pretty normally. Oh wait, our Tuesday presentation to the center’s upper management was so successful that Dr. Howard Ross, who wrote a book on microgravity, asked us to present our group project to Joe Parrish, Director of Early Stage Innovation from the Office of the Chief Technologist at NASA Headquarters. Everyone was thoroughly impressed. He then asked questions about our experiences at NASA and how we could make NASA a better place for interns and for innovation.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Thursday work day went without too much a hitch. After work, the Academites had a group project pre-launch meeting. Worries were discussed, weather woes were shared, and no conclusions were reached. From a feeble “Go” consensus from the group, one portion of the group headed to Case to continue construction/GPS work. Molly, Michael B., and Michelle took the opportunity to test out the parachute deployment system by launching a payload from another intern’s much taller building. They developed an audience as they threw a foam cooler full of rocks from the 12th story of a building. After Molly missed a catch and destroyed the foam cooler, they retired to StudioPlus. Molly then migrated to the Harry Buffalo on the never-ending search for Wi-Fi.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Everyone needed a break from PHAME on Friday, despite the possibility of a Saturday morning balloon launch. It was decided to head directly out to dinner after work to eat more than we should. We made a quick stop at the store for supplies, where we purchased way more than we needed (again), and then returned to StudioPlus Hotel.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Sleepy Saturday began in the afternoon for some of the Academites (*cough*Mike N.*cough*). Once aroused from a deep slumber induced by the activities of the prior night, many of us tried to crank out the massive amounts of work that was piling up to be completed in the upcoming week.

At 4:30 the Academites loaded up in cars to view a classic film to help them with their study of space-related fields, Cowboys and Aliens: 15 over-developed father-son relationships, 120 poor explosions, and 1 gigantic failure on the part of Olivia Wilde’s costumer later, the group returned to the StudioPlus for more work and more sleep. A select few, then ventured out for some networking with fellow interns.