Thursday, 6 June 2013

Becoming a NASA Intern




For the past 3 weeks I've been interning at NASA Ames Research Center in the Silicon Valley, San Francisco. Renowned for its innovative approach, Ames is the perfect place for me to explore where I want my career to take me and to meet extra-ordinary people that can help me to identify this. 

Serving as the newest member of the NASA New Media Innovation Team (NMIT) I've been lucky enough to have the most interesting, creative and intelligent mentor, Dr. Yvonne Clearwater. With over 40 years of work at Ames, Yvonne joined Ames as a member of the International Space Station (ISS) design team and was the Principle Investigator on early ISS designs. As well as this, she developed the official NASA App, 'NASA on the (Flickr) Commons and the inspirational website NASA ArtSpace (found here: http://www.nasa.gov/connect/artspace/)

Together, we are working to increase public awareness and involvement in the creative cultural convergence of art, science and technology as it serves to inspire space exploration. We have been developing innovative projects to increase public communication and connection with NASA. In particular, utilising the powerful tool of new media platforms to increase public engagement with NASA Ames.

I'll be working here for 3 months and already have had the opportunity to go to a number of events at exciting places such as the SETI Institute: Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Singularity University as well as meeting the Director of Ames Pete Worden and the NASA Administrator Charles Bolden!

Lunchtime conversations between the synthetic biologist to the neighbouring astrophysicist and their quantum computing friend have become an everyday occurrence for my fellow interns and I, and it's something I don't think I'll ever get used to hearing. It's s a daily reminder of the unique environment I'm in and I feel very fortunate to be in the midst of the ground-breaking research and technological advancement that is and will help us explore the Universe as well as sustain life as we know it on Earth.

-Nikita
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