NASA Meatball

My Project

I could fill a book about the exciting tasks I undertook as an intern, however, my project has not yet passed through export control, so unfortunately I can only discuss my project in very generic terms.

I mainly worked Orion Flight Software (FSW) regression testing. I worked with an Orion vehicle simulation called SOCRRATES to exercise flight software using python scripts. I enhanced and maintained the toolchain that invokes the tests, gathers results, and reports metrics. Moreover, I evaluated test failures and worked with subject matter experts on resolutions, along with producing test coverage reports to assist in the Engineering assessment of flight software for the Certification of Flight Readiness for Exploration Mission 1.

The Social Life

As you probably know, all fraternities have letters. This includes NASA. The only difference is we welcome others to wear them. Mimicry is the sincerest form of flattery.

An internship at Johnson Space Center (JSC) is similar to being in a fraternity, without any hazing of course. In the short few months that I spent there, a family-like bond was fostered. I worked very closely with my fellow interns, and constantly participated in bonding activities, like SCUBA diving, camping/road trips, retreats, and skydiving. In a fraternity the brothers are bonded by shared expierences, and the secrets they keep. At JSC the bond is formed in a similar fasion, except we do not keep secrets. We all have a shared passion for human space exploration.

Scuba Diving

Along with the fellowship, I engaged in many philanthropic activities. I visited nearby college campuses to give presentations, and other interns traveled to elementary schools to inspire young students. We often gave back by doing community service projects.

Of course, with any fraternity there is rush. NASA interns, as a whole, promote the greatness of the internship through social media, and try to inspire others to apply to the program as relentlessly as a fraternity.

While JSC’s intern social life is much like a frat, we always put work first. There are numerous times where I chose to work late, and get ahead on my project, not because I had to, but because I have a passion for what I do.

By the time the internship was over, and I had to return home, I realized that I’m not leaving JSC to go home. I’m leaving home to go back to my permanent residence. I am constantly surrounded by people who are passionate about the same things as I, and it’s extremely difficult to find others with the same passion. There are a select few who are willing to listen to me drone on about NASA, human space exploration, and my experiences. After the internship, I felt alienated by the people I considered my friends. Many were to jealous to be as excited as I am, or didn’t share my passion. I learned to appreciate the people that want to listen, like my family and fraternity, and accept the others who do not share my excitement for space exploration. I am extremely lucky to have found my passion so early in my career.

I aspire to work full-time at Johnson Space Center. It was what I was born to do.