IV&V Intern Caomi Fitz

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Name: Caomi Fitz
Age: 16 years old
Education: I go to East Fairmont High School, and I am a rising junior
Intended Major: I intend to study either psychiatry or psychology
Unique facts about myself: I love to knit, read books, and listen to music.  My favorite meal is ribs and mashed potatoes.
What brought you to NASA: The unique experience this internship gives me, and to learn more about a possible future career.
Where you see yourself after you enter into your career: Forming friendships, giving back to my community, and walking my dogs every day.

IV&V Intern Lian Dunlevy

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My name is Lian Dunlevy and I was born and raised in Morgantown West Virginia, and I am the youngest intern this year. I will be a junior at Morgantown High School at the end of my internship and would like to go into some form of technical entrepreneurship in the future or something where I am able to work with tech and the public. I am currently on the MARS (Mountaineer Area Robotics) team which was inducted into the FIRST world hall of fame last year. In my spare time, I like to shoot in competitive pistol competitions.

 

IV&V Intern Morgan Cassels

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Name: Morgan Leann Cassels
Age: 21
Hometown: Weirton, WV
High School: Weir High School in Weirton, WV
College: West Virginia University (WVU) in Morgantown, WV
Major: Industrial and Management Systems Engineering
Anticipated Graduation Date: Spring 2018

Why you applied for a NASA internship?
I learned of the NASA IV&V internship program through Dr. Majid Jaridi, Director of NASA West Virginia Space Grant Consortium. I realized that the NASA IV&V internship program would provide an opportunity to gain real world experience while applying the knowledge I learned through my years studying at WVU. Through the Space Grant Consortium, I applied for the position with the guidance of Candy Cordwell, Program Manager.

What do you like most about working for NASA?
From the first day of this experience, the NASA IV&V employees and mentors have been extremely helpful in ensuring the interns are comfortable and have the resources to complete our best work. My favorite part of this experience is the opportunity to work with such an influential workforce within NASA IV&V.

What are you doing for NASA (brief summary of intern project)?
I am working with Mentor Mr. Marcus Fisher and fellow intern Mr. Rosemberth Lopez. Our project is part of the nationwide effort to observe the Solar Eclipse on the afternoon of August 21, 2017. Our goal is to design and build a payload which can attach to the West Virginia Space Grant Consortium high-altitude balloon and record NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) data along the ecliptic path.

Where do you see yourself in your future?
In the future I plan to graduate from WVU with a degree in Industrial and Management Systems Engineering. I plan to pursue a master’s degree at West Virginia University after graduation.

 

 

IV&V Intern Rosemberth Lopez

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Age: 22
Hometown: Fort Washington, Maryland
High School Attended: National Christian Academy
College Attending: West Virginia University
Field of Study and Year: Junior studying Aerospace Engineering
Unique fact about me: I am an Air Force cadet in the WVU ROTC program

Why you applied for the NASA Internship? While working on undergraduate research, through the West Virginia Space Grant Consortium (WVSGC) Ms. Candy Cordwell, program manager, informed me of the opportunity. Once being informed, I took the necessary actions to make sure I could be part of the NASA IV&V team. Working at NASA IV&V would open many doors for me and would help me relate the material that was thought in the classroom and apply it to real world scenarios. It would also give me a great first person point of view of how an engineering environment feels like and a good way to start learning the ins and outs of the career field.

What are you doing for NASA (brief summary of intern project)? I worked under Marcus Fisher and alongside fellow intern Morgan Cassels. We are working in creating and further developing a payload capable of carrying a NDVI camera to capture images of the surrounding vegetation during the total solar eclipse that will occur on August 21, 2017. We will be attaching our payload to a weather balloon designed by The West Virginia Space Grant Consortium, that will be launched from Southern Illinois.

What do you like most about working for NASA? I enjoy the atmosphere and environment that it has to offer. Not only is the staff helpful and cordial they show excitement and enthusiasm toward all the interns and making us feel at home. Also, walking through the halls of the buildings is like walking through the halls of an enormous library, in the sense that there is an abundance of knowledge here.

Where do you see yourself after entering in your career? Since I am currently enrolled in the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) at West Virginia University, I will be commissioned as an Officer in the Air Force once I graduate with my Aerospace Engineering degree. While in the Air Force I plan on working as a Flight Test Engineer. After the Air Force I intend on working with the Department of Defense but still staying on the engineering side of it all.

IV&V Intern Morgan Novak

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Hi, my name is Morgan Novak. I am from a small town in southeast Texas called Hamshire. With Hamshire’s population of about 1500, my household takes up a whopping 1%. As the second oldest of way too many siblings, coming to West Virginia was a nice change in scenery. It is so beautiful here!

This year I will be a sophomore at the University of North Texas. I am double majoring in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and minoring in Math. I am interested in both the hardware and software side of things. I love learning more about new topics/ideas and showing that knowledge off in hackathons.

In my free time I play soccer with my friends and family and last year I coached my little sister’s team. This year, however, I was low on free time due to starting my own company. I am currently testing the second prototype of my product before I pursue anything further.

Getting an internship here has been dream come true! I have wanted to work for NASA ever since I was little. In my junior year of high school, I participated in the Texas High school Aerospace Scholars (HAS) program where I got to stay at JSC for a week and work with real engineers. Participating in these two opportunities has sealed the deal; after graduating from UNT my goal is to get a full time position contributing to the advancement of space travel.

 

IV&V Intern Colette Boileau

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Summer intern Colette Boileau, 22, is currently a senior at Michigan Technological University studying engineering management. As part of a 4th grade class assignment, Boileau was asked to dress up as a famous person from her home state, Michigan. She decided to dress as astronaut Jack Lousma, who was from Grand Rapids, MI. She created a makeshift astronaut spacesuit, pictured below, and gave her presentation to the class, not knowing that someday she’d be spending her summer working at NASA!

Boileau applied for several NASA internships, not knowing what exactly she wanted to do.

“I knew I wanted to make a difference and be a part of something bigger than myself,” Boileau said. “I felt that NASA would provide me that experience and allow me to combine what I’ve learned in school with something I’m really passionate about.”

Boileau says she has no idea where she will end up in life, but she’s looking forward to figuring that out and intends to stay open-minded! For now, she hopes that she will end up as an employee working in project management and helping to bridge the gap between technical work and business.

IV&V Intern Adison Nordstrom

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Name: Adison Nordstrom
Age: 20
Education and year in school: Rising junior at West Virginia University
Area of study or intended area of study: Computer science major, physics minor
Unique fact about you: I swam competitively for 10-11 years.
What brought you to NASA? I applied for a 2016 summer internship here, got it, and now I’m back for a second summer.
Where you see yourself after you enter into your career? Hopefully software development, either with a tech company or with NASA.

IV&V Intern Sydney Michalski

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Sydney Michalski, a sophomore at West Virginia University (WVU), is originally from Fairmont, West Virginia. She’s currently working on her double undergraduate major in English and mathematics. She’s also part of WVU’s Uteach program, which will allow her to receive her teaching certificate upon graduation. During the school year and when she’s not in class, she works at the university’s student center, the Mountainlair, as a building supervisor for Night Operations. In the summers, she’s usually working at the local ice cream shop, the Dairy Crème Corner in Fairmont, as a shift leader. Of course this summer she’s working with NASA’s IV&V folks to help gain a better understanding of where she’d like to go after graduation. Sydney likes to unwind by dabbling in pottery and hopes to make a full kitchen set for when she moves into her first apartment this year.

Sydney says she wanted to work at NASA’s IV&V Program, because she had a lot of friends who spent their summer interning at the program and told her that had great experiences. Sydney sees herself working in the education field in some capacity, whether it be in the public school system, with an education program at NASA, or anything else that will let her positively influence young kids, especially girls, to enter STEM fields with confidence.

 

 

Space Flight Design Challenge ROCKSAT C-17 Update

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SPFC Mission Patch-RSC-17In an effort to provide students with the stepping stones necessary to carry out the goals of the Space Flight Design Challenge, academic institutions have been provided with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience through RockSat-C. The NASA IV&V Space Flight Design Challenge is an initiative aimed towards engaging students of West Virginia in the STEM disciplines needed to successfully build and test critical systems. By enhancing the knowledge and capabilities of students through hands-on spacecraft development, they will be enabled to compete in the development of their own flight systems in space. Primarily, the overall goal of this initiative is to foster innovative advancements in both high school and college students across the nation. As a result, students will be equipped to compete in the fabrication & operation of flight systems in Low Earth Orbit via amateur radio operations.

Through RockSat-C, students and mentors can actively participate in the design & build phases of their own scientific payload. Inevitably, this payload will be launched on a sounding rocket out of Wallops Flight Facility at the close of the academic school year. The fall semester is comprised of engaging students in the full design & review process whilst the primary goal of spring semester is to prepare each team for the Launch Readiness Review. In order to do so successfully, each of the payloads will undergo multiple phases of testing and integration to ensure its suitability for flight.

This year’s Rock Sat-C mission statement:

   “To embark on a collaborative effort with academic institutions across the state of West Virginia for development and expansion of knowledge and practical experience in designing, building, launching, and operating space payloads.”

In order to accomplish this vision, our teams have developed a variety of experiments that will inevitably benefit the small sat community. Of those scientific payloads are:

  1. Bridge Valley Community Technical College Stain Gauge Experiment
    1. Objective: To measure strain on a series of material samples and model flight path
  2. West Virginia University Langmuir Probe Experiment
    1. Objective: Measure plasma density in upper atmosphere
  3. Blue Field State College Vehicle and Inertial Measurement and Tracking Experiment
    1. Objective: To gather real-time flight data & Use this data to determine the flight path, trajectory, altitude, and rotation of the rocket
  4. Fairmont State University Flight Dynamics Analysis Experiment
    1. Objective: To capture and store real-time flight data, then show the flight path.
  5. Blue Ridge Community Technical College PiGen (Piezo Electric Generator) Experiment
    1. Objective: To measure the output of 3 Piezoelectric generators on the X Y and Z axis with 2 ADCs.
  6. West Virginia Wesleyan College Harvest Energy Experiment

    1. Objective: To harvest energy by using a Thermocouple and Piezoelectric crystal on the rocket flight.

Isometric ViewDimetric View

Shown above is an Isometric (top) and Dimetric (bottom) view of the canister. (Image by Roger Targosky)

Throughout the Conceptual, Preliminary, and Critical Design review, WV-SPACE has displayed both scientific merit & a feasible implementation plan. At this point the payload has been largely cleared by COSGC and Wallops Flight Facility and has been selected to fly in canister #5 and share space Oregon Institute of Technology. The payload is projected to launch aboard a Terrier-Improved Orion sounding rocket on June 22nd 2017.

Manifest

We would also like to send ours thanks to NASA’s Independent Verification & Validation Program for supporting our student outreach initiatives and congratulate all of our dedicated teams for being a part of the Space Flight Design Challenge and cleared for launch.

Team_Photo

Emily Certain | Student Trainee
NASA’s Independent Verification & Validation Program

 

 

 

 

 

 

White Hall Elementary School Mighty Builders Team Wins West Virginia’s First Spacecraft LEGO Challenge

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This fall, White Hall Elementary School in White Hall, W.Va., sponsored a First Lego League Junior (FLL Jr.) team.  Eleven fourth-grade team members and two coaches met twice a week for several months to develop a LEGO model, poster and presentation to illustrate what they learned as part of this year’s CREATURE CRAZE Challenge.  As part of their meetings, the Mighty Builders participated in West Virginia’s First Spacecraft LEGO Challenge.

Suder Blog Entry_STF1 Lego Winners

Image Credit: Mark Suder

The challenge fit naturally into the learning the students were doing as part of the CREATURE CRAZE Challenge.

“The team and building rules were similar to what we were doing for FLL Jr., and the kids needed to begin learning about our WeDo LEGO set, how the motors and sensors work, and how to program it, so this challenge seemed like a natural fit for our meetings,” coach Mark Suder said.

With the guidance of their coaches, the kids split into several teams to create LEGO satellite models, then chose one to add motors, sensors and a brain to.  Following the addition of and learning about these parts, the kids brainstormed about the questions that were posed to them for West Virginia’s First Spacecraft LEGO Challenge.  Those questions were:

  1. What you want to have in West Virginia’s second spacecraft and why?
  2. What is different from your LEGO STF-1 and NASA’s LEGO STF-1 and why?
  3. How do CubeSats affect space exploration around the world?
Suder Blog Entry_STF1 Lego Winners 2

Image Credit: Mark Suder

“Creative, energetic, smart, enthusiastic!  Those are the words I would use to describe the students,” Suder said. “As the coach, I have been both proud and inspired to be part of this team.  These kids are the future of the country, and with all the negative news these days it is neat to see that there is also a lot of hope for the future based on these inspirational young people of today.  Besides, who doesn’t like playing with LEGOs?”

The team was incredibly excited to learn that they had won the First Spacecraft LEGO Challenge and was excited to tour NASA IV&V and receive their first place prize.

In addition to the tour, and to both congratulate and celebrate the accomplishments of this team, NASA’s IV&V Program invited the students, their teachers, as well as the school’s principal to attend IV&V’s Internal Award Event. The students were presented with certificates of appreciation, and in return, presented IV&V’s Director Greg Blaney, as well as the program, with a thank you card from the team.

20161213-Christmas Auction Party_00036

Image Credit: Clayton Peachey

20161213-Christmas Auction Party_00037 Award group Mighty Builders

Image Credit: Clayton Peachey

Mark Suder | Systems Analyst
NASA’s Independent Verification & Validation Program

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