Week 5 SQP (July 8th - July 14th)

Written By: Mitsuhisa Baba and Marissa Cameron

Monday July 8th
The space academites woke up early and dug out their nicest clothes, dressing up even more than usual. Suits transormed the boys into gentlemen, and dresses and high heels made the girls into very pretty ladies who towered over most of the guys. Except for Marissa and Lauren, who opted for pants and flat shoes...#Texas #PantsRule. Oh did we mention Lauren became drunk with #power after learning to use Twitter?

Midterm presentations began with Baba, Tom then Natalia, who are in same division - rotorcraft. They each proposed new exploration concepts for planetary bodies. Karl made an easily understandable presentation complete with funny jokes (Klassic Karl) in front of Dr. Pete Worden. After that, Marissa, Janine, Natalia and Emily presented the group presentation - nailed it! Lynn followed, explaining her approach to software aspects in Small Satellites. Janine talked about different techinques for earthquake detection. Michael discussed biological science and the search for life on Mars, while Emiliy talked about an astrodynamics mission proposal. Quentin presented on shooting stars...well, technically he talked about meteors, comets, and a lot of other fascinating things. Lauren detailed how she smashed up worms to see what they ate. Marissa talked about similarities between Antarctica and Mars (complete with props), and Brian spoke of an ‘old made new’ concept for a transport system to space.

With presentations behind them, the Space and the Aero kids quickly grabbed a light meal at Megabytes before hitting to road to attend a networking event with Dr. Pete Worden. Everything was great: the weather, the landscape, the snacks and especially the conversation. It was a long day, and everyone settled down for some much needed rest. Except for Marissa, who picked quite possibly the worst time ever to take a shower - right when a fire alarm went off and everyone had to evacuate the building! Everyone was soon able to return to bed, for real this time.

Tuesday July 9th
Because of the fire alarm incident, the Space and Aero members were allowed to get sleep in 15 extra minutes, oh glorious day! Some of them may have slept a little too well, but hey at least Brian wasn’t the only one late that day. Just kidding, Brian!

The group had an excellent Brown Bag discussion with Matthew Reyes, who told them all about the awesome opportunites to build stuff at the “Space Shop”. Karl, Lauren, Quentin and some of the Aero kids left work early to prepare a great BBQ (complete with apple pie) at Doug's house for a special talk with Dr. Pete Worden. The warm weather and delicious food made for a nice mini-vacation. The Space kids tried one more time for their group photo, third time’s a charm, right? The picture will be a great memory to have when we’re older...too bad we’ll all be blind from staring directly at the sun during the photoshoot. Oh well, minor details. The group then spent the rest of the evening listening to Dr. Worden speak about a near Earth asteroid redirect mission, after which he patiently answered a barrage of questions. The group managed to squeeze in a short meeting after returning home before hitting the hay.

Wednesday July 10th
After a mostly uninterrupted work day, the group left early to Lick Observatory, joined by both the Aeronautics and Robotics Academies. They arrived and parked at a beautiful scenic outlook point and everyone chowed down on their custom Subway sandwiches. Our tour guide, Paul Lynam, led the group of over 30 people around the different telescopes at Lick Observatory, all the way telling tales of the Observatory’s founder, James Lick, a man of a "very particular character." After taking a brief intermission, the group met up again inside the lecture hall for a history lesson on all things Lick. Once it got dark, the Academy members experienced an amazing sight - the 36” refracting telescope! Engines whirred and gears grinded as the dome doors creaked open, exposing the clear night sky. They watched in wonder as Paul expertly maneuvered the telescope and they all lined up to climb down narrow staircases and over railings to get a chance to look at Saturn, a globular nebula, and the planetary nebula of a dying star. Now past midnight, Paul pointed out interesting stars and constellations as the group headed to the cars to return home.

Thursday July 11th
Everyone was grateful to have a few minutes of extra sleep as they rushed to their safety briefing with Matt Reyes at the Space Shop. The shop manager, Sarah Hovsepian led them around the rooms with 3D printers, laser cutters and sewing machines - all available for use after completion of the necessary training.

Later that day, everyone took their official picture with NASA’s classic “Meatball” logo background. This required they quickly dress up from the clothes they left for work in. Some people opted to dress up in a suit jacket, nice shirt and....jeans and sneakers?! Luckily, the pictures were taken from the waist up! They all practiced their “Professional” and “Smart” faces in front of the mirror. These photos will go on to be profile pictures for Facebook, linkedIn, and the NASA Ames Summer Intern Profile Book!

After work, Dr. George Matsumoto from MBARI invited the Academy to a BBQ in Monterey Bay. MBARI, MBA, Hopkins Marine Station of Stanford University, and Smithsonian National Museum students were all in attendance. Some of them were also internationals, coming from Malaysia, Venezuela, and Spain (which made Natalia very happy). Everyone enjoyed talking, eating s’mores, and seeing our new friends from MBARI again. The Academy students gave out their business cards, remembering how important networking is, and once again invited MBARI out to visit Ames. With a long drive ahead, the Space kids said their goodbyes with arms full of leftovers from the BBQ.

Friday July 12th
As always, the Space team woke up bright and early and went down the stairs to their meeting place in the parking lot. Mysteriously, the Aero Academy was nowhere to be found. The mystery deepened when we noticed there were many people who look strangely similar to the Aero kids at Megabytes during breakfast... Oh, yea that’s because it’s Aero’s Family Weekend! Some of the Space exchanged friendly greetings with the families before leaving for a full day of work.

After work, some of the Academy joined a Student Mixer Event sponsored by Dr. Worden. A contest to capture Dr. Worden’s essence out of assorted fruits and vegetables ensued. The group enjoyed their time off, never once uttering the dreaded words "group project" or "bioreactor," and went to bed well past their bedtime.

Saturday July 13th
The group slept in as late as possible, deciding to have In-N-Out and Panera for lunch. Well, not everyone. Some people did their laundry, others decided to go back to sleep. After snagging some leftovers from Aero’s Family Day BBQ, some of the group were escorted by staff to see a movie. Alan and Matt (from Aero) chose Pacific Rim, while Janine, Emily, Mark, Michael Zero and Alana saw Despicable Me 2. Quentin, Michael, Tom and Baba decided to see World War Z. Baba thought World War Z was some kind of political documentry, therefore, he was very suprised when 5 minutes into the movie, zombies appeared! Everyone had an excellent time, and went to bed after midnight, trying hard not to wake those who had stayed home.

Sunday July 14th
After sleeping in AGAIN, a meeting about the group project to confirm our tasks, progress, and goals before lunch time was arranged. Quentin, Baba and Karl joined Mark to get a haircut and go shopping for Quentin’s special French dinner he prepared in honor of Bastille Day. Those who stayed behind ordered crepes for lunch. Everyone was hard at work through most of the day, taking a break to eat the steak and rice Quentin, Janine and Baba had prepared. The group rejoiced on reaching the halfway mark of the internship, and reflected on what was to come.

Picture of the Week:
Week 5

Video Clip of the Week: