May 2009

Hello! I hope you all are enjoying the beginning of summer/end of the school year.

Last week I went to Washington, DC as a student traveler for the Citizens for Space Coalition. Every year the organization goes to DC to speak with government members and their staff to educate them on the importance of NASA’s human space flight programs. It was awesome, they paid for about 20 students from across the country to come together to help the 80ish space industry professionals. There were two other students from Embry-Riddle that also attended. I represented Minnesota because that’s my home state and other students represented where they are from. While I was there I met with lots of people, including aides from Congressmen Collin Peterson, Betty McCollum, Michele Bachman’s offices and Senator Amy Klobuchar, all from Minnesota. Here’s a picture of Amy and me. I also had the opportunity to talk with several from Oregon, Indiana, Illinois, Idaho, and South Carolina.

Walking through the capital buildings was so surreal. I’ve been to DC before, but always as a tourist. Members of the government had always seemed so far removed to me, like people you vote for and never really hear from again. It was awesome to be able to sit down with these people and talk about something I am passionate about, space flight.

I went to all these offices in a team of four and we each had our little parts to talk about. I discussed how important of an investment it is in our future to keep the Constellation and Shuttle programs fully funded. We’ve already spent so much money on both projects and to not continue allowing them to grow is a total waste of the money spent thus far. I also said that NASA is a source of national pride. I’m sure you’ve all seen the movie Apollo 11 but you can clearly see on those people’s faces how excited the entire country was! If we go to Mars or back to the Moon, maybe we can unite the nation towards that goal in these tight economic times. But enough rambling about why space rocks, because it does, but that’s beside the point.

After my trip to DC I spent a few days in Daytona saving my apartment from the random heavy rains. My parking lot had fish in it! It was ridiculous, but nothing was damaged so that was good. Now I’m in Colorado, I start my internship in a few days and I am so excited! I think I spoke a little about it before, but just to recap I’m going to be working in systems engineering at Ball Aerospace. It’s a really cool company; they worked on the Hubble and also the Deep Impact program. If you aren’t familiar with it, check out their website BallAerospace.com. Starting a new anything is always a little nerve racking but then again, it’s going to be new to everyone, not just me. I’ll post after my first day! Wish me luck!

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Nicole

About Nicole

Minor: International Relations
Age: 20
Hometown: Minneapolis, MN
Internship: Summer Internship with Ball Aerospace
Career Goals: To work on cutting-edge astronautics technology.
Activities: Society for the Advancement of Management, NASA Means Business Competition, research in the engineering department.
Why I chose Embry-Riddle: I had Embry-Riddle picked out since I was in 9th grade. I took an aviation class in middle school and my teacher mentioned it and I did some research and visited that year. Its number one for my field and everyone loves aviation and space as much as me!

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