June 2009

Hello everyone! I hope everyone is having a good summer because I know I am!

This last week has been crazy busy at Ball. We’ve been working on a lot of new proposals and with my BIRST rocket program, there hasn’t been a lot of free time.

Last week my rocket team started to actually construct our payloads that will be put in the rocket. Before I had said we were launching little paratroopers out of the rocket, but we couldn’t find any that were the right size and could get in the time allotted. So small change in plans, we’re now launching little mini aliens out of the rocket, it seems rather appropriate to me! I’m mainly working on the payload which is going to launch out a Ball Aerospace flag but last week I got to help out on another group’s area, the pyrotechnic initiators. For those of you that don’t know what it is, a pyrotechnic initiator is the part of the rocket that sets off the charge to jettison a payload out of the main body. Also if you’ve seen a rocket with multiple stages, a lot of them use the same devices to separate. Two interns from my payload went to work with ULA to learn about how to construct these devices. It was a little intimidating at first to be playing with gun powder but when we got to try one out, it was sooo awesome! Our team is going to test them out on our payloads next weekend!

This last weekend a few interns decided we wanted to take advantage of being in Colorado. We found a place in the mountains we wanted to go and set off on a hike. Longs Peak is one of the taller mountains in Colorado and we knew we didn’t stand a chance to make it all the way up, but about 2/3 of the way is a lake at the base of the peak called Chasm Lake. We had to start pretty early because the afternoons are usually when the storms creep in and being on a mountain with lightning doesn’t sound like fun to me. One of my favorite parts was the snow! At one point we had to climb across an ice shelf that was on a hill. The snow was melting so it was pretty slippery, especially on the way back when the sun was high. It took almost 5 hours to get there and back! I’m hoping to get to climb a lot more before I leave since there aren’t any opportunities back at school.

I’ll keep you updated on my internship and rocket! We launch the end of July so I’ll have exciting things to report!

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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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