About Ashley


Commercial Space Operations

**Ashley** – Intern with the Federal Aviation Administration Office of Commercial Space Transportation
**Major:** Commercial Space Operations
**Hometown:** Jacksonville, Florida
**Campus Involvement:** Commercial Space Operation Student Organization, National Society of Black Engineers, Human Performance in Extreme Environment Club, and Amateur Astronomy Club
**Why I chose Embry-Riddle:** I chose Riddle because of the healthy environment and opportunities it provides for it students.

The Sweet Call of Fall!

Have you seen them?! The back to school commercials?! They are taking over, yet again to let everyone know it’s back to the books. I’m guessing they wanted to let me know that My internship is almost up too! NOOO!!! I love it here in D.C., all the rich history, the people I’ve met, and importantly the skills I have been learning. This experience will forever be in my heart. I want to express that through this internship, I have gained skills that are absolutely essential to benefit me as a CSO student and prepare me for my future in the commercial space flight industry. Attaining insight on human space flight standards, CFRs, and experience in a professional work environment, I have also gained the following underlying skills:

  • Extensive knowledge on NASA Commercial Crew Transportation standards
  • Expanded knowledge on FAA’s Recommended Practices for Human Space Flight Occupant Safety
  • Vast awareness on 14 CFR Chapter III part 460
  • Stronger ability to vocally express myself in a professional work environment
  • Confidence in my work ethic attitude and thought process
  • Advanced professional writing style

I never would have thought that less than a semester, about 10 weeks, would have I grown into a young professional, striving to make commercial human spaceflight accessible for everyone!


Space Shuttle Discovery at Udvar-Hazy Center at Chantilly, Virginia

D.C. Life

Hello everyone!

Busy! Busy! Busy! That is the life in Washington D.C. Since my internship started at AST, I work Monday through Friday, from 8:00am to 4:00pm. I was placed AST-300, which is the regulations and analysis division. They have me doing a really cool things all over AST. Sometimes I can be running from one part of the office to another for meetings! I’m going to break it down my first month, since there is so much to digest!  AST Intern Patch

AST Intern Patch and Cubical Tag

  • June: I was introduced to all AST managers and was welcomed by many other AST employees during my first week. The first task I was assigned to do was to read 14 CFR part 401, 417, and 420, licensing and safety requirements for operation of launch site.  I was later handed the preamble to 2012 final rule to explosive site plans and the final rule to explosive site plans to read. These documents were for me to get more familiar with some of the work done in AST-300.  Through out the month there were ample meetings to attend. Deputy Manager to AST-300, Randy Repcheck, arranged meetings to present standard introductory course on AST office and the Commercial Space Launch Act part 1 and part 2.I was also able to attend a MRB (management review board) to learn the process of how management decides to approve or deny a license for a company. As the weeks progressed, every Monday, there is an intern tag up with aerospace engineers from AST-200, Ray Jenkins and Henry Lampazzi. The intern tag up consisted of learning more about the company, Virgin Galactic; check up on individual projects, and various proprietary topics in AST. Every Tuesday there are also AST-300 division meetings, which entail how AST-300 is doing and what is currently being worked on by each individual in the division. I had an amazing opportunity to attended “Women of AST” Lunch.  This lunch was celebrate the growth of women in the STEM field and growth of women working in AST. Towards the end of June,  I attended NAS Space Industry Days. This event lasted all week. Most of the information at this conference was proprietary, because of the content coming from different private companies. NAS Space Industry Days was a conference that gathered people from all over the commercial and aviation industry to talk about the needs and wants from the industry in regards of space traffic management.


Can’t believe how fast the summer has gone and the professional experience I’m living! Why can’t time stop?!


Never gets old seeing the Capital at the end of a work day!

It’s a Whole New World!!

It’s summer time again! Palm trees, sweet cool breeze, and beaches everywhere!….Well that’s what I would be saying if I was still in Florida right now. I’m sitting on my balcony of 15th floor where my apartment lays in Washington, D.C.  This is my new home, a whole new world to me.Looking back a couple of years ago to my freshman year at Embry-Riddle, I most certainly wouldn’t believe I’ve made it this far! Ashley Hollis-Bussey, a Commercial Space Operations major has been accepted as an intern for the Office of Commercial Space Transportation (AST) of the FAA. I have already started my first week and there is a lot I want to share and hope others can learn with me as I go through this amazing journey here in Washington D.C.


Coming here I didn’t know what to expect. How professional should I be? Should I ask a lot of questions or feel out the scenery? Etc… I wasn’t even sure if the environment in the office will be friendly or strictly business. One thing is for sure to not to get too nervous, and remember to breathe. It’s a chance of a life time, so I have to embrace it!

My first day was introduction day, getting to know everyone and seeing where my office will be, and what I will be doing for the next 10 weeks in AST. I got assigned to work on a project on Human Space Flight standards in relation to the Recommended Practices the FAA AST office has. The rest of week got even better! I attended some really awesome meetings…I wish I could share but I’m not allowed too…so sorry! But over all it was a good start. I recommend to everyone who starts a new job or internship that dressing up the first entire week is great for first impressions. Around the office of AST you get a mix of both professional and business causal. But either way it doesn’t hurt to be fancy sometimes! I didn’t ask many questions the first week being in the office only because I’m a shy person but now I know for the further weeks to come, I should ask as many questions no matter how small of question may be. I learned that the AST office was there for me. It was really cool to see how the AST office cared about us interns. They actually wanted to help us learn. I have heard many horror stories of other peoples internships and how they were basically thrown into the pit of fire, so I admit I was scared that was going to happen. But it didn’t! Couple of the meetings I went to, (this is something I can say), they gave brief lessons that they would give to anyone who is a new hire. Many of the managers of the divisions in AST also invited us to other important meetings that they thought could be of value to us. I even been invited to a Women of AST lunch-in!

There is so much I could say about my first week, but it has been an over whelming experience (in a good way). Since this is my first blog after all, I want to keep it short, sweet, and simple till next time!! I’ll make sure to take good picture of the office and the coolest places in D.C.!!

Till then…signing off,