My Friend, the Astronaut
However, this summer my friend Nathan Vislosky did intern at the NASA Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) Facility in Fairmont, West Virginia.
So what exactly did you do at NASA this summer?
I ran a training feasibility study.
What did that entail?
So I interviewed project managers all over IV&V to get a spectrum of understanding for whether we needed internal or external training in the IV&V facility.
By internal training, I mean that we teach people how to perform independent verification and validation. External training would teach other facilities what we did at IV&V, and why we need it.
This entire process is in place due to the Challenger Mission. The Office of Safety and Mission Assurance spearheaded the building of IV&V.
What was the final result of your work?
We found that internal training would be a more feasible option and we flew to DC to present this concept to a majority of NASA Headquarter Executives and astronaut Terrence W. Wilcutt.
How did you find out about the internship?
I just Googled „internships“, used LinkedIn pages, and just started clicking away at every opportunity I could find.
How long did you work there?
I worked there for about two months, from June 12 through August 3.
What else have you been up to this summer?
I did a leadership camp, the BP Step Program in Houston for three days. Then, I went to California to play inline hockey for Team USA against Team Mexico and Team Argentina. Later, I went back to Houston and toured BP Headquarters.
Additionally, I learned about the E-NABL 3D Printed Hands Non-Profit run out of Carnegie Melon University from another NASA Intern. E-NABL prints hands for economically unstable countries so that the children who are missing hands due to disease, war, or birth defects can use a hand to better maneuver through social situations as they grow up. Once they have stopped growing, they usually invest in a more complex prosthetic, but E-NABL serves them through the crucial stages of development. E-NABL is currently pursuing methods for reducing the cost of complex prosthetics.
Lastly, I am headed to Nanjing, China on August 23 (I interviewed him a couple weeks ago) for the Inline Hockey World Championships. This year, it will be all the roller sports instead of just hockey. This includes roller blading, roller skating, skateboarding, roller derby, etc.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
The experiences I had this summer have shaped me and I genuinely believe I have improved my leadership and public speaking skills. I am very grateful to NASA for the opportunity, and the strong sense of community they foster in the workplace. I look forward to applying to intern there again next summer.
The photo is of the NASA facility where Nathan worked. Have you had any cool experiences or travels this summer? Feel free to share in the comments below or shoot me an email telling me about it! I'd love to hear :)