Week Five

This was an eventful week of learning and new experiences.

I started working on a new project this week: spectral survey analysis and some calibration of the camera on board. Basically I will be making some plots of absorption spectra and attempting to identify different species in the atmosphere, such as ozone, methane, water vapor, and certain aerosol particles. Pretty exciting.

On Wednesday all the interns at NASA got to take a picture next to the tiny plane that is in the cover photo of this blog post (more on that later). We got suited up in actual flight suits and got to do some cool-looking power poses holding a helmet, so I’ll be sure to post those when they get to me.

Then on Thursday we got to watch a drop test at the Gantry, the giant crane-like structure I mentioned in a previous post. They simulated a plane crash by the looks of it; there was a cross section of a plane with about ten “passengers” that fell about 30 feet or so. It was slightly anticlimactic, but I’m glad we went nonetheless. I am not sure what the conclusion of the test was, but the crash dummies seemed to survive.

Friday was super cool. We went on a tour of Langley’s hangar where they keep all the planes. Not only did we learn about the history of the building but also we learned all about the purpose of the planes housed there. For example, the tiny plane in the picture is also a drone! This blew my mind. They can command it from the ground while also having a pilot there just in case something were to go wrong. They showed us planes that studied the Gulf oil spill, pollution causing the ice in Greenland to melt, and planes that were used in the Vietnam War. This was a really awesome day and it got me very excited about aviation.

After work, we went to this lovely little restaurant called Crab Shack on the James. The seafood was fantastic, but being on the river made the experience even better. Something about being surrounded by water always makes me happy.

Finally, on Saturday we went to Downtown Hampton’s Block Party! This was a Bob Ross/80s themed party that reminded me of concerts at the Marietta Square. The band was fantastic, and it was all around a great night. They even had a large-scale Bob Ross painting tutorial going on, but I chose not to participate because it was expensive and the canvases they provided were very small compared to what I normally like to use.

Today I am headed to the beach of course. More updates later 🙂


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