This project will advance high quality STEM education by using NASA’s unique capabilities. Exploration is the key driver in learning and innovation. Interns will immerse themselves in content and activities while learning about Earth-Moon Trajectories, Rockets, Lunar Topography, and observing Earth from the Moon. While tackling this engineering project, interns will learn about the Earth Moon System Dynamics, Power Systems, and Communication while designing the mission.
In addition to learning about the tools astronomers use, interns will learn about the Solar System, its small bodies, and the hazards these bodies could pose to Earth. They will search for unmeasured asteroids on archive images taken at McDonald Observatory, determine and report their positions. Interns will measure brightness variation for some of these bodies to find the rotation period and make conclusions about their shape. In the process they will be introduced to the digital image toolkit of astronomers.
EXPLORE THE MOON
Interns will study the spectral effects of space weathering and impact gardening on the evolution of the lunar soil using remote sensing data. Understanding the effects from these processes improves the ability to map the true composition of planetary crusts.
GRACE (GRAVITY RECOVERY AND CLIMATE EXPERIMENT)
Interns will analyze data from GRACE, twin satellites launched in March 2002, that are making detailed measurements of Earth's gravity field changes and revolutionizing investigations about Earth’s water resources over land, ice, and oceans, as well as earthquakes and crustal deformations. These discoveries are having far-reaching benefits to society and the world's population.
ICESAT (ICE, CLOUD AND LAND ELEVATION SATELLITE)
Interns will examine ICESat mission data (2003-2009) and simulated ICESat-2 data (2017 launch). The satellites' laser altimetry is collected globally over ice sheets, sea ice, land, vegetation, and ocean/water surfaces. Analyses will include data visualization, satellite calibration, and comparisons with airborne laser data and other measurements. Investigations of some primary questions surrounding the missions include how to link the data from the two missions and how to optimally compute changes of the Greenland and Antarctica ice sheets.
INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION
The International Space Station is a unique place – a convergence of science, technology and human innovation that demonstrates new technologies and makes research breakthroughs not possible on Earth. It is a microgravity laboratory in which an international crew of six people live and work while traveling at a speed of five miles per second, orbiting Earth every 90 minutes. Interns will explore experiments being conducted aboard the ISS.
NASA isn't just planning on eventually sending astronauts to Mars, it is hoping to one day to actually build a colony on the red planet. What are the requirements? What resources are needed? Interns will design a Mars village that will allow people to live and work at distances much farther away from our home planet.
MAGIC (MID-AMERICAN GEOSPATIAL INFORMATION CENTER) EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS
Interns will focus on a recent flood, wildfire, or tropical storm event, review satellite image datasets from NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and the US Geological Survey (USGS) collected before, during and after the event, and test best practices for rapid information extraction from these data. We will use image analysis and investigate related geospatial information resources with the goal of creating and distributing products for emergency response applications and societal benefit.
MAGIC (MID-AMERICAN GEOSPATIAL INFORMATION CENTER) FLOOD RESPONSE
Interns will compare National Weather Service Quantitative Precipitation Estimation (QPE) products derived from Radar with rainfall gauge values collected in the same time and space. This will provide ground truth evidence of estimations compared to captured rain totals. Interns will also develop Python scripts to automate the transformation of QPE point data into an interpolated gridded surface that can be tiled for rapid consumption by web-based mapping applications via rest endpoints. Activities will simulate recent flood events with the goal of improving future flood response scenarios.
NASA IMAGE DETECTIVE
Have you always wanted to associate those amazing photographs of our beautiful planet taken from space by astronauts with their locations on the Earth? With the Image Detective interactive tool, you can do just that! By doing so, you will help to locate hundreds of thousands of images and also enhance your geography skills at the same time.