Iowa State University, Aerospace Engineering
Johnson Space Center – Auxiliary Feedwater Supply Assembly Testing, Post-Gap 3 Portable Life Support System Test Data Analysis
June 5 – August 11, 2023
Final Goals of your Project/s:
Going into this summer, I wanted to get as much exposure to Johnson Space Center as I could. I also wanted the opportunity to work directly with hardware by designing and testing components. I have had two major focuses in this summer’s internship: testing of the PLSS Auxiliary Feedwater Supply Assembly (AFSA) and test data analysis. My goals for AFSA testing included completion of water pressure testing and post-testing analysis. For the test data analysis, my goal was to successfully verify all requirements from the PLSS specification document relevant to the testing and then document my analysis in a report.
Describe what you did during your internship:
During the internship, I got the opportunity to work directly with hardware. I formed my own test schematic and procedures. Then retrieved the parts and built the test circuit. After the test was set up, I conducted several test series while collecting data and drawing conclusions based on anomalies that occurred. These kinds of experiences increased my confidence with the hardware and how the system works as a whole. In addition to working with the hardware, I conducted data analysis on full space suit portable life support system (PLSS) tests. I built a good understanding of how the PLSS works by creating plots in MATLAB and analyzing the trends in the data to draw conclusions on what they mean. Outside of my projects, I participated in multiple lectures and tours. This helped me network as well as gain knowledge about NASA and my career.
Did you achieve your goals? What were the results?:
I achieved several of my goals during my internship this summer. I cannot say that I was disappointed at all about the work I put in or the things I was involved in. As a result of the hard work, I learned a lot about space suits, hardware, and collecting/interpreting data. I also learned a lot about the other branches at Johnson Space Center. It was important that I took the initiative to reach out to others and get involved because there was a lot to learn outside of my project team.
Describe positive lessons learned:
I learned throughout the internship just how much there is to be involved in through NASA. There are a lot of different exciting technologies I could work with, and I could almost certainly find the right place for me. I also found that I love working with hardware and new product development.
Describe negative lessons learned:
One thing I found is that you get back what you put in. In most cases, there aren’t projects set aside for you already and there isn’t clear direction on what to get involved in. If you’re interested in getting involved whether it’s socially, informationally, or with projects you need to take the initiative early on or the summer will pass by, and you may miss your chance.