Monday, June 6
An early morning greeted the interns attending the Aeronautics Academy. After some time enjoying the summer, the 6:30 a.m. meeting in the hotel lobby proved to be difficult for everyone. We drove out to meet the NASA shuttle (unfortunately not the spacefaring type) that would take us into the Glenn Research Center. The security process and safety seminars were grueling, but eventually we all met our mentors for the coming 10 weeks, and then we were escorted to one final orientation outlining the space and aeronautical academies for the summer. Upon leaving Glenn Research Center, everyone was able to board the shuttle except for the Aero and Space Academy mangers, but Armando Hernandez (the Aero Academy manager) soon met us at the hotel. We quickly covered the RAP (review and preview) meeting outlining the itinerary for the upcoming week and headed out for a group dinner at the local Chili’s. It was somewhat crowded with all the aero interns, but the meal was delicious and everyone was able to properly introduce themselves.
Tuesday, June 7
Today was the first day with our usual schedule, meeting at 7:15 a.m. in the lobby to start the day. After breakfast at the cafeteria, we went to pick up our intern badges for the summer. Hubert and Scott had some trouble due to previous NASA jobs, but by the end of the day, it was all sorted out. . At 9 am, we had our first presentation which was conducted by Dr. Rubén Del Rosario on the Aeronautics Research here at Glenn Research Center. After a short break, we had a small briefing with the other interns about a few of the things going on in the Aeropropulsion division, including simple safety and emergency procedures. At noon, we went to the cafeteria for lunch, but most brought their own lunches. At 1 p.m. we had our third presentation given again by Dr. Rosario on an overview of the NASA N+3 Advanced Transport Aircraft Concept Studies. The studies were set up as a competition where Boeing, MIT, Northrop-Grumman and GE/Cessna took up the challenge. The presentations over the rest of the week would cover, in greater detail, the Boeing and MIT concepts. Our final presentation of the day, at 3 pm, was conducted by Dennis Huff, who explained in greater detail the scope of the work done by each branch of the Aeropropulsion division and latest research. The afternoon and evening was left open for us to enjoy as we each saw fit.
Wednesday, June 8
After breakfast at the usual time, the Lords of the Aero Academy decided to show pity on our poor academic souls and limit the presentations to just one. This was a presentation on the MIT Double Bubble and Hybrid Wing Body concepts for their N+3 study. The Double Bubble concept achieved 3 of the 4 N+3 goals and will be studied further in the Phase II studies. After the presentations, each of the groups talked to their mentors about choosing a leader and about planning for our group projects. The leaders for each group are as follows: for the Intermodal Transport team, Henry; for the N+3 concept team, Santiago and last but not least, for the Alternative Fuels team, everybody. The Alternative Fuels team plans to switch out every week to allow everyone to get some experience being the leader. Before and after the meetings today, various types of initial research was conducted for each of the groups. After work, many of us went to go play ultimate Frisbee with the NASA Frisbee club. When we asked if we could join they just stared at us and didn’t say anything so we went to an empty part of the field and played on our own. It was kind of creepy, but we are practicing now to whoop them all the next time they get together to play. When we got back to our rooms, we watched Ascent which showed various angles of footage of one of the shuttle launches. Pretty epic stuff. After that came food and then a general winding down until sleep time. At the end of the day, Ryan, Henry and David were discussing with Armando various tactics to capsize and/or sabotage the Space Academy’s boat (white water rafting will happen next weekend). The issue of breaking equipment came up, in case a battle between the two Academies started. A boat raid strategy was afoot.
Thursday, June 9
The morning ritual was becoming habit. After a quick breakfast, each project team left for their respective workplaces. By the afternoon, we gathered for a tour of the antenna lab, silicon carbide lab, and flight simulator at NASA GRC. Finally, the workday ended and an impromptu game of football was called before a guest speaker arrived at the hotel that evening. All of the aeronautical and space academies, plus a few guests, crammed into the small conference room provided in the hotel to listen to Tom Benson, a longtime NASA researcher, manager, and outreach specialist here at GRC. By the end of the three and a half hour long hour presentation, the room was stiflingly warm and humid, but there wasn’t a single uninterested face in the room.
Friday, June 10
Finally the last workday of the first week has come. The presentations today included an overview of the turboelectric aircraft design by NASA GRC and an extensive tour of the materials and structures laboratories. Both presentations were long and consumed much of the day so that little progress was made on the interns’ research projects. On top of little work time, a heavy downpour greeted any intern that dared to travel to the NASA commissary for lunch that afternoon. A few interns took the weather conditions as a challenge and attempted to navigate the labyrinth of corridors and interconnected buildings to stay out of the rain on their way to lunch, but everyone eventually succumbed to the truth that they had to get wet. A trip to Olive Garden provided a good meal for the Aeronautics Academy and everyone was pleased to find that endless soup, salad, and breadsticks were still available for dinner. Afterwards, an end of the week party in Tucker, Hubert and Cameron’s room helped everyone loosen up and unwind after their first week at NASA GRC.
Saturday, June 11
We finally got to sleep in for the first time this week. The only thing preventing us from sleeping all day was a photo scavenger hunt starting at noon involving both academies. The scavenger hunt had us find places (through pictures given) in the area around the hotel and also in the downtown area of Cleveland. There were also many bonus photos that we could take to boost our point total. The winners have yet to be announced. The hunt ended at 6, where we were to meet everyone for dinner at the Hard Rock Café. After dinner, we all just winded down to a calm relaxing evening, at least a lot more so than last night.
Sunday, June 12
We got to sleep in again today and the day’s events also started at noon just like yesterday. The Aero Academy with a few of the Space Academy students went out to see the Great Lakes Science Center. There were a lot of interactive exhibits to enjoy with a lot of fun things mess around with. I’m pretty sure there wasn’t much learning going on, most of us are past that point. But in the end, the place showed that SCIENCE IS FUN! Some of us went out to the park today to play Frisbee after we got back and we all just relaxed and did whatever we wanted to after that.
Fortune for the Week: If at first you don’t succeed, then skydiving is not for you.