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Strengthening NASA’s Mission in a Virtual Environment 

Last day with Interns and Mentors December 17 2021

Interns from the Scientific Computing and Visualization Team have been doing virtual work at home during their internship at the NASA Glenn Research Center.

By: Sherhonda Rhodes, GVIS Intern

NASA’s Mission is to lead an innovative and sustainable program of exploration to enable human expansion across the solar system and bring new knowledge and opportunities back to Earth. Students and educators play a vital role in strengthening its mission because NASA is committed to ensuring that the next generation is prepared for the challenges of the future. 

Intern map- showing where Fall interns are from

Students from different parts of the United States become NASA interns and are usually selected in the fall, spring, and summer. NASA Internships provide students with hands-on, project-based experiences that directly relate to students’ academic majors. Interns are engaged in the task of mentor guidance, aiming to advance the project to a new level.

This fall, the Scientific Computing team selected eleven college students, including me, to carry out projects in a virtual environment. NASA internships are a great opportunity for students to gain hands-on experience in STEM careers, and the opportunities at NASA are infinite. Along with myself and others who interned with NASA’s Graphic and Visualization (GVIS) Lab, will share the most surprising part of a NASA internship.

GVIS intern Carlos Cielo

Carlos was a flight simulation intern, helping to create flight simulation models for the conceptual hybrid electric aircraft SUSAN.  

“NASA is an opportunity like no other. Getting the opportunity as an up-and-coming engineering student to work with experienced engineers and pilots across a range of propulsion, stability & control, human factors, and flight simulations. Being able to work with flight simulation software involving new hybrid electric concepts has given me the confidence to continue exploring the realm of flight technologies and a pilot route as well. Thanks to the GVIS and Glenn Research Center for all the fantastic work they do to support the NASA mission. The NASA Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate is exploring the future possibilities of aviation. If humanity learned to fly millions of people around the world in 100 years, imagine what we are going to achieve with another 100 years.” 

GVIS intern Brianna Hobert

Brianna supported the GVIS Team as a 3D modelling and animation intern, where she created high-fidelity visualizations of The High Efficiency Megawatt Motor (HEMM) and more.  

I believe that the most galvanizing things at my NASA internship were being a part of a cool-cultured agency, working with so many talented, supportive, and amazing people. Out of everything I enjoyed during this internship, my favorite parts were being able to connect with many, utilize the principles of art and engineering together, and most importantly, inspire people to shoot for the stars!” 

GVIS intern Caleb Cram

As an XR (Extended Reality) Simulation Developer for the GVIS lab, Caleb was privileged with various tasks from optimizing existing VR simulations such as the SUSAN VR flight simulator for mobile HMD platforms to prototyping new Augmented and Virtual reality simulations for the HEMM and the W7 facility with emerging cutting edge technologies such as mixed reality camera passthrough on VR HMD’s, multiplayer networked hand tracking interactions as well as Web based formats for easy cross platform access to immersive simulations.  

“The network of incredible people I’ve been introduced to, through this internship opportunity, has been by far the most rewarding outcome. Throughout the course of my internship, I’ve been blown away by the incredible support from everyone within the organization and the drive to always experiment and learn more has been inspiring!”

GVIS intern Sherhonda Rhodes

“When you think of NASA, you immediately think of space and rockets, but NASA is much more than that. NASA is committed to research, technological advancements, and educating young people for the next generation of future leaders.”  

During my internship, my role was to support the GVIS Lab with communication and outreach. My tasks were to publish information on social media platforms, create digital graphics and designs, and manage the GVIS website. My favorite part of the internship was learning more about virtual and augmented reality at NASA. I also enjoyed presenting to engineering freshman students at North Carolina A&T State University about the GVIS Lab and NASA’s use of AR/VR technology. I would say the most surprising part of an internship with NASA is discovering the many careers that the organization offers. 

Learn more about the work we do by visiting our Official Site!

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