How to get an internship at NASA

Deepak Gupta February 19, 2022
Updated 2022/02/19 at 12:59 PM

The US space agency NASA has set itself the task of sending humans into space. Since 1953 she has been looking for ways to bring people closer to space and get them excited about it. Interested parties can NASA also a internship do. However, there is a catch.

Internship at NASA: Entry made easy

Anyone who thinks that only the brightest minds have a chance to work for the space agency is wrong. NASA already offers an internship for high school students. As early as the second year of secondary school in US schools, students can apply to the authority in a wide variety of areas.

Potential interns go through a standardized process that, with a bit of luck, will bring them to the Goddard Space Flight Center. Located in Greenbelt, Maryland, the Center for Unmanned Space Missions offers hundreds of different internships each year for people of all backgrounds. For this purpose, NASA has set up four educational centers in Maryland that accommodate schoolchildren and students.

NASA paves the way for the internship. High school students only need an average grade of 2 for one of the coveted places. In the US grading system, this corresponds to a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. The crux of the matter: only people with US citizenship are selected for an internship.

competition is tough

The space agency is also inviting interested parties to La Cañada Flintridge, California. At the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), NASA is offering 1,000 applicants the chance of a place. The place has history. Founded in 1936, NASA controls all probes and satellites via this research facility. This means that the US Mars Rovers are also served from here. No wonder that many more people apply for such an internship than there are places available.

In order to get an internship at NASA for the JPL, grades and a degree alone are not enough and are not required, as Space.com writes. If you want to convince, you have to know the different projects at JPL. It is also recommended to follow the news and research results of NASA. Finally, the examiners require that the applicants are at least familiar with the field for which they want to apply.

However, anyone who manages to join NASA as an intern can expect an intense summer at JPL. Within 10 weeks, full-time students pursue degrees in physics, astronomy, engineering, or mathematics.

NASA missions in internship

Interns at NASA don’t have to worry about just making the coffee. The internship is extremely complex and can be carried out within the agency’s various space missions. These projects can include planetological, astrophysical and heliophysical studies.

NASA offers interns nothing less than the exploration of the Milky Way. Among other things, interns can also evaluate the X-rays emitted by stars, black holes and galaxies. NASA also offers curious insights into planetary research.

This has nothing but advantages for the space agency. Interns are not a burden on the company, but actively help shape research. In 2019, for example, the then 17-year-old Wolf Cukier from Scarsdale High School in New York discovered the exoplanet TOI 1338 b.

And not only NASA is looking for people for the space plans of the future. The European Space Agency ESA is already looking for the astronauts of tomorrow. In addition, NASA is also looking for volunteers for an extraordinary project that affects Mars.

Sources: Space.com

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