My NASA Experience

Monday 14th May 2018

Today, in assembly, the school was invited to hear a presentation from Abby S (L6) who shared her experiences of travelling to NASA. Abby has written a short summary of her trip below and would be delighted to share her story.

“IF YOU ARE INTERESTED OR CURIOUS ABOUT STEM, GO FOR IT! BE A ‘GUTSY GIRL’ AND TAKE A LEAP.” 

We visited the NASA Ames Centre in North California, where the main proposals for research projects and missions take place, and travelled to the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida, where the assemblement of the rockets and all the launches take place.

At the Ames Centre we were toured around the campus, where we saw the old planes flown by NASA when it was strongly connected with the military in WWII. We saw various buildings like the huge hangar 1 building (the metal cage—like structure in the photos) where planes and rockets had been built. Astrobiologist, Dr Rosalba, gave us a tour and explained to us the struggles she faced as a foreign woman trying to get a highly competitive job at NASA. She came to the USA, from Italy, with a dream and now is currently is working at SETI, (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence).

We went to the SETI institute where we saw a simulation which was tracking the orbits of the meteor shower around our solar system, as well as saw some fragments of asteroids. Dr Rosalba also accompanied us to the Mojave desert station, where we slept in bunk beds and experienced a truly authentic desert experience with sleeping bags, curtains for doors and certainly no WI-FI. We had been told that is where many scientists from the jet propulsions lab, and other NASA institutes, stayed to hold conferences.  This is where we walked up the sand dunes and looked at the ground to investigate for life in such extreme environments, much like Mars!

Finally, we went to NASA Kennedy space centre in Florida where we saw Saturn V, all the launch pads and the space shuttle Atlantis with the canadarm1 which really went into space! (the is a photo of Atlantis with the canadarm1 in the payload bay).

Queen Anne’s helped me before my application by motivating me to do something I am really passionate about. This trip was primarily to prove my passion in science whilst learning huge amounts and gaining vital skills along the way. School has really supported me with all the work I missed and I have come back with the same momentum I had on the trip thanks to everyone around me. My passion for science is quite recent since the start of GCSE’s so three years ago and it has grown ever since. Going on this trip has really enhanced and shown off my skills gained at Queen Anne’s especially my eagerness, curiosity, and confidence.