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NASA Science Mission Directorate - Space Grant Internships for the summer of 2014

You must apply through your state Space Grant (either where you attend school or your home state).

For Contact information in a given state:

Intern position descriptions:

Chandra X-Ray Observatory

The Chandra program seeks a few talented individuals to assist in engineering analysis and software tool development for the Chandra Flight Operations Team.

Position Summary:

Chandra interns will assist the Northrop Grumman Flight Operations Team in analysis and software development in support of the Chandra X-ray Observatory mission.  Chandra was launched in 1999 and is the third of NASA’s Great Observatories.  Interns will work side-by-side with Northrop engineers at the Chandra Operations Control Center in Cambridge MA.  Work will include analysis of spacecraft data and/or development of software tools and web utilities to be used in operations of the vehicle. 

 Required Skills:

Required skills vary by project, however, all candidates must have a basic education in physics, mathematics, computer science or engineering. As time and skill-sets allow, Chandra interns may be able to work on more than one of the projects listed.

Possible Projects Include:

 Generating Mobile Friendly Web Pages for Access to Engineering Data
The selected candidate will work with spacecraft operators and engineers to identify portions of the existing Chandra Operations internal website that need improved accessibility from mobile platforms.  He/she will then work with the local software development team to implement mobile friendly interfaces to the selected data. Candidates must have experience creating web pages using HTML/CSS.  Experience optimizing web pages for mobile devices is a plus.

Testing Support for Upgraded Telemetry Analysis and Distribution System
The Chandra Flight Operations software team has developed a significant upgrade to the system used to process, analyze, and distribute spacecraft data. The new system provides access to spacecraft data from a variety of platforms. The successful candidate will work side-by-side with spacecraft engineers and operators to validate the new system by designing and executing formal test cases.

 Telemetry Tool/Web Page Development
The Chandra Flight Operations software team has developed a significant upgrade to the system used to process, analyze, and distribute spacecraft data. The new system provides access to spacecraft data from a variety of platforms. The successful candidate will work side-by-side with spacecraft engineers and operators to design and implement tools and/or web pages that take advantage of the new system capabilities to improve the accessibility of spacecraft data and/or the flow of operations for Chandra. Candidates must have experience either programming with Python, MATLAB, or Java, or creating web pages with HTML/CSS/JavaScript.

 Documentation and Usability
The successful candidate will work with Chandra on-console operators and engineers to generate or update procedures, data displays, and reference materials and to enhance the access to and usability of available spacecraft and operations information.  Candidates must have demonstrated strengths in technical writing, and past experience with basic website design and development.

Space Telescope Science Institute


NASA Mission:   Hubble Space Telescope

Internship Location:   Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD

Mentor:  Dr. Frank Summers

Summary of the work to be done:  Intern will assist Dr. Summers and other team members in creating scientific visualizations of Hubble images and other astronomical data sets. Our group creates video sequences for use in Hubble press releases, websites, education, planetariums, television, and film. The ideal intern will become part of a small, tightly-knit team and be employed at the stage(s) of the production pipeline most suited to their skill set. Tasks may include image processing using Photoshop/Gimp, video production using After Effects, 3D modeling and rendering using Maya, and visualization, scientific, and/or astronomical programming using a variety of languages like C, MEL, perl/python, IRAF, etc. This internship provides a special opportunity to combine scientific, computational, and artistic skills into a project with tangible, high impact results.

Necessary skills:

One of the following:

-       Computer graphics production experience

-       Experience with Autodesk Maya 3D modeling and animation

-       Experience with Adobe After Effects video production

-       Demonstrated computer programming experience in C, perl, python, MEL, IRAF, FITS, or other astronomy/scientific/visualization languages

Computer experience in a Mac OS X environment.

Strong organizational skills and the ability to work independently.


 Good communications skills.

  Desirable skills:

  Combination of multiple skills as outlined above

 Astronomy/Physics degree or coursework

 Experience in public outreach of astronomy topics 

OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission, University of Arizona, Tucson

2014 Summer Internship - University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

Position Summary
The OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission's Communication and Public Engagement (CPE) program produces resources to engage the public and participtes in public outreach events.  The core product of CPE is the 321Science video series.  CPE creates at least one video per month for posting to the OSIRIS-REx channel on YouTube,  Individuals watch these videos, team members use them in presentations, and teachers assign viewings to students.

This summer we expect to produce two to three videos per month.  Each video requires development and writing of a script, planning of visuals, storyboarding, drawing and filming, editing, and posting to YouTube.  A team of about four to five people is involved in the effort to write, draw, film/edit and review.  This team works closely with the public and external educators to ensure an interesting presentation.

This internship provides a unique opportunity to combine scientific, research, communication and artistic skills to complete a well-defined project.  This internship will build and improve skills critical for a career in science and engineering.  Possible projects include working with the team to plan, write, draw, and/or edit 321Science videos and participating in outreach events such as tours and activities with community groups.

Required Skills

  • Good communication skills
  • Strong organizational skills and the ability to work independently
  • General computer skills with common applications such as Word and Excel

Desirable Skills

  • Astronomy or planetary science coursework
  • Experience in public outreach and engagement
  • Experience in writing, art, or videography

Mentor:  Anna H. Spitz


Individual Space Grants will submit names and application materials for students intersested in applying for these internships.  Application materials should include a:  resume, summary of skills relevant to the position, and brief statement of why they are interested in that particular internship.  The Space Grant is then comitting to providing the funding for the internship if the student is selected. 

General Information about the program:  Dr. Terry Teays at

The student must be a US Citizen to apply.

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