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Will work for explosions

Posted by: gasolino - Thu May 29, 2008 2:49 am
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Will work for explosions 
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Post Will work for explosions   Posted on: Thu May 29, 2008 2:49 am
Hi Fellowship,

Please excuse the newbie.

I just finished my third year of college as a Physics major, and I want to get an eye for what it's like to work in the private space industry. My university has a minor in Entrepreneurship, a key component of which is a summer internship with a start-up. My dream is to spend mine in the desert working on (more likely watching someone else work on) rocket engines during the summer of 2009. I don't need to get paid.

I have a great GPA and extensive research experience. The problem is that very little of my research experience or coursework up to now are immediately applicable to spaceflight engineering. Here's the extent of it:

    * I have some experience in my research making complicated computer-controlled hardware work together, but they are designed to push tiny things around with magnets and lasers, not push huge things off the ground with rockets.
    * I've gotten good enough with MATLAB to TA a class on it, and program with it often during my research. I've done some C coding.
    * I took one course in orbital mechanics and basic spacecraft engineering this past semester. What's stopping me from taking more is that I need to finish up my physics and that I had to drive to a different university nearby to take that course; mine has no engineering. I have completed the usual mechanics and electromagnetic theory.
    * This summer, I am working with a start-up company designing a robotic device to assist CNC machine tools.
    * This coming academic year, I will be taking two semesters of electrical engineering and two courses in entrepreneurship.


Does anyone have a sense of whether a private space venture might let me work with them and help them out with what an unpaid intern with the skills I have can? If so, which companies would be the best targets? What could I do over the next year to make myself a better candidate?

Any word of advice would be great.

Max


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Post opportunities for involvement   Posted on: Tue Jun 03, 2008 9:24 pm
Opportunities for direct involvement in space exploration are limited, I think< by the nature of the present paradigm: large scale, infrequent, very expensive launches.

We are in The Mainframe Era of Space. As it was with computers before the advent of the microcomputer.

Elsewhere in this forum, and in the websites, are a set of proposed answers:

http://www.microlaunchers.com/ http://generationspace.org/

Most will not agree, or see any sense in this. But a few will. And when a "critical mass" of those who see it this way come together, we can start photographing asteroids.


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Post    Posted on: Tue Jun 03, 2008 9:28 pm
Its a good question, i would imagine there would be some great opportunities for internships over the coming decade. Working for free is nice but it takes time and energy to train someone and have them trusted to do work for you.

Good luck though and welcome aboard!

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Post    Posted on: Sun Jun 08, 2008 3:59 am
From what I have found, as the old quote goes, its not what you know, its who you know.

Do stuff like attend Space Access (my first one this year, was great!), those kind of conferences and go from there, talk to the guys face to face, go knock on their doors and you never know!!!
Take that extra step.

Good luck with it all!!

Iain


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Post    Posted on: Mon Jun 09, 2008 5:02 am
I'd call Scaled Composites. They've been advertising for people. I kinda envy somebody who has no ties and could take advantage of that kind of opportunity. Try to get a copy of Desert News from the Palmdale/Lancaster CA area...


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Post    Posted on: Tue Jun 10, 2008 8:36 pm
Thanks, everybody!

I've gotten the impression that this is a difficult industry to get in to, but I'm going to see if I can shove myself in anyway. Looks like the next step for me is to get to know those right people.


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Post    Posted on: Tue Jun 10, 2008 9:14 pm
Im pretty sure there are enough people here who would happily let you get some experience helping them in some way, even if you have to work your way right up through.

Keep in there and maybe someone will pop you a message when they need some spare hands! :)

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