I'm back to blogging!

A week ago today I arrived at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California for a spring semester internship through the Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium (love them!).  Thus far, I have been loving every minute!

My participation in this internship came unanticipated but is turning out to be awesome (it is NASA of course).  I am interning in the Aeromechanics branch working on helicopters, particularly blackhawks.  I'll be sure to fill more in on my specific project later once I have more information.

Until I can start getting very involved in my project, I quickly learned that this test for new interns is a real thing (I though my mentor was just joking when he told me about it).  It is called the N.E.W.B.I. test, or New Exam for Warmbrodt's Branch Interns.  For the past week I've been relentlessly attempting to understand all there is to know about the operation of a helicopter.

The Ames campus is very cool too.  There's quite a bit going on and lots of groups to join including a knitters club and roller hockey.  I can also take two-step classes!

I've learned that Justin Beiber is also a friend of the branch.  He approves pranks in the office.  Apparently past interns have placed Chief Bill's car on craigslist for a mere $500 which resulted in 40+ calls in a half hour regarding the ad.  This is going to be hard to top but we are surely working on it.

Two days ago there was a colloquium talk that we were able to attend with speaker, and astronaut, Richard Linnehan.  He was quite funny and one of his best remarks regarding the situation of doing an EVA and losing tether with the ISS, "If you don't get back, well congratulations, you just became the first human satellite."  Afterwards, we got to meet him and have our picture taken with him.

Yesterday we headed to San Francisco for SF Beer Week 2012 festivities.  It was a lot of fun.  We also went to Fisherman's Wharf and Pier 39.  We saw the seals, I got a smashed penny, and I found a cafe that sold speculoos - the most delicious thing to ever come out of Belgium (and I thought it was impossible to find in the States!).  At the Beer Week event, we tasted multiple beers from a pumpkin chocolate to a cherry stout.  Afterwards we headed to Chinatown for the Chinese New Year Parade.  That was very neat to see.  We then headed back to Mountain View and ate at Shazan, a Middle Eastern restaurant, which was very good.

Today we biked to the Mountain View farmer's market which turned out to be a great market.  I look forward to getting lots of things there in the coming weeks.  We grilled out as a group and are now heading to a movie.  I will then be back to studying for the N.E.W.B.I.!

As a final note, as I've now been here for a week, I've found myself to be the target of some jokes in the office (which I know that my gullibility has only facilitated) but it's all out of good fun.  Our office is great and I'm really excited for this internship.  We have a great group and I look forward to our adventures!

Me, Yuly and Megan - Fisherman's Wharf

Pier 39


Jasper, me, Megan and Yuly tasting beer

Chinese New Year Parade

Store for left handed people!