NASA Deputy Administrator to visit interns at Ball, ULA


Companies give interns hands-on experience for jobs of the future

NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver will visit Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. in Boulder, Colo., on Tuesday, July 26, at 2:30 p.m. MT, to meet with summer interns from Ball and United Launch Alliance (ULA). Garver will view demonstrations of student-built rockets and payloads and discuss how hands-on experience for students is critical to developing experience for science and technology-related jobs of the future.

Over the last seven weeks, more than 100 high school and college interns built the high-power rockets and a variety of multi-faceted payloads as part of their experience at the two companies. This is the third year the Ball Intern Rocket Scientist Team (BIRST) has partnered with ULA to offer students a chance to work through an entire program's life cycle from design to launch. The students will launch six student-built rockets with 20 payloads on July 30. Four of those payloads were built by the BIRST participants.

All the rockets were built by ULA summer interns -- dubbed SPIRIT (Sky Piercing Intern Rock-It Team) -- in Denver, Decatur, Ala., Harlingen, Texas, Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, and Cape Canaveral, Fla. This is the fourth year ULA interns have built and launched high-power rockets as a summer project.

Ball Aerospace works with NASA on many critical science missions, including the James Webb Space Telescope and the NPOESS Preparatory Project satellite, scheduled to launch on Oct. 25. United Launch Alliance partners with NASA to launch payloads to space, including the Aug. 5 launch of the Juno mission to Jupiter. ULA and NASA recently signed a new agreement to share data on the potential for human rating a ULA Atlas V launch vehicle as part of the Commercial Crew Development program.

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