For most of my college life, I have been known by many endearingly as "that space girl." Throughout the past three years at every get-to-know-you activity, my fun-fact introduction has always been, "Hi, My name is Carrie and I love space." As of March, I have now become "NASA girl" due to my current summer internship at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD. And I don't hate it.
I promise I will try not to do a "This is what I did today" again, but come on, it's my first day at NASA. Don't you want a play-by-play?
My day began pretty early. I arrived at the center around 7:30am. I car-pooled with my new roommates who are also NASA interns. After some hustling and bustling and name tags and lines, we made it into an auditorium with nearly 400 other anxious interns. We sat through a long but informational orientation about safety, expectations, the center and how much we were going to learn and grow through this experience. We separated into departments by number. (Goddard is separated into numbers: the 600s are science and 660 is astrophysics which is where I am.) I quickly found my new partner in crime who has a similar project to mine and the same mentor. We also have adjacent desks. It's pretty obvious we will be together a lot, but I think we will get along.
My mentor and another mentor in the same department came to pick us up. We set off for my other home for the summer: Building 34. They took us to lunch. There are several dining areas at the center but there happens to be a small cafe in my building (kind of reminds me of the Hawk's Nest at Wagner!). After some introductions and food, my mentor took me to my new desk in an office of several desks. I also got a look at my fancy Mac desktop! My mentor explained the project I will be working on, with a bunch of science mumbo jumbo that I might explain later. The basic idea is that I am working with the Fermi and Swift telescopes checking out Gamma Ray Bursts (GRBs).
Once I had a free second I went to the main gate to get my official NASA Badge (super fancy, I know). I was fingerprinted a ridiculous amount of times and they took my photo. I am officially in the system.
Next, I went to another orientation with the interns in my specific program (the people who are paying me). There are about 13 of us and we will be doing random activities throughout the summer. A lot of us happen to all have desks next to each other so that's cool. We went out to eat together afterward. As soon as I got back to the house, I was so exhausted, I just laid on the couch until I went to bed at 10pm. What. A. Day. Tomorrow, the real work begins.