2,500 Miles Away at NASA | #1

“I can’t believe it.” That was the first thing I said to myself when I received a summer internship offer at NASA Ames Research Center. I was ecstatic and ultimately surprised to be chosen, but regardless of what I was facing, I was confident that I was up to the task. Unfortunately, excitement quickly turned into anxiety.

I soon realized that I must live on my own in Silicon Valley, California, which is about 2,500 miles away from Ann Arbor, Michigan where I live. For more than ten weeks, I need to survive without any direct support from my parents.

This is not just an internship to learn a set a skills useful for my career, but it is a way to learn essential life skills as well.

I was enthusiastic, but anxious. I spent the last two weeks prior to my departure flight preparing myself to live away from home for the summer.

Unfortunately, I was faced with an almost insurmountable odd: housing. I struggled to look for a suitable and convenient place to stay, but the rent in the area is the most expensive I have ever seen.

The price was not the only issue; my time was running out. Fortunately, three days before I left for California, I found a private bedroom in Palo Alto — which is close to NASA Ames.

Another issue I have to attend to is that my parents are not fluent in English, and often are in need my translation assistance, so I was worried that it may be difficult for them when I am away. Luckily for them and for myself, we have been communicating via FaceTime and Skype during my stay.

To put it briefly, my objective of my internship is design a web application using the open-source NASA Web World Wind API that utilizes and displays data related to Earth Science that also has real-world applications. For example, last year’s interns developed a web app that shows interactive weather and climate data of different file formats on the 3D globe.

Here is the website of NASA Web World Wind: https://worldwind.arc.nasa.gov/.

I will inform you of the progress of my internship in the next blog post. Stay tuned.





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