Internship Solidifies NASA Career Aspirations
Publication Date: 4/29/2010
Physics major Brad Atkins has been gaining valuable research experience this semester at Rhodes investigating portions of a research project he conducted last summer at the NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va.
He is a participant of the Langley Aerospace Research Summer Scholars (LARSS) Program that provides paid internship opportunities year round for rising undergraduate juniors and seniors. Participants work side-by-side with NASA’s finest scientists and engineers.
“Through the lecture series, research project and interactions with my mentors and fellow interns, the program has solidified my decision to pursue a research career with NASA,” says Atkins. “My future aspiration is to contribute to NASA’s future manned Mars exploration program.”
His current research at Rhodes involves developing a theoretical and experimental approach to examining the affect of high lunar electric fields on adhesion force between lunar dust grains and protective PDMS coatings.
Atkins explains a critical challenge to the success of future exploration missions will be to protect astronauts, equipment, and lunar transport vehicles from the highly abrasive and adhesive “lunar dust” particles that blanket the surface of the moon.