Recently I finish a four-month internship with Excalibur Almaz. It was a great experience where I learned about engineering and design processes for working on commercial space projects. When I started my internship earlier this summer, I was very excited to have the opportunity to learn more about the Almaz spacecraft, which has a very interesting history. The reusable capsules have already flown into space more than once and Excalibur Almaz will be updating it for future space flights. This internship was a very unique opportunity for me to learn directly from aerospace leaders and experts to get a better sense of the commercial spaceflight industry.
The other interns and I were divided into groups and given broad, general guidelines for our projects; each group then made a schedule for the rest of the summer. My group’s primary project was to create a CAD (computer-aided design) model of the Almaz capsule, and then outfit a mock-up of the capsule (a constructed replica of the spacecraft) with models of the equipment that would be used during spaceflight. This allowed us to get a sense of how much space was available, and how items and equipment might be arranged inside the spacecraft.
I also had the opportunity to take several tours of other organizations, such as Ad Astra, where I was able to see the VASMIR rocket engine, as well as NASA to see the Orion displays and controls mock-up. These visits were a great way to see what other people in the field were doing. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this internship and learned a lot during my time with the company. This knowledge and experience will definitely prove useful as I begin graduate school and in my future endeavors.
If you have an questions about my internship experience, please feel free to comment.
- Phillip Gray
EA USA engineering intern