Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
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AEM spotlight:

Thanks to the Minnesota Space Grant Consortium, NASA, and the Applied Physics Laboratory of John’s Hopkins University I have been able to be positioned at the Lab this summer on a funded NASA internship.
My job has two components. The first is to complete the job working on lunar grazing occultations. What is an occultation? An occultation is when a space object passes in front of a star. This is useful for many purposes such as determining estimates of the size of an asteroid, determining if distant planets have an atmosphere, or in my case determining the most accurate lunar profile to date. From a technical aspect it involves recording the position of observers who then compile times when the light of the star “blinks” on and off as it passes behind different mountains on the surface of the moon. I am compiling, organizing, and reducing grazing occultations captured on video for this purpose. There is a good chance I will even be participating in my own graze observations, we already had one unsuccessful attempt in a trip to South Carolina.
The other aspect of my job is working with my adviser, David W. Dunham, on some of his work at the lab. I am helping to do trajectory reconciliation and documentation for the STEREO mission. I am also currently working on trajectory contingency planning for the upcoming deep space maneuver to be performed by the MESSENGER spacecraft.

Zane Nitzkorski


Last Modified: Tuesday, 24-Jul-2007 10:10:28 CDT -- this is in International Standard Date and Time Notation