Week 8: Never have I ever been stung by a jellyfish

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Sunday, July 24, 2022


Nicole Leung

This week, I designed a new camera mount and presented it to the group. It should be more stable than the one from Week 7. I also took a picture of the back of the lab with the star camera! I made a class wrapper for all of the functions we need for the camera and documented the camera driver program flow. I also completed my first draft of slides for the SPS symposium. Next week, I will need to do a lot of work. On the software side, I need to take a picture of the night sky and analyze it with astrometry, integrate star camera software with other ADCS instruments, and help Eric test installation by putting all the software on a Raspberry Pi. On the hardware side, I need to make sure the camera will fit on the current design - huge oversight on my part but there’s still time to fix it. Then I need to conduct FEA on the new design.

I also contacted NASA a while back about organizing a tour for the SPS Interns, but they have not responded yet. The center’s security is at level “green,” and normally I could sign in visitors with an ID and 48 hours notice. Eric and I are trying to find out if the policy is different for big groups/covid.

Outside of work, the interns had a taco potluck on Monday. I learned how to make caramelized onions, and I will be making them for myself every week until I get bored of them. On Tuesday, I played frisbee with the NASA group! It was unusually hot and humid and we all slowed down by the end, but we had a great time. On Wednesday, I visited a nearby bar called CIRCA with my friend Kate. We were still hungry afterwards and we visited the Western market for something more substantial. On Thursday, the interns visited NIST! My favorite part was walking through the nuclear reactor/neutron collider building. There were radiation warning signs everywhere, and we got to walk through a giant geiger counter after the tour was over. On Friday, Brad joined the interns for tater tots at Quigley’s after his career talk. He gave great advice (and trolled us) and was generous enough to pay for our dinner! On Saturday, the interns visited Sandy Point beach. We got in the water, but in the first 15 minutes, both Taylors and Lucy got stung by jellyfish. We stayed out of the water after that. I was surprised because I thought jellyfish didn’t come closer than chest-deep water, but they were all over the shoreline. There were also a lot of little kids with buckets who would catch jellyfish and bury them in the sand.

Other news: my family was able to leave China last week and are staying in California. They are planning to be in the US until early September. I’m super excited to see them after this internship ends, though the idea of this experience ending is quite bittersweet. It has been such a blast to explore the city with everyone and I am looking forward to the last two weeks (!) with you all!

Nicole Leung