Week 9: the final countdown...

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Sunday, July 31, 2022


Nicole Leung

This week, I redesigned the star camera mount again! I updated the dummy camera model in Solidworks to reflect the actual size of the camera, and added a part to represent the lens holder. Unfortunately the camera + lens holder together were too big for our current setup - it seems like we used a much smaller model in the previous mission. I designed a new mount system that keeps the camera in the right place and uses less surface area, and looked for different outer shell sizes. Next week I’ll pick a good size outer shell and run FEA on the mount system. On the software side, the camera’s exposure time is now adjustable! Next week I will need to clean up the camera driver software wrapper and software install documentation, and upload all my software to EXCLAIM’s Github. It was cloudy all week, so we couldn’t test the camera. It is supposed to be clear on Wednesday so I might work until it gets dark and photograph the sky then. Other than that, both my SPS presentation and my mandatory NASA intern poster are done. I will be practicing all through next week!

Outside of work, the interns played DnD on Tuesday. Apparently we have been in the same cave for 3 weeks. We are trying to have another session in Week 10, though I’m not sure that we can finish this campaign in one session. Maybe the interns can stay in touch by finishing this campaign and playing other games together over zoom! On Wednesday, the interns had a leftovers/breakfast for dinner potluck. I turned my instant mashed potato into pancakes. Taylor O helped me cook them, and in the process she learned how to flip a pancake! I played frisbee at NASA on Thursday. There is a huge deer family that lives on NASA’s campus, and I saw them every day this week. On Friday some of the interns and I visited Duke’s Grocery for burgers and headed to the consignment for karaoke and games. Taylor O and I used even more leftovers and baked snickerdoodles for the group. On Saturday, my cousin Alex and his roommate joined the interns for an amazing all you can eat Korean BBQ dinner at Iron Age Korean Steak House. Then we visited a speakeasy nearby called The Gibson, which had a very relaxed and romantic atmosphere as well as interesting drinks! Today (Sunday) the interns are getting crepes, visiting some Smithsonians, and having a dinner potluck. I’m joining for crepes and we’ll see where the rest of the day takes me. I need to start packing :’) it is crazy that we are about to start our last week here…

Nicole Leung