The featured student this week is Kenth Santibanez Rivera, an aerospace engineering major from Knoxville, Tennessee. He worked as a co-op student at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
Santibanez Rivera worked specifically in the Heliophysics Division at NASA. Duties consisted of performing testing for a mass spectrometer called mini Ion Neutral Mass Spectrometer. His responsibilities included installing and modifying two vacuum chambers in the lab to test the mass spectrometer, designing parts and assemblies using SolidWorks, and purchasing materials for all testing procedures.
Santibanez Rivera’s work aided the department’s operations by adding a newer, larger, testing chamber to the lab which will assist in speeding up the testing of mass spectrometers allowing the department to operate more efficiently to meet all testing deadlines.
Santibanez Rivera was also given the opportunity to attend meetings related to the progress of WFIRST (Wide Field Infra-Red Space Telescope) which is one of NASA’s future space endeavors. WFIRST is the replacement to JWST (James Webb Space Telescope) which is the replacement to the Hubble Telescope.
Santibanez Rivera expressed his amazement at watching so many people work on such a large project at one time but stated the collaboration he witnessed regarding needed design improvements to the overall project was in one word, incredible.
“Having a front row seat in my work here at NASA gave me the courage to continue my studies while showing me that aerospace engineering, my current major, is the field I want to go into,” he said.