This past summer, intern Tiffany Shi joined the Jet Propulsion Laboratory team testing new technology for landing NASA's next rover, Perseverance, on Mars.
Shi's task was to help prepare the technology, called the Lander Vision System, for its debut on Mars. Analyzing data from test flights in California's Death Valley, the Stanford University student joined the team at NASA's JPL to make sure the new landing system will work as designed, guiding the Perseverance rover to a safe landing as the spacecraft speeds toward the surface into Mars' Jezero Crater.
"Because of this technology, we're going to be able to land in a place that's more geologically and scientifically interesting than anywhere else we've been on Mars," says Shi, who hasn't yet declared a major. "I'm thinking maybe computer science or a mix of computer science and philosophy. I did debate in high school, and a lot of debaters use philosophy to argue different perspectives."
Though her contributions may be very small, "I think it's wild that I am actually working on something that's going to Mars," Shi says.
Information on JPL's summer and year-round internship programs is at jpl.nasa.gov/intern.
From NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
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