NASA Center Internships
Michael Klooster was supported by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) Space Grant for his summer 2021 internship at NASA GSFC. Learn how you can become involved in a NASA Center Internship!
"Interning with NASA GSFC has allowed me to continue my education and to learn from some of the most incredible minds in space exploration. Working in the electromechanical branch and designing a modular rover, this experience has granted me new avenues to explore in my professional career, and I am inspired to continue my pursuit into space mission design and space systems engineering." - Michael Klooster
"Coming to ERAU in the Fall of 2018, it was a dream of mine to work for NASA. Since 5th grade, I was sure that I wanted to work in the field of space exploration, aiding in the advancement of technologies for understanding space and the worlds above. During the Spring semester of 2021 – the end of my junior year at ERAU – I [was recommended] for a NASA internship and possible funding from the Arizona Space Grant Consortium. I was incredibly excited to hear that I was a finalist, and I was even more excited to later receive an internship offer letter from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA GSFC) at the end of the semester. I happily accepted the position for the summer of 2021, and I was able to work under the incredible leadership of my NASA GSFC mentor, who is the head of the NASA GSFC Electromechanical Systems Branch. Within the Electromechanical Systems Branch, I worked with two other interns across the nation on a reconfigurable, modular rover to serve as a testbed for space application. Over the course of the summer, I used my experience in CAD to develop new designs for the project, and I was able to implement my skills in teamwork to work with my fellow interns. Working with a three-hour time difference between my team demanded new problem-solving techniques and communication. Despite this time difference, I was able to effectively develop design concepts with my mentor and co-mentor. During the summer at GSFC, I was also able to attend incredible virtual seminars and talks with NASA employees and leadership. Through these meetings, I was able to gain insight into future GSFC missions and goals. Some talks I was able to attend during the summer included a welcome from the NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, a discussion of the future DAVINCI+ mission to Venus from the GSFC Principal Investigator Dr. James Garvin, and some helpful scientific lessons from GSFC Dr. Michelle Thaller. From these leaders in space exploration, I was able to develop a fascination for future NASA missions, especially the DAVINCI+ mission. Internally at NASA, I was also able to organize one on one meetings with employees in branches that I was interested in. I had amazing conversations with other engineers in the mechanical systems branch, and I was able to further my interest and understanding of space systems engineering through conversations with NASA employees in the mission systems branch. From these conversations, my interest in mission systems has increased, and I have gained a further understanding of where I would like to take my career."
Explore NASA Internships: https://intern.nasa.gov/
NASA internships and fellowships leverage NASA's unique missions and programs to enhance and increase the capability, diversity and size of the nation's future science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce. Internships are available from high school to graduate level. Internships provide students with the opportunity to participate in either research or other experiential learning, under the guidance of a mentor at NASA.
What are the eligibility requirements?
Cumulative 3.0 GPA (on a 4.0 scale)
Full-time students (high school through graduate)
16 years of age at the time of application (no exceptions)
Undergraduate and graduate students must be enrolled full-time in a degree-granting program at an accredited college or university.
Educators are also eligible to apply
Can international students apply?
All applicants must be U.S. citizens in order to apply for an internship. More information about opportunities for international students can be found at www.nasa.gov/stem/international-internships-for-students.html
What is the minimum age for applicants completing an application?
Applicants must be 16 years old at the time they submit the application. Unfortunately, there are no exceptions at this time.
I have completed my undergraduate degree and am transitioning to graduate school. Am I eligible during this gap period?
If you have completed your undergraduate degree and are enrolled in graduate school the following semester, you are eligible for an internship during the gap period.