Over the weekend of April 25, Natalie Kellet
(Biology, 2015) went to Moffet Field, California to work with the National
Aeronautics and Space Administration. Natalie’s work didn’t relate to space
exploration, but rather with rescue extractions involving helicopters. Her team
looked at eliminating cable sway during the extractions.
“Basically we are trying to make rescuing people
from helicopters safer. Meaning that we want to eliminate the pendulum sway
caused by wind, rotor wash and whole bunch of different factors,” Natalie said.
Their original contact was Larry A. Young and from
there the team was able to network to the point that the Director of the
Aeronautics department William Warmberodt, showed the team around the facility,
which also houses the largest wind tunnel in the world. From there the team met
with the NASA AMES center Director, Simon Warden and got to see the first
fly-by wire helicopter.
“The entire helicopter is operated by computer use
only with a pilot sitting there to take over control if needed. I got to sit in
this government classified helicopter. Super sweet!”
Natalie plans to use what she learned from the
trip to not only continue her project, but to put forth in other aspects of her
life. From networking and meeting new people, she found the experience
valuable. As a piece of advice, Natalie said, “Please listen to me when I say, stay
in a reputable hotel chain. It will make things a lot easier for you I promise.
This does not include Motel 6. Don't worry about the money. It will pay through
in other ways.”