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Rescue Extraction Adventure

Trip to NASA

Natalie Kellet at the world's largest wind tunnel
Natalie Kellett at the world's largest wind tunnel

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.”

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