Department of Physics and Engineering

West Virginia Wesleyan College

Jacob Poldruhi’s internship at NASA-Glenn


2012-07-23 13Jacob Poldruhi tells folks that he had the best possible summer internship. The Royalton, Ohio, resident is planning a career in aerospace engineering—and he landed an internship at NASA-Glenn!


Jacob reports, “My research supported the Trash-to-Supply-Gas Task. Our assignment: To find a way to recycle used plastic into useful materials such as water and fuel to support astronauts as they venture out to explore the Solar System.”   


IMG_4790_(Custom)Robonaut greet Jacob


DSC06028Jacob shakes hands with astronaut Gregory H. Johnson, who flew on Space Shuttle flights 123 and 134.



But Jacob didn’t spend his entire time in the lab. “We built a guided dropsonde, a device that

is dropped from an airplane to measure weather conditions. We designed our dropsonde to be

guided into a volcanic plume.


“We visited some California aerospace companies, including Scaled Composites (where they build Virgin aircraft and spacecraft), General Atomics (Predator drones), the Boeing C-27 assembly facility, Boeing Phantomworks, Edwards Air Force Base, Jet propulsion Laboratory, and Space-X.


“We went skydiving and it was amazing!


“They took us to Houston to visit the NASA Johnson Space Center. We went to see Robonaut, shuttle mockups, the International Space Station mockup, a Saturn V rocket, and mission control.


“I got to sit in the Apollo Mission Control Flight Director Chair. It was truly awe-inspiring!”