Aerospace Summer Games 2023
An epic beachfront battle featuring NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, SpaceX, Boeing, and more!
This summer, I had the amazing opportunity to intern at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Every workday, I would ride a bus from Caltech to the JPL campus before walking to building 301, Project Formulation.
I would spend most of my day there, in my office in the Deep Space Network sector. I dedicated my time to reading papers, collaborating with other interns, and pumping out lots of code. (My project was centered around deep reinforcement learning techniques to automate communication scheduling between faraway space satellites and ground stations.)
I often ventured to other parts of the JPL campus for various meetings and events though! In fact, there were lots of seminars to attend and learn from everyday. Seminars focused on topics like the search for life on Mars, the history of the Cold Atom Lab, and the future of robotics in space exploration.
Besides learning about all the exciting projects being run at JPL, attending these seminars was a great excuse to tour the lab’s facilities. JPL has a similar feel to a college campus, with lots of buildings, greenery, and even a fire station spread across the area. Some of my favorite locations included the Space Flight Operations Facility and an underground tunnel!
At 5pm, my workday was over. Usually, that meant leaving the picturesque JPL campus and taking the bus back to Caltech. But for two days each week, I would stay back for a little while longer to practice for the Aerospace Summer Games!
The Aerospace Summer Games
The Aerospace Summer Games, or ASG for short, is a friendly beach sports competition between all the aerospace companies in or around the Los Angeles area. This includes NASA JPL, along with other aerospace giants like SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, Blue Origin, and Boeing.
For ASG 2023, over 50 different companies made it on to the official scoresheet. There were a few…