Name: Anita Marie Adams

Birth Date: November 8, 1988

Hometown: Brooklyn

Worksite: Boeing Satellite Development Center

Career Interest: Aerospace/Electrical Engineer


          The most important lesson I have learned is to have confidence and always believe in myself. There were times when I thought that I wasn’t capable of achieving a goal I had set for myself and times when I thought I wasn’t good enough to deserve good things for myself. Because I didn’t believe in myself I passed up wonderful opportunities and ran away from things that I was capable of doing. I always believed that there were people out there that were doing ten times better than me, therefore I shouldn’t even bother trying because they’d just beat me anyway. It took a long time for me to realize that if I only believed in myself then I could do anything that I wanted to. It took a long time for me to grasp the idea that I was worthy of going after the best and having the best. It was because of those realizations that I am able to be in a program like this and achieve things I never dreamed could be real.

Apartment #: 2306

Roommate: Elizabeth Setren

What did you think about your apartment?

My apartment was a very calm and quiet apartment that rarely got visited after the television was taken out of it.

What did you learn from living in an apartment with other people?

It is difficult moving into an apartment with people you know nothing about.  The first few days everything is wonderful.  Everyone acts nice and does their part to contribute.  Then after a while you start not to like it because you lose a lot of your privacy and every time you do something you have to be considerate of the other people in the apartment.  You also start to notice bad habits that people have.  On the brighter side, it can be fun to have other people around because you learn lots of new things and have a lot of new experiences.  You never have to feel lonely because there is always someone there to talk to.

Describe what you did and learned at your summer work site.

At my worksite, Boeing Satellite Development Center, I have worked on and learned many things. The main thing I worked on and learned about at BSS was solar panel testing. I learned what solar panels were and the various tests that were run on them, such as LAPSS and thermal cycling.
Solar Panels are what power a satellite. They have many solar cells on them which use sunlight in order to produce energy that is capable of doing work. The solar panels charge up a rechargeable battery that is used when the solar panels are not exposed to sunlight. Solar panels can recharge the battery and power the satellite for a decade or more.
Two important tests that are run on satellites are the LAPSS test and the thermal cycling test. LAPSS or Large Area Pulsed Solar Simulator is used to measure the power output of the solar cells. A solar simulator shoots a beam of light at a group of solar cells that has been set up. The beam of light has the power of the sun and causes the cells to produce power. A computer then reads how much power the solar cells produced. The information from the test tells a person whether or not the cells would be good enough to power a satellite in space. The second test, thermal cycling, is a test that is used to see whether or not a solar panel can survive the extreme temperatures it will experience in space. All one does is put the panel in a chamber and then produce extremely hot temperatures and extremely cold temperatures that a satellite may encounter in space. If it doesn’t fall apart and still puts out enough power then it is okay to use.

What was your favorite experience at NASA SHARP?

My most interesting, memorable, and favorable experience during the NASA SHARP program was meeting astronaut Leland Melvin at JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory). When I first heard we were going to meet an astronaut, I wasn’t too enthusiastic. It was something that I had to do rather than something I was looking forward to doing. I went into the lecture room expecting to be bored.
After being seated, this man in the front of the room introduced himself as astronaut Leland Melvin. He told us that he would be telling his life story and answering questions at the end. From the moment he started speaking, I was automatically interested in what he had to say. The reason why I was so compelled to listen was because of his professionalism. He had on his flight suit that had NASA, the American flag and other impressive things stitched onto it and a PowerPoint presentation set up. Mr. Melvin told us of his struggles and accomplishments. He even encouraged us to keep striving to attain our dreams even when others doubt us and tell us we can’t do it. After listening to him, I was motivated to continue to follow my dream of being an engineer and I even thought about becoming an astronaut. His speech was very inspirational and it is the one thing about the NASA SHARP program that I will never forget.

Words to live by:

"Life is about the struggle.  If there wasn’t a struggle, there would be nothing to live for."

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