NASA - A level Physics Trip to the U.S. Embassy
As diligent physics students we all yearn to acquire more knowledge on the subject and question professionals on their fields of expertise, this is due to the fact that most of us aspire to pursue fields in which physics is vital. On the 19th of October we were given an opportunity to attend a conference run by the U.S. Embassy for Sixth Form students who studied physics and were interested in Aeronautical/ Aerospace Engineering.
The conference was hosted by a member of the Royal Society, Dr. Sheila Kanani, who explained her inspiration into the field and furthermore what her role is and how heavily her field of work has impacted her life. She also explained how pursuing this booming field gave her numerous opportunities which included hosting a show on BBC One. The other host was Jim Adams who was employed in NASA for 17 years where he finally retired as the NASA Chief Technologist (which is the highest level of employment a civil servant can achieve). He further elaborated how space research has changed the world and how his role at NASA impacted their past and current projects including the Cassini probe which will go down in history as one of the most important launches.
We were later joined by two Virgin Galactic engineers. Ron Rosano is a Virgin Galactic Astronaut in Training and will be one of the first to take a commercial flight into space. He explained to us the role of being an Aerospace Engineer at Virgin Galactic and how their shuttles exactly work and the physics behind the design and procedures carried out. They furthermore emphasised the commitment of the job and also which qualities and traits will appeal to employers.
Overall, we enjoyed the trip and it was a very useful insight into the field of Aeronautical/ Aerospace Engineering alongside being very useful to understand the versatility of physics as a subject.
Written by Faraaz Khurshid 12M