Buzz Moorman on an Internship at Lockheed Martin

by Buzz Moorman, ME ‘10

ares-i-and-v.jpgThis past summer I had the opportunity to work with Lockheed Martin in Houston, Texas on the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) project, also known as the “Orion” spacecraft. The Orion will essentially serve as the next Apollo, since it will take American astronauts back to the moon, and eventually to Mars.

The concept for the vehicle was officially announced in a speech given by George W. Bush at NASA Headquarters in January 2004. In August 2006, NASA awarded the design of the CEV and its launch vehicle to Lockheed Martin after a year-long competition against the team of Northrop Grumman and Boeing. I was hired in the crew systems department and my major projects included designing hardware for the crew seats/restraints, Environmental Control and Life Support Systems (ECLSS), hygiene station and the medical interface unit.

I performed a wide array of tasks during my experience, including material analyses, 3D computer modeling, spreadsheet and database management, reporting on requirements for certain hardware products, and conducting trade studies between the Orion hardware and the Apollo/Shuttle/Space Station hardware. Most of the work was new to me, but my co-workers were very helpful and always willing to offer their assistance whenever I needed it. I was involved with a lot of interesting out-of-the-office work too, such as testing the hardware on-site at the Johnson Space Center. I was also able to collaborate with many astronauts and NASA veterans who worked on the Apollo and Space Shuttle projects. Overall, the internship was an incredible experience.

I took away a lot of good things from the internship, and I am very glad I had the opportunity. I learned about the way the engineering industry works, the way the bureaucracy works with government projects, and the way different companies (i.e. NASA and Lockheed Martin) collaborate to get a project done. I learned of the many intricacies in the industry that I would not have seen otherwise. But mostly, I took away the knowledge of what it takes to succeed in the business. I learned to be a go-getter, one who works hard at his tasks, isn't afraid to ask for help to get something done, and one who will go to great lengths to finish something correctly instead of sitting back and waiting.

If you would have questions or would like to learn more about an internship at Lockheed Martin contact Buzz at gerard.moorman@duke.edu.

Watch a video about the Orion mission to the moon (February 2007):
http://www.nasa.gov/externalflash/cev/video.html