• Question: What was it like building a robot for NASA?

    Asked by Stannes13 to Conor on 8 Mar 2016.
    • Photo: Conor McGinn

      Conor McGinn answered on 8 Mar 2016:

      Overall it was a great experience! When most people intern at NASA, they are often the youngest, least qualified members in teams and dont get the opportunity or freedom to do much. The program I was on was totally different. The whole team, more or less, was made up with students and we were given lots of money (around $40000) and little over 2 months to design, fabricate and assemble a robot that could be sent to greenland to conduct scientific research. For the most part the team was made up with people from all the best colleges in the US – some really really smart people. I was the only European there so I was especially lucky.
      I’m not sure I would like to work there full time though. NASA centres are often in the middle of nowhere so if you are based where I worked, its hard to see how your life wouldn’t revolve around the job – even if you didn’t want it to. Also for a european it can be a little tricky to work there – they are very sensitive about spying and non-americans dont have the same freedoms there as US nationals do (it can be problematic to stay in late, work weekends etc.)