NASA

July 5, 2013

NASA intern Dan Frecka: Living the dream at Dryden

Ohio State computer science and engineering student Dan Frecka works on flight simulations in the Research Aircraft Integration Facility during his internship at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center in Southern California.

A NASA internship is what a lot of engineering students dream of, and one from Ohio State University is living that dream at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, Calif.

Dan Frecka, an undergraduate student majoring in computer science and engineering at Ohio State, was awarded an internship through the NASA Pathways program.

Frecka is working on new classes within the flight simulations. So far, he has worked on two software projects.

A native of Cincinnati, Frecka enjoys the hands-on experience he is gaining at Dryden.

“Itís NASA,” Frecka said. “Itís probably the most glamorous and well-known government agency out there, as well as a dream job for all engineers.”

Frecka became interested in computer programming while he was still in high school. Once he was in college, he decided it was his calling. All he needed was experience to go along with his education.

“This experience is already benefiting me as Iím learning something new every day,” Frecka said. “I canít think of many ways that the program could be any better. NASA really gives its students ample opportunity and freedom to do what they want. My mentors have been very flexible about what projects I can take on. Iíve never received grunt work.”

The highlight of Frecka’s internship so far was seeing the Space Shuttle Endeavor atop its modified 747 carrier aircraft land at Dryden and take off the following day on its final ferry flight into retirement in September 2012. It now is on exhibit at the California Science Center in Los Angeles.




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