Mojave Spaceport Looks for NASA, Student Interns

By Douglas Messier
Parabolic Arc Managing Editor

NASA Dryden is looking to place one of its employees at the Mojave Air and Space Port for six to 12 months to learn how the private sector space community operates.

The placement would be made under a NASA program that details promising employees at companies and other organizations to give them broader business and management expertise, said Mojave spaceport CEO Stu Witt. The space agency would cover the salary of the employee while he or she is working on assignment in Mojave.

“We interpret that as an enormous vote of confidence that we’re doing something right,” Witt told the East Kern Airport District (EKAD) Board of Directors on Tuesday.

Witt said he has had several discussions about the placement with officials at the NASA field center, which located at nearby Edwards Air Force Base. He said he hoped to have an agreement to present to the EKAD board at its next meeting.

In a related development, the Mojave spaceport is looking to recruit some summer student interns. Karina Drees, the spaceport’s director of business development, will be attending the SpaceVision 2012 conference in Buffalo this week. The three-day event is being sponsored by Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS).

The spaceport is spending $2,000 as a sponsor of the conference. Drees told the EKAD board that the sponsorship will give her access to students attending the event.