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​DMACC Boone Campus student Pedro Salazar of Des Moines, has been selected as a summer 2020 NASA internship recipient. Salazar, a 2015 graduate of Des Moines East High School, was recently chosen to participate in the NASA Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, Calif. 

Salazar will be working on “Building Short-Range Drones for Search and Rescue Operations.” 

“I will be designing and assembling drones that can be used for U.S. Coast Guard search and rescue missions,” Salazar said. 

Salazar is no stranger to NASA. During the fall 2019 semester, Salazar was chosen to participate in the 12-week NASA Lucy Student Pipeline Accelerator and Competency Enabler (L’SPACE) Virtual Academy. The virtual program was designed around NASA’s upcoming 2021 Lucy mission to explore Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids for the first time.

He said he also completed the NASA Community Aerospace Scholars (NCAS) program and is currently in the NASA proposal writing and evaluation experience, where he develops and evaluates a NASA proposal. 

“I felt that NASA has opened many doors for me and other DMACC students,” Salazar said. “These opportunities had helped me grow both individually and intellectually. In the Academy, they are always telling us of different opportunities within the agency for undergrads and encouraging us to apply. I hope that this will encourage more students to apply for these fantastic programs.” 

Salazar said his paid 10-week internship begins June 1 and ends Aug. 7. 

After completing his studies at DMACC this May, Salazar plans to transfer to a four-year college or university to pursue a degree in Aerospace Engineering with a minor in International Business, and then attend graduate school.

“I hope to one day work at NASA as an engineer after the completion of my bachelor’s and Ph.D. degrees,” Salazar said.   

“Pedro was the first DMACC student to participate in the NASA L’SPACE Virtual Academy, and is now continuing his relationship through a paid summer internship,” said Dr. Nancy Woods, DMACC Boone Campus Professor of Math and Physics. “I’m very proud of him.

“Pedro and his team will be doing research with drones that ultimately could save lives.”

To view the types of research Salazar will be working on, click here.

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