Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Media Contact:
Stephanie Zerweck
Communications Specialist
Phone: (202) 238-2330
E-Mail: stephanie.zerweck@howard.edu

WASHINGTON (October 20, 2015)--Howard University senior Ameer Blake was selected to spend nine weeks this summer as a National Astronomy Consortium (NAC) intern at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Goddard Space Flight Center and developed a promising idea for a small, low-cost satellite that could facilitate exploration of a star.

Blake was one of 19 students selected from across the country for the summer 2015 internship at NASA’s Greenbelt, Maryland, location.

“Ameer worked with great enthusiasm on an idea for a low-cost satellite about the size of a shoebox that might allow us to discover new exoplanets around a special nearby star. His calculations showed that the idea isn’t completely crazy, and we're looking forward to pursuing it further,” said Dr. Aki Roberge of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Exoplanets and Stellar Astrophysics Laboratory.

Ameer presented his research project, “Cubesat Exploration: A Plan for Finding New Exoplanets in the Beta Pictoris System,” at the NAC III annual meeting, held at Howard University, Aug. 28-29.

"Ameer is one of our excellent physics majors who is working hard at becoming a scientist,” said Dr. Quinton L. Williams, Howard University Department of Physics and Astronomy chair. “His intellect, hard work, determination and persistence will take him very far. I'm excited about his future possibilities."

“What [this] opportunity meant to me was a chance to see into my possible future [...],” said Blake,“a way for me to have the most realistic view of what it's like to work in my field.”

To read more about Blake’s research, visit NAC III website at https://osf.io/khavc/.

About NAC Internships:
NAC interns are paired with astronomy, engineering and physics professionals at universities, observatories, and NASA facilities for a nine-week research project. As part of the NAC program, they also receive training and skills development to prepare them for future success in science, technology, engineering and mathematics careers.