Internships have a reputation for being, well, “not real jobs.”
While they’re not the same as full-time jobs, they can still be extremely valuable to you as a professional and to the company that hires you. Some companies hire smart, work their interns smarter, and ultimately get amazing results.
One such company is Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC), a private technology firm that works on everything from spaceships to satellites. SNC interns work on incredible, high-stakes projects that affect not only the future of our species but also the safety of military personnel and civilians.
1. Exploration Spacecraft
SNC has built thousands of devices for hundreds of spacecraft – including dozens of NASA missions. Their products have been to six planets, the Sun, comets, asteroids and Pluto too (we love you Pluto!). They build technical mechanisms that do everything from launching spacecraft off rockets, to keeping spacecraft at the right temperature, to making sure that communications antenna and solar arrays are pointed in the right direction. Small parts go a long way in making sure that one-of-a-kind programs are a success.
2. Electronic Warfare Systems
This part of the SNC business is high-tech gear that soldiers wear on the front lines.
One example of a life-saving electronic warfare system (EWS) is their radio-controlled improvised explosive device (RCIED) jammer. This blocks the radio signals that detonate IEDs.
SNC technology poses the best solution to this threat. SNC jammers can go everywhere, from the backs of soldiers on portable mounts to the tops of Humvees. SNC also builds electronic systems that are used offensively, by jamming enemy communications and preventing their weapons from working.
If you’re an up-and-coming systems engineer or programmer in the making, this is the type of project you could contribute to at SNC. How’s that for a high-impact internship?
3. Unmanned Systems (Yes, We’re Talking UAVs)
There’s no better way to keep people safe than to keep them out of combat zones. That’s exactly what SNC strives to accomplish with remote-controlled and autonomous aircraft systems. Whether they’re used for combat, surveillance or disaster recovery, UAV technology allows humans to remotely control machines that can take the heat for them.
Plus, as unmanned vehicles and machines develop, their uses will skyrocket. In our near future, unmanned systems could be saving lives in places other than war zones—like active forest fire locations or remote towns in need of medical supplies. You could help make that happen, as an SNC intern.
4. Fighting Cyber Terrorism
While it’s been making regular appearances on the silver screen for years, cyber terrorism just recently became one of the primary ways enemy nations, rogue groups, and other dangerous people steal, attack and sabotage.
Hackers and cyber criminals aren’t the only ones putting in the work. At companies like SNC, cyber security systems are just as important as physical ones.
Whether it’s hardware like SNC’s Binary Armor® SCADA solutions, which provide a real-time network guard for information systems, or something more subtle, SNC leads the pack in one of the most dire races against technology.
5. Oh, Yeah, And An Actual Spaceship
The Dream Chaser® spacecraft is SNC’s solution for next-generation space travel. Reminiscent of the iconic Space Shuttle in its shape but much smaller in size, the Dream Chaser is the spacecraft we’ve always imagined as kids.
Originally developed for a NASA program, and now in the works for potential commercial spaceflights, the Dream Chaser is one of SNC’s most exciting ventures. Whether it’s resupplying the International Space Station with critical food, supplies and science experiments, launching multiple smaller satellites into orbit, or conducting its own science experiments, Dream Chaser has plenty of potential – for customers around the world!
Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation
6. Figuring Out Deep Space Travel
Actually, this might be SNC’s most exciting project. After all, what’s cooler than a spaceship built for low-Earth orbit? How about a spacecraft built for the depths of outer space? More specifically, how about a deep space human habitat module that could go to the Moon and beyond?
Well, that’s what SNC has been asked to design and prototype for NASA as a part of their NextSTEP-2 program to develop NASA’s manned deep space capabilities. When it comes to realizing the future, missions beyond Earth are really the project.
And it makes sense that SNC would be interested in beyond-Earth projects, too. Their technology has already been to five other planets, the Sun, the Moon, comets, asteroids and Pluto!
Whatever Your Dream Engineering Project Is, Find It at SNC
This is just a handful of some of the interesting, impactful projects that people at SNC work on daily. They also make navigation systems for high-speed aircraft, build helicopter rotors, invent anti-drone defense, create patient-monitoring gear for mid-battle medical scenarios, and so much more.
If you’re talking about the difference between life and death in a high-risk situation, you can bet SNC is involved.
If you want a career with a tangible impact, check out more fun facts, videos, and amazing job and internship opportunities from SNC on WayUp right now!