Yesterday, my senior design project group turned in our paper describing what our research and results from our experiment. Other than finals, this was a large weight taken off of my shoulders and could only mean one thing: the end is neigh. Not the world, mind you, but this semester! And wow, boy did it fly by.

It seems just like yesterday that summer was ending and I was starting my last year as an undergraduate. I was looking forward to beginning my senior design project, excited to start my sailing and film symposium classes, and curious as to what I would learn in my spacecraft propulsion class. At that point, I even thought that USC was going to be in the BCS Championship Bowl. And while the Alamo Bowl is not quite the bowl I thought we’d be going to, I can’t help but sit here and think of how everything else that I was looking forward to in the beginning of the semester actually went about happening.

First and foremost, my senior design project worked and we generated radiometric thrust! Woot! It was pretty cool to finally get it to work after 3 months of immense labor (my group members and I essentially lived in our research lab). And, the work we did was good enough that we’re gonna continue doing research for AFRL on it next semester!

My senior design group’s radiometric thruster mounted on the thrust stand ready to GO!

My film symposium class was a lot of fun throughout the semester and was a welcome break from all of my engineering classes. I’d have to say the favorite movie that I saw was Skyfall, but I also really liked Save the Date and Wreck it Ralph. Likewise, my sailing class was exciting as well. As part of the class, the students get to go on an overnight sailing trip to Catalina. My trip was last week and I got to go with fellow VSAs Steve and Natalie! Unfortunately, we couldn’t leave Long Beach for Catalina due bad weather. BUT we still got to sail around just off of long beach and it was an amazing experience!

I’M ON A BOAT!….Sailing 😀
Can you spot the three VSAs in this picture?

I also enjoyed the rest of my classes. My spacecraft propulsion class was all encompassing and I feel like I learned a lot about rockets and different types of rockets. What’s neat is that I’m going to be interning with SpaceX next summer at their Texas test facility, so I’m going to get to see a lot of rocket test fires!

Having said all that, I am very happy that winter break is just around the corner, especially since it’s going to be a very travel filled couple of weeks. First, I will be going to San Francisco for a week, then New York for new years (always wanted to do that!), and then back home for the rest of break. I wish that I could just go see all of my friends and family right now, but, alas, I must first conquer my finals.