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MICUA Matters Newsletter

Capitol Program Prepares Students for Real-World Jobs in Space

Spring 2017

Aaron Bush and Carl Hansen, alums of Capitol Technology University, and current student, Ben Serano, are working on a major development that is expected to dramatically enhance our understanding of the cosmos. The three are on-site at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), which will handle flight ops of NASA's James Webb Space Telescope (JWST).

“The capabilities of this telescope are incredible. They’re much greater than what Hubble has been able to bring – and Hubble has brought us so many wonders," said Bush.

Bush and Hansen went to work full-time for the project after graduation, while Serano has landed an internship at the STScI and plans to continue there as a flight operations controller after he wraps up his degree in May. The mission is currently engaged in testing and preparation.

Serano is thrilled at having the chance to be part of the JWST — his third internship since coming to Capitol. "I look forward to going to work every single day because the entire team believes in and understands the importance of the JWST's success," Serano said.

The University has significant representation on this mission. Capitol professor Rishabh Maharaja says this is because of the astronautical engineering program’s specialized focus. Maharaja created the Hermes project, a satellite communications project, and now serves as mentor to the student-led Hermes project. Several project participants, including Bush, Hansen and Serano, have gone on to the JWST – and they say the practical experience they gained as part of Hermes was essential.

“In order to make the move from school to work, you need to be involved in projects, and Capitol is great about supporting these,” Hansen said. “Being [involved] in Hermes was very much responsible for getting me into a place where I could be accepted for my current position.”