Belmont Senior Matt Lefavor has landed a summer internship with NASA on the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) team. The SAM Team is located at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD. SAM is a suite of instruments that will be on board the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover. The SAM team consists of scientists and engineers both in and out of NASA, in the US and Europe. SAM’s five science goals will address three of the most fundamental questions about the ability of Mars to support life – past, present and future. If all goes well, the SAM module will Launch aboard the Mars Science Laboratory in late 2011, and ride in the “shotgun” seat as the rover explores the Martian surface.
Matt is a double major in Computer Science and Philosophy in the Belmont Honors Program and has presented undergraduate research in both fields. His current assignment, data analysis for the SAM team, is not difficult for the A student, but according to Matt “there’s a ton of interesting and smart people around, and a ton of interesting things to do.”