Introduce yourself! Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Danver, Massachusetts, which is a suburb outside of Boston. I was lucky enough to go to a high school with a really great astronomy program. We had night classes where we would go out to the soccer field with telescopes. It was very neat and definitely reinforced my enjoyment of space.
What is your role at Astroscale?
I’m a Policy Intern, and I do research tasks to support advocacy efforts of the Policy & Regulatory affairs team. My research has focused on the political element of our company and the legal hurdles we need to clear in order to do business with the U.S. and international partners. There are a lot of literature reviews and a lot of research projects. It’s very fun when you’re kind of a nerd for this stuff.
Where did you go to college? What did you study?
I just graduated from Boston College, and now I’m doing a rotation of internships in the private space industry to get more experience. At Boston College I studied political science and planetary science.
What sparked your interest in space and space law?
My uncle got me an almanac for Christmas when I was eight years old, which is definitely kind of an odd gift for a kid. But it had this space section, and I thought it was super interesting. Then in college I joined the Boston College debate team, and the debate topic for my freshman year was about space cooperation, specifically active debris removal. Although I’m very STEM-minded, I’m not built for a laboratory, so I think the policy route suits me a lot better.
Why did you choose to intern at Astroscale?
During my debate tournaments I personally advocated for active debris removal and became very passionate about the concept. Then I joined the Space Generation Advisory Council, where I worked with a group developing recommendations for reforming the U.S. launch licensing system to better mitigate debris accumulation. I first became exposed to Astroscale through that, and I’ve always thought that space debris removal was a very good mission to pursue.
What do you think of Colorado?
So far so good! This is my first time in Denver, but I’ve been to Steamboat to ski. I’m a huge mountain lover, and seeing the Rocky Mountains has already made me love this state.
What has been the highlight of your internship so far?
I really appreciate getting exposure to different areas of legislation that I otherwise wouldn’t have focused on. As a part our advocacy effort, we look at a lot of precedent for previous regulations. By doing that I’ve been able to see the parallels between different pieces of legislation. For instance, I’ve looked at how marine habitats are regulated and how a lot of those frameworks are being repurposed to regulate space. It’s so cool to be doing research that interests me.
What have you been looking forward to in the second half of the summer?
I’m really enjoyed our summer party at Top Golf. I grew up golfing so I was eager to bring some of my skills to the driving range. Besides that, I’m excited to see what the internships brings since every day is different.
Which part of the office is your favorite?
The cold brew on tap in Denver. At the DC office we only have hot coffee and I don’t drink hot coffee, so I have to lug in my two-liter bottle of cold brew to keep in the fridge. I knew walking into our Denver HQ that that would be my favorite thing.
Who at Astroscale has been a great mentor to you and why?
Lexie Weikert, a member of our BD team, has been great. I am not super good at networking, but Lexie drags me around networking events and forces me to talk to people, which is really helpful in the long run. I definitely got a confidence boost out of it because I realized that talking to people isn’t that scary. Also shoutout to Brett Silcox, our Director of U.S. Government Relations.
Advice for recent college school grads or potential interns?
I would say that space can be a difficult industry to break into if you’re not an engineer. Keep a running list of organizations that interest you and check back pretty frequently for job postings. Space is an emerging industry, which is exciting, but it also means there can sometimes be narrow opportunities for entry. In general, don’t be afraid to take an internship if you don’t know what you want to do yet.
How do you spend your time outside of work?
Hiking. I am a huge, huge hiker. New Hampshire has something called the New Hampshire 48. It’s a challenge to hike all 48 4000-ft peaks. I’ve already done the 48, so now I’m doing different iterations of those hikes.
Star Wars or Star Trek?
I haven’t seen more than five minutes of either of those … so no comment.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Take care of your planet and take care of the space that surrounds your planet.