Carbon County Native Joins NASA Internship Program


Artist’s rendering of NASA’s Europa Clipper spacecraft. Photo Courtesy of NASA.

NASA recently selected 40 undergraduate students to be part of the first year of the Europa Inspiring Clipper: Opportunities for Next-generation Scientists (ICONS) internship program.

This program supports the agency’s Europa Clipper mission. Europa ICONS matches students with mentors that are from the mission’s science team to undergo a ten week program to conduct original scientific research on topics that are related to the mission to Jupiter’s moon, Europa.

Out of the 40 undergraduates that were chosen, one student hails from the state of Utah. Specifically, the student is a longtime resident of Price City.

Dallin Nelson was raised in Carbon County and traveled to attend Southern Utah University (SUU) in Cedar City. Nelson will be joining students from Arizona, Louisiana, Texas, California, the University of Puerto Rico–Mayaguez and more.

“The Europa Clipper mission’s three main science objectives are to determine the thickness of the moon’s icy shell and its surface interactions with the ocean below, to investigate its composition, and to characterize its geology,” NASA shared. “The mission’s detailed exploration of Europa will help scientists better understand the astrobiological potential for habitable worlds beyond our planet.”

These internships can be in-person at the mentor’s institution, virtual, or a hybrid. This is dependent on the research project and the needs of both the mentor and the intern. Toward the end of the ten weeks, the students and mentors will convene for a two-day conference.

According to Nelson’s father, following the conclusion of the program, he will return to SUU with this once-in-a-lifetime experience under his belt to finish his schooling.

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