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'The work here is absolutely inspiring' - Kiwi interns share experience working at NASA

Kiwi students Hammond Pearce and Rose Swears are about to finish a 10-week internship at NASA and are both working on "futuristic" equipment that may benefit humanity for the future.

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Hammond Pearce and Rose Swears are near completion of their 10-week internship. Source: Breakfast

Mr Pearce originally has a background in computer engineering but told TVNZ1's Breakfast working in robotics goes "hand in hand".

"The people here are absolutely wonderful, and the work here is absolutely inspiring," he said.

Mr Pearce is currently working on a "tensegrity" robot and aiming to achieve meaning locomotion.

"Having the experience to work on projects such as this, with equipment such as this, in a place such as this is one of the most valuable things to be coming out of this internship programme."

NASA are currently holding programmes that aim to have humans return to the moon by 2024, which will mark just over 50 years since the first man landing on the moon in 1969.

Mr Pearce said he was most impressed by the shuttles and technology used for the moon landing but says, "I'd hope there's a future to send humans back out to other planets."

Meanwhile, Ms Swears is studying for her Masters in Carbohydrate Chemistry at the University of Waikato and is currently working on analytical equipment that is set to head out to Saturn or Jupiter.

She encourages other women to join NASA if the opportunity should ever arise.

"You're making things that will be making a difference to humanity at large, 20-30 years from now … and that's an incredible feeling," she said. "I'm holding things that are going to space.

"I have absolutely no illusions that I will go to the moon. It would be really cool, for sure, but it's equally cool to be helping make it possible for other people to go to the moon, or even further afield."

Both Pearce and Swears have enjoyed the resources available at NASA and the overall experience.

"Apply for an internship at NASA? Absolutely... absolutely," Ms Swears said.