John Rogers is pursuing his final year of his Bachelors degree in Astronautical Engineering from the Viterbi School of Engineering. He was the DAQ- 1 Responsible Engineer, and continues to be an integral part of the Hydra Testing Campaign. He joined LPL through the Base 11 program, and here is an account of his experience at LPL:
I was a part of the year-round Base 11 program from the Fall of 2017 to the Spring of 2018 and for the summer paid internship program for the Summer of 2018. My involvement consisted of learning the basics of liquid propulsion and the various systems that make it up: feed system, data acquisition, and the engine. The members of LPL exposed me to the theoretical concepts that went behind designing a liquid propulsion rocket. These concepts were then reinforced by allowing me to be a part of the build and testing processes of the feed system and engine that was being built at the time.
My experience working in LPL due to my involvement with Base 11 pretty much solidified my interest in attending USC. After speaking with the various members of LPL, it became clear to me that I would not be exposed to a hands-on experience with such a high degree of autonomy anywhere other than LPL at USC. It truly was an opportunity I could not pass up.
Overall, my experience has been positive. USC-LPL is the perfect place for someone like me because it allows me to explore concepts that are important to me at my own pace with team members that guide me along the way. USC-LPL is an arena that allows me to make and learn from my mistakes now, which will instill confidence in me once I do make it to industry.
The most memorable moment to date for me is when I saw the engine, Blue Steel, successfully fire. This was the first time I had ever seen a rocket engine fire in person. It exceeded all of my expectations by a very wide margin. What made the event even more memorable was the fact that it seemed to me that everyone there felt the same way. I relive that moment in my mind often.
I do not know what the future holds for me. All I can say is that I feel very fortunate to have an opportunity to impact the space industry in some way at such a pivotal point in time. Whatever my role may be, I can only hope it has something to do with allowing people to travel the solar system as efficiently as possible.