Capstone #2 – Interview

When I started thinking about a person to interview we were not very sure if anyone would help us. I had to interview someone who knew a lot about going to Mars. When I first started my research about SpaceX, I read about a man named Paul Wooster. Paul Wootser is the Principal Mars Development Engineer at SpaceX. But, we thought it would be hard to contact him, and we were not sure if he would help us with the project. So, I kept on reading about NASA and SpaceX Mars project. I read about a man named Mike Ogles who is the Directer of NASA Programs at Auburn University’ Samuel Ginn College of Engineering. We tried to find his email so we could contact with him to ask for an interview. We found his email on Auburn’s website. So, my mom helped by emailing him for me. Later, I was also able to contact Paul Wooster after Ms. Edwards sent us some links to some LinkedIn websites where I was able to find an email address for him.

On the email to Mike Ogles we told him “War Eagle!” because he works for Auburn, and we tried to make a connection with him by telling him that my mom also went to Auburn for engineering. I told him that I was researching the challenges of human flight to Mars and that I needed to conduct an interview for my Capstone project. When we emailed Paul Wooster, I made the personal connection by telling him that my Uncle and Grandfather went to MIT like him. We told him how we needed a interview. I was surprised that they both agreed to be interviewed.  So, now I had to think of some questions. 

For Mike Ogles, my first interview, I had to think of what to say to him when we first talked to him. I introduced myself, asked if I could record the interview, and described my research about human travel to Mars. Before the interview, I had made a list of questions from my research. First, I would ask him questions about himself and his work with NASA and Auburn.  Then I asked him questions more about NASA’s SLS (Space Launch System) and human travel to Mars. After that, I asked questions about Auburn and how they are helping NASA. He told me about “Additive Manufacturing,” techniques to make new rocket engines and why they are better than other engines. Additive Manufacturing is when they 3-D print the engines with metal to make them lighter and more fuel-efficient. Finally, I asked if he had any pictures he would share with us for my slide show project. The interview went well.  I did it on FaceTime with my mom’s phone.  He answered all the questions, and my mom took some notes about what he said during the interview.

For Paul Wooster, I asked different questions based on my research about him.  To start the phone interview, I first introduced myself and asked him if I could record the interview so that I could take notes later. I really changed he questions a lot from the first interview. I first asked Mr. Wooster a question about himself and his work at MIT. Then I asked him about why should humans and/or our country be interested in space travel and why it is important. Then I asked him about SpaceX and Starship. One question was about how they would refuel it. I asked about pressurization and how Starship is designed to withstand cold temperatures. Finally, I asked about how to find pictures that I could use for my presentation slides. He gave us a place on SpaceX’s website where I could find pictures I could use for the project presentation. That was really helpful.


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