Wake up and shoot for the stars, literally. Senior Christopher Lang, software engineer student is always looking up. Graduating from Kenyon-Wanamingo high school, Lang traveled 6 hours from home to attend the University of Minnesota Crookston which little did he know would bring him to intern at NASA. From a young age, Lang has always been intrigued by the work and research that NASA conducts. Lang immersed himself with projects and initiatives at UMN Crookston to build the perfect resume. When it came time, Lang applied to an internship at NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center located near Los Angeles, California.
Rather than waking up in northern Minnesota, Lang woke up two time zones away in sunny California. Lang was joined with 30 other interns working in various positions, where Lang was a computer systems intern working specifically with a flying aircraft. Lang dove into programming, designing and investigating a program, specifically the aircraft model, PRANDTL-3c. The PRANDTL-3c is an unmanned experimental glider-aircraft being developed by NASA, with a 25 wing span. The program he worked with was the Preliminary Research Aerodynamic Design to Lower Drag, also known as PRANDTL-D. Lang worked specifically with the Flight Data Acquisition Unit (DAQ), which hooks onto various sensors of the aircraft to collect data, such as flight characteristics for research use.Christopher Lang
Reflecting on his internship, Lang couldn’t have enjoyed the experience more. Everything from his base location, to visiting a variety of other NASA sights, Lang couldn’t help but be grateful to be surrounded by an amazing industry and endeavor with great people behind it. Lang stated, “Everything that goes through for development is touched by 100s of people at different sites, so everyone plays a role in a greater endeavor and the betterment of mankind. The environment is meant to help people and improve technology. It’s something great to be a part of.” Christopher Lang
Moving forward, Lang plans to attend grad school with the end goal to return to NASA. When asked what advice he would give to students entering his field he said, “Make sure you do independent projects like integrated systems and microcomputers and that’s how you got the experience. Tailor them to what you want to do.” The University of Minnesota Crookston couldn’t be more proud of Lang and what he has accomplished so far.
About UMN Crookston
One of five campuses in the University of Minnesota System, the University of Minnesota Crookston cultivates curiosity by engaging students in hands-on learning connecting theory to practice. As the experienced leader in delivering education online, the Crookston campus offers a distinctive learning environment providing personal attention and mentorship to develop leaders, lifelong learners, and engaged citizens. Visit Crookston at umcrookston.edu
The University of Minnesota System, with campuses in Crookston, Duluth, Morris, Rochester, and the Twin Cities, is driven by a singular vision of excellence. We are proud of our land-grant mission of world-class education, groundbreaking research, and community-engaged outreach, and we are unified in our drive to serve Minnesota. Learn more at system.umn.edu