One of the most coveted engineering internship programs in the country is at a famous facility on Rocket Road in Hawthorne, California: SpaceX headquarters.
The company builds most of its equipment in-house, and that includes its fleet of Falcon 9 rockets, which shuttle payloads to the International Space Station.
Interns at SpaceX are treated as members of the team. They don’t file papers or grab coffee – they test rocket engines and spacecraft. Only about 700 people are chosen for this internship each year.
SpaceX recently released this video on YouTube of their internship program, offering an inside look into what these interns do and what working at SpaceX is like:
“This is not a normal internship,” 2015 SpaceX intern David Larson says in the video.
Larson works in SpaceX’s structure department, which helps with hardware design.
SpaceX also has its rocket-launch facility based in McGregor, Texas. There, it tests the engines that power SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rockets.
And yes, interns work there, too.
“When an engine test happens, it’s the most incredible thing you could possibly think of,” said SpaceX intern Jeff Ellenoff, who interns at the Texas base as a test engineer. “I get to come to work and play with spaceships all day.”
While helping build, design, and test SpaceX rockets sounds great, the internship comes with some other notable perks as well.
“The benefits of being here at SpaceX: free frozen yogurt,” said SpaceX intern Joshua Mann, who interns at the company’s headquarters and works in its Propulsion Department.