Computer Engineering Student Interning at Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Chris Esquer-Rosas is having a summer he'll never forget. Over the last few months, Esquer-Rosas, a computer engineering student at SBVC, has been interning at the Jet Propulsion Lab.

He's working on the Starshade, a giant sunflower-shaped shade that, when launched into space, will suppress sunlight, allowing researchers to directly image exoplanets. He became interested in origami while in elementary school, and is using his skills to work on building Starshade's Petal Launch and Unfurler System.

When Starshade unfurls in space, it is supposed to be the size of a baseball diamond, and Esquer-Rosas told JPL's Education Office he is working to make sure that none of the petals touch each other. Esquer-Rosas said since starting at JPL, he's been surprised to learn that origami has a place in space. "That's what blew my mind," he said.