DURHAM, N.H. – Sophomore Ally Yost (Langhorne, Pa.), a goalkeeper for the University of New Hampshire women’s soccer team, will participate in an Undergraduate Student Research Program (USRP) with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) this summer.

Yost, a mechanical engineering major with a perfect 4.0 GPA, will be sent to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to work on a project entitled “Electric Thruster Diagnostic Instrumentation” at Cal Tech University in Pasadena, Calif. An ion thruster is a form of electric propulsion used in spacecrafts, which creates thrust by the acceleration of ions, rather than other mediums such as the burning of fuel. Yost will participate in the analysis, development and testing of thruster diagnostic instruments used in vacuum chamber testing to assess their affects on spacecrafts.

“I'm really excited about the opportunity I've been given at NASA, and am anxious to see what I will learn and be able to bring back to UNH,” Yost said. “I'm also looking forward to being in a situation where I can try to apply what I've learned in classes so far, as well as being introduced into a whole new learning experience.”

The NASA USRP is a 10-week, 40-hour-per-week research experience spanning from June 9-Aug. 15. It offers undergrads across the nation internships that focus on engineering, science and math at various NASA Centers. In addition, it also allows interns to discuss their research in public forums and NASA workshops.

NASA USRP internships combine scientific research experiences with professional hands-on engineering internship experiences. The USRP internship opportunities are offered year round and are managed by the Universities Space Research Association in Houston, Texas. Approximately 150-200 interns nationwide are selected from the fields of engineering, science and mathematics for the prestigious internship.

For the second consecutive year, Yost won the Student Athlete Award, given to the player who has the highest grade point average during the traditional season of competition, at the team’s annual banquet in February. On the field, Yost played 10 games in net for the ‘Cats, posting four shutouts to go along with a 0.87 GAA and a .820 save percentage. Yost ranked 73rd and 77th in the country in those two respective categories.
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