Dobie senior Zaheer Kamal jumped in with both feet when he was placed to work in the Aircraft Operations Division as part of the Career Exploration Program at NASA's Johnson Space Center.
Last month Kamal joined several pilots aboard the Guppy aircraft for a routine training flight. The Guppy flew over Galveston, Baytown and Channelview on its two-and-a-half hour flight. The Guppy also completed six "touch-and-go's."
During Kamal's first week at Ellington Field, Astronaut Greg C. Johnson presented him with a project -- to calculate historical T-38 data all the way back to the seven original astronauts. The task included calculating over 250,000 hours of flight time, assimilating numerous aircraft and pilot statistics, and graphing the results.
Kamal meticulously and efficiently tackled the project every day until it was finished -- in just less than two months. He completed the task in record time and with impeccable accuracy.
Johnson was so impressed he invited Kamal to be a passenger aboard the Guppy during its next local training flight.
Kamal was recently accepted to Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona, Fla., where he will attend school in the fall of 2011 and continue working toward his goal of becoming a NASA pilot. (Below) Kamal sits at the controls of the Guppy.
Photo courtesy of Universities Space Research Association