Week 8: The Capitol was out of this world!

Share This:

Monday, August 1, 2016


Jose Corona

We got to tour NASA Goddard and the Capitol this week.  So naturally, I have many, many…. MANY photos of the two trips.  Both locations were fantastic and it was a great opportunity to see what the other interns encounter in their daily activities.  The only tour left is the tour of ACP which is on the 11th of August; but until then I shall dedicate this blog to these two places. 

On Wednesday, we went to NASA Goddard and got to see the impressive facilities that they possess.  There is a small replica of the James Webb Space Telescope that is expected to launch in 2018.

We entered the building where this impressive piece of machinery is being manufactured.  The scientists and engineers involved in this project have a super cool job.  We got to see these individuals work on James Webb from afar, and learned more information on the capabilities of this instrument. 

As of right now, the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) continues to provide us with images of space.  We got to learn much of the history of the HST and also got to view the control room of Hubble.  The history of the five repair missions was fascinating.  It is hard to imagine how difficult these missions must have been for the astronauts involved; additionally, the danger of these missions is extremely high, which is why they are heavily rehearsed from the operations of the control room to the astronauts in outer space!  A neat piece of information about HST is that granting telescope time is very valuable to any scientist, and is also a privilege to be able to collect data with this machine. 

I have a lot of pictures of the Capitol tour.  This tour has many great things to show.  The Capitol building is a magnificent structure full of art and history.  I had to rather selective in the pictures I decided to blog, but here are some of the highlights that captivated me.  The Chandelier in the Small Senate Rotunda was a sight to behold! This chandelier contains several thousand crystals and weighs at a ton! Imagine having that in your living room…. Sheesh!

Much of the building is submerged in paintings on the walls.  Such as this portrait of Benjamin Franklin.

The entire Capitol is a giant art museum, and I was very impressed with the decorations in this building.  To think that our current representatives work in this building is breathtaking; furthermore, much of our nation’s history has been determined in this building (it makes me speechless).  At the end, we were able to have a Q&A with two individuals heavily involved in Science Policy.  This session was insightful because it allowed us, the interns, to see exactly how difficult it can be to bridge the gap between policy and science. 

Afterwards, Tabitha, Victoria, Marissa, and I decided to see the Library of Congress, Supreme Court, and the Archives (didn’t make it here).  These two buildings (Library of Congress and Supreme Court) also radiate similar aesthetics of the Capitol building. 

I was impressed with Jefferson’s personal library that is located in this building.  As we walked along, the Supreme Court was the other place we managed to see.  When the sun hits the front of the building, it is extremely bright! I could barely see as we were walking up the steps. 

We were unsuccessful in getting to see the interior of the Archives…. We were only 1 minute late, thus not being allowed entry.  Despite not getting to see the Archives, right across the street there was jazz being played at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden! So we were able to turn that disappointment around with the beauty of jazz. 

Over the course of the weekend, a friend from Bridgewater was in DC so we got to hangout.  The time we spent was fun full of adventure and I finally got to play the disc golf course in College Park! I was blown away with the beauty  of the National Basilica that is at the heart of Catholic University.


It is remarkable to think that Pope Francis was at this very building earlier this year! I am glad that I got the opportunity to see this, and all the other many monuments and building that are in this great city of Washington DC!


Senate Appropriations Committee Room
Rayburn Building
The Donut Brush?

Jose Corona