NASA Ames Education Office Internship ProgramFrequently Asked Questions

Prior to Arrival

ð What is the dress code?

Please bring at least one business outfit. For the most part, Ames Research Center has a business casual dress code. Jeans and clean sneakers with a presentable top works well. Check with your mentor for guidance. Please wear your business attire on the first day and for the final presentation. Business attire consists of:
  • MEN: Slacks and a dress shirt (suit and tie optional)
  • WOMEN: Business suit, blazer or blouse and skirt, or blazer or blouse and slacks

Check with your mentor about the dress code in your division. After the orientation, be prepared with a change of clothes suitable for work and comfortable walking shoes, if necessary.

The weather varies, even within the same day, so layered clothing is recommended. Go online to see current and past weather reports so you will know how to pack.

Lastly, while the environment here is very laid back, this does NOT mean that midriff/backless tops, ragged cutoff shorts (men and women), and casual men's tanks are acceptable. This is a place of work- if you could step directly on to the beach, you're too casual.

ð What do I NEED to bring?

You will need a current US Government Issued ID. This ID must have a picture. Acceptable forms of ID are a state issued driver’s license, a state issued identification card (issued to non-drivers), or a US Passport.
Note: If you do not have a US Government Issued ID, you will not be allowed into the Ames Research Center, where your internship is to be conducted.

ð What items might be beneficial to bring?

The following items are optional:
  • Medical Insurance Card (All students are financially responsible for all medical costs)
  • Comfortable shoes (Ames Research Center is a BIG campus and you will be doing a lot of walking)
  • Student ID (discounts to movies and other places)
  • Fitness Form (if you want to use the Ames Fitness Center)
  • Extra towels
  • Bicycle AND a helmet
    • Ames has a strict helmet law, so you will only be able to use this type of transportation on the Ames campus if you are wearing a helmet.
    • If you want to bring a bicycle you can either send it UPS or FedEx or you can take it on the plane with you. Hint: go to your local bicycle shop and ask for an empty bike box. Pack your bike in the box (take the front and back wheels off) and ship it or check it.

ð What are my ground transportation options from San Jose and San Francisco International Airports?

You will need to make your own ground transportation arrangements to NASA Ames Research Center (Moffett Federal Airfield/NASA Research Park). The shuttle services are your best option (i.e. Super Shuttle or one of its competitors). Once at the airport, stop by an information desk and ask to be directed to the shuttle pick-up area.

Recommendation: You should contact a shuttle service prior to leaving home to arrange for pick up at your arrival time. You should select a shuttle service that will provide you with non-stop service (in other words, you are the only passenger in the vehicle).

If you are flying into San Jose, this website may be helpful:
If you are flying into San Francisco, this website may be helpful:

For additional choices, Google: “airport shuttle,” “San Francisco,” and “San Jose.” Alternatively, Uber and Lyft are popular ride sharing apps.


ð How do I arrive at NASA Ames Research Center once I am in California?

Ames Research Center is located at Moffett Field, CA (right next door to Mountain View, CA).

From SFO (and the North): Use Highway 101 South (toward San Jose) to the Moffett Blvd/NASA Parkway Exit. This exit is approximately 25 miles from the airport. At the stop sign turn right toward Moffett Field.

From San Jose International Airport (and the South): Take Guadalupe Parkway (Highway 87) to Highway 101 North (toward San Francisco). Exit at the Moffett Blvd/NASA Parkway exit. The drive is approximately 17 miles from the airport. At the stop sign turn right toward Moffett Field.

ð What do I do once I’m at the Moffett Field Main Gate?

You will pass through a low security gate, which is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Everyone in the vehicle ages 18 and over may be required to show a valid driver’s license (or other form of government issued ID) to pass through the Main Gate.

If you are driving yourself:
Make sure that you have a valid driver’s license. You will not be allowed to drive on center without one.

If you are taking public transportation:
You will need to check with the local bus system, the Santa Clara Valley Transit Authority (VTA), to determine whether public transportation operates during the time that you will be arriving.

Helpful websites:

Ames Transportation


Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority

If you are staying at the NEL:
When you arrive at the Moffett Field Main Gate, tell the gate guard you are a new intern, you are staying in the NASA Lodge, and are going to Building 19 to check in. When you arrive at Building 19 ask your driver to wait while you check in. You will be housed in Building 583, which is a long walk.

How do I pick up my visitor pass so that I have access to Ames Research Center?

The Visitor Badging Office is open between 6:00 am and 6:00 pm Monday through Friday. If you arrive after hours or on the weekend, you will need to wait until business hours to pick up your visitor pass. Please remember to bring a valid government issued photo ID in order to receive a visitor pass. Acceptable forms of ID are a state issued driver’s license, a state issued identification card (issued to non-drivers), or a US Passport. If you do not possess any of these forms of ID, now would be a good time to obtain one. University IDs will NOT be accepted.

To the right of the main gate, you will see the Visitor Badging Office and parking lot. Enter the building and tell the clerk that you are a new intern and would like to pick up your visitor pass. Present the clerk with your ID.

Most of you will be picking up your visitor pass on the first day of your internship, just prior to your orientation. If you have difficulty at the Visitor Badging Office, call Mary Schaadt at 650-604-1521.

ð What is the difference between “Ames Research Center” and “Ames Research Park”?

Ames Research Park is the area within Moffett Field used and leased by NASA partners. This is a low security area. The Lodge is located inside Ames Research Park. Entry is given to all who have a government issued ID card and a reason to be there. Ames Research Center is located inside the high security area within Moffett Field. Only those with authorization (NASA Security Pass or Ames issued visitor pass) will be allowed to enter Ames Research Center. You will be working inside Ames Research Center and will need to carry your visitor badge AND photo identification at all times.

During your Internship

ð Where do I find a meal?

There are various restaurants in downtown Mountain View, three miles down the road on Moffett Blvd. The NASA cafeteria, Mega Bites, which is inside the security gates, is open for breakfast and lunch, Monday through Friday. Also, Barcelona Café, which is outside the security gates, is open for breakfast and lunch, Monday through Friday. Rose’s Coach, alongside building 3, offers barbecue and other items during lunch for purchase. There is a restaurant at the Golf course. Hours vary. The golf course is about one mile from the NEL. The following website may be helpful:

ð Is there a grocery store close by?

The closest grocery store is about 0.25 mile away from the front gate. This is a small grocery store, Mercado Marlen, specializing in meat. Directions from the main gate: cross the 101 overpass, turn left on Leong. The address is 889 Leong Dr.

ð What are my public transportation options?

The NASA shuttle bus will be available to ride early weekday mornings and evenings during commute hours. The service runs from Ames to the CalTrain station in Downtown Mountain View. The VTA bus #51 stops in front of Building 19 in Ames Research Park, which is within a block or two of NASA Research Park’s Main Gate (the bus stop is referred to as Gate #18). For more information, visit:

Light Rail is another possibility and runs from NASA Research Park’s South Gate to Downtown Mountain View (CalTrain Station) and San Jose.

CalTrain has a stop in downtown Mountain View and can take you south to San Jose or north to San Francisco and several cities along the way. For more information see:

Taxi Service is available by calling Yellow Cab in Mountain View at (650) 254-0100.

ð Is there a bank nearby?

An ATM is available in the Ames Café. There are many other banks in nearby Mountain View – Bank of America, Wells Fargo, WAMU, Chase, and other financial organizations.

ð What kind of weather should I expect?

The summer weather from the months June through August tends to range from 70-85° in the daytime and 55-65° in the evening. The months of September to December can go anywhere from 50-80° in the daytime and down to 35° in the evenings. The rooms at the NASA Exchange Lodge (NEL) are heated and have a ceiling fan.

ð What if I need medical treatment?

In a non-emergency situation between the hours of 8:00 am and 4:30 pm, you should go to the Ames Health Unit or call 650-604-5287. The Ames Health Unit is located on Durand Road, across the street Ames Cafeteria, Mega Bites The purpose of the Ames Occupational Health Unit is to provide initial treatment for Federal employees, contractor personnel, or visitors who become ill or who are injured on the job.

In the case of a medical or other emergency, call 911 from a land line or 650-604-5555 from a cell phone, day or night. You can also call the Moffett Dispatch at 650-604-5416.

In the event that you are seriously injured and/or hospitalized contact your designated Program Coordinator so that they are aware of your situation.

ð How can my family contact me during business hours?

You may provide your family with the following phone numbers:
  • Your Program Coordinator’s office number and
  • Your mentor’s telephone number

The NASA Exchange Lodge’s front desk will take messages; however, they will not search for you.

You can provide your family with your office contact number if you have an office telephone.

ð Where is the Higher Education Office located?

The Higher Education Office is located in building N226, on De France Road, across from the Unitary Plan Wind Tunnel with the big NASA logo (great photo opportunity). Our office is to the left as you enter the building (use doors on your left as you face the building).

Higher Education Office Mailing Address:
NASA Ames Research Center

{Your Program Coordinator}/Mail Stop 226-8
Attention: Your Name

Bldg. 226

P.O. Box 1

Moffett Field, CA 94035-0001

The NASA Exchange Lodge

You are responsible for paying your own room and board. Budget your stipend wisely.

ð How do I check into my NASA Exchange Lodge (NEL) room?

At the Main Gate, ask the gate guard to direct you to the lodge check-in area in Building 19. Proceed to the NEL check-in desk. Registration and payment for your room is REQUIRED 2 weeks in advance to pick-up your keys. Do not let your driver leave you at this location. Your room is in another building. The NEL clerk will provide you with keys and directions to your room.

If arriving after 10:00 pm, you will need to call the night clerk (650-603-7100). The number is posted on the sign behind the desk in the lounge area. Please advise the NEL in advance if you are arriving after 10:00 pm. They will need to make arrangements.

You are strongly advised to ask your driver to wait until you have your keys and directions. Your room is within walking distance (Building 583B); however, this can be a major hike when you are carting luggage and other possessions. Google Maps has a good view of the area. Google “Moffett Field, CA” and look for building 19 in the middle of Bushnell, Akron, and McCord. Building 19 is a long structure. The NEL lobby is located in the south entrance. The student housing is located on the corner of Dailey and Girard Road - across from the baseball fields.

Note: If you are arriving late evening, you should consider bringing snacks or a sandwich. There are no dining options at Moffett Field for evening or weekend meals. You will have to find a way to go shopping or to a restaurant.

ð What is the NEL guest policy?

Up to 3 guests are allowed to stay in your room at a cost of $5.00 per night per guest. If you have a roommate, make sure you ask them for their permission. The lodge exists primarily to provide reasonably priced short-term housing for students, researchers, and others who are visiting NASA Ames Research Center and NASA Ames Research Park. It would not be appropriate for guests not engaged in official activity to use the facility beyond a day or two. As an alternative, there are a variety of other lodging options for your guests in Mountain View and Sunnyvale. Here is a link used by the Ames Conference Center as a reference for hotels/motels and other points of interest.

ð What services are included with my room at the NEL?

The NEL is much like a motel in appearance on the outside and a dorm room on the inside. Your room comes equipped with a private bathroom, refrigerator, microwave and a coffeepot. Linen service (towels daily, sheets weekly) is provided at no additional charge. There are no telephones in the rooms. It is recommended that you bring a cell phone. TVs may be provided but are not guaranteed. You can call to see if your room has a TV; you can request a TV, but you are not guaranteed. If you cannot live without one, bring one with you. Some rooms have free 24 hour internet access. If you want wifi, ask for a room with wifi when you check in. You will need to obtain the internet access passcode when you check in. The NEL main lodge (Building 19) has 2 lounges with televisions and is opened until 10 pm every evening. There is also a lounge in the laundry room.

ð What about kitchen facilities at the NEL?

Besides the microwave in your room, you will have access to a communal kitchen facility. The kitchen will remain open as long as you keep the area clean and in good shape. For everyone’s benefit and health, keep the kitchens clean. The kitchens are located on the second floor of each building.

ð Are there laundry facilities at the NEL?

The NEL recently installed new coin operated washers and dryers. The cost for the washers is $1.50 a load, and dryers are .75 for 30 minutes. Please ask the NEL for directions to the laundry facility and the passcode to enter. Laundry soap is available for purchase at the NEL.

ð How do I receive mail at the NEL?

Mail should be addressed to you as:
Your Name
c/o NASA Exchange Lodge
P.O. Box 17
Moffett Field, CA 94035-1000

Your mail will arrive at the check-in area, Building 19, of the NASA Exchange Lodge. Remember to check daily if you have mail going to this address.