Stellar student: Hilo native lands job with NASA lab before graduating college

Stellar student: Hilo native lands job with NASA lab before graduating college

PHOTO — Aaron Roth, left, of Hilo, a senior at Arizona State University where he’s majoring in computer science, is pictured with Jack Andersen and Andrew Hasegawa on Maunakea during a rover test drive as a PISCES intern. By STEPHANIE SALMONS Hawaii Tribune-Herald | Monday, October 29, 2018, 12:05 a.m. Aaron Roth is shooting for the stars. Literally. When the 2015 Waiakea High School graduate earns his diploma from Ariziona State University next spring, the computer science major already has a job lined up — with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California. According to its website, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory is the leading U.S. center for robotic exploration of the solar system. It has 19 spacecraft and 10 major instruments carrying out planetary, Earth science and space-based astronomy missions. Roth, who was raised in Hilo, said he has always liked computers, but Waiakea High’s robotics program was a “huge, contributing factor that got me interested in everything.” He did well in robotics and even took first place in an international competition. “Robotics was, like, behind my passion then PISCES got me really into space.” Roth interned for the Pacific International Space Center of Exploration Systems, a state-funded aerospace agency based in Hilo, during the summers of 2016 and 2017, where he worked on a stereoscopic camera system for the Helelani rover. With that work, Roth said he was able to help provide anaglyphs of the things the camera captured and disparity maps, which help better gauge the distance of an object. “Aaron interned with PISCES during two consecutive summers and completed some great work on our analog planetary rover,...