I am happy to say that the NASA Proposal Writing & Evaluation Experience has been as intense as I expected it to be. Usually, I find myself writing about art or social issues. This time, I found myself deep into “science-y” terms I had not worked with before. Each team was to submit 4-6 quad charts which includes reasons why your proposal is beneficial to NASA, any subject matter experts, an image that depicts the proposal, and pretty much anything else we would need to show the evaluators that your proposal should be chosen.
Figuring out what idea I have that NASA could use was definitely the hardest part. After all, I’m just some Computer Science student with intense imposter syndrome. I decided to fixate on orbital debris mitigation which happens to be a huge issue. A single paint chip in space can move at 10km/s which can damage a spacecraft and put an entire space mission at risk. The majority of the writing process was researching what I was going to write. I wish I had clones or at least a second brain to effectively absorb all of the information I found. Despite the dead-ends I met while researching, I had a lot of fun learning about possible materials I could propose to use for debris mitigation.
Even though I felt like I had to keep my voice out of the quad chart at the beginning, the quad chart ended up as a neater version of all of the ideas and information I was eager to share. Thanks to my team, I learned how to combine my own voice with the research I had conducted into writing. I look forward to writing with my team and continuing to push myself out of my comfort zone.