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Nicholas G. Taylor
Intern, Deep Impact

Nick Taylor

What's the coolest thing about Deep Impact?
The basic idea of ramming a heavy object into a moving target in space is exciting, but I think the coolest thing is the fact that, even with all the chaos that goes into designing and building a craft like this, the design eventually comes together and is able to (hopefully) accomplish the mission.

Why do you like working at Jet Propulsion Laboratory?
I knew coming in that JPL works on interesting projects, but I have been most impressed with the quality of people that works at JPL. As a result, my favorite part of working here is interacting with my coworkers. Plus, I like the fact that everything has a warning sign on it.

How did you end up in Aerospace?
I went into electrical engineering in the hopes of doing interesting work, and I would be hard-pressed to name a field that is more interesting than aerospace. I had figured that I would need years of experience before I was able to work for an organization like JPL, so when I had the opportunity to work at JPL as a summer hire I could not pass it up. Overall, I would say ending up in aerospace was part planning, part hard work, and part luck. I couldn't say which of those three elements played the largest role...

What do you do in your spare time?
I like to watch baseball, play recreational sports, play poker with my friends, read, and do menial, backbreaking labor (only for people I know, though).

Who in your life inspired you?
My father, who has more common sense than any other person I've ever met, inspired me. I grew up wanting to know as many things as he knows, so I eventually figured that since he was a civil engineer, I should be an engineer as well and be as smart as him. I eventually found out that, unfortunately, it doesn't quite work that way, but at least I wound up with a fancy diploma.

What is one yet-to-be achieved life goal?
I want to attend a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston.

Were you technically/scientifically oriented as a young person?
Not to any amazing extent, but I was exposed to technical/scientific things quite often.

What was your favorite book as a young person?
I read Crime and Punishment when I was 13 just because I thought it would be fun to tell people that I did, but I wound up liking it quite a bit.

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Last Updated: 28 Jun 2010