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Deep Impact
Deep Impact
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Deep Impact Mission Science Technology Mission Results Gallery Education Discovery Zone Your Community Press Mission - Biographies

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.

Biographical details contained on these pages were correct during the Deep Impact mission which ended in 2006. Several scientists from Deep Impact are now working on related missions such as EPOXI and Stardust-NExT.

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