Name: Monica Martin

Birth Date: September 22, 1987

Hometown: Nampa, Idaho

Worksite: Northrop Grumman

Career Interest: Aerospace Engineering/Astronaut


          I grew up in Nampa, Idaho. I couldn’t tell a potato crop from a sugar beet crop or anything else that grows in the ground. Napoleon Dynamite is an inaccurate representation of a very sad city on the other side of the state.
Me in a nutshell: School, Family, Friends, Swim Team, Ski Team, Piano, School – includes National Honor Society, Associated Student Body and Key Club (community service) – Friends and the lazy things – computer, TV (ALIAS), books. I want to be an astronaut and I will.

Apartment #: 2306

Roommate: Pearl Conden

What did you think about living in your apartment?

Actual Building: Pretty nice, the oven didn’t work and the beds were a little bad, but it still quickly became home. It is a very nice arrangement and very comfortable to live in.
People: They are all really cool people. We all have different interests and personalities, but it meshed nicely. It was interesting to see the lifestyle of other people and cultures. Each person is completely different, but we all have at least one interest in common, at least one thing that establishes common ground that we can live on.

What did you learn from being in an apartment with other people?

When you first come into a situation living with four completely different people, you obviously have a good deal of apprehension. You and everyone else have your own ideas and traditions of living. Everyone has their own sleeping patterns, their own eating habits and general living styles. But I quickly learned that it isn’t really that difficult to take all those differences and mesh them together. Living in an apartment with two vegetarians was an obvious demonstration of this. It may appear difficult to combine two completely different diets, but very quickly you find yourself considering both diets before you shop or cook. It was educational, interesting and fun to observe and try to merge the different cultures and lifestyles of four different people and get to spend two months living, working and getting to know them.

Describe what you did and learned at your summer work site.

Working in the Electrical Systems Design Integration department, I was lucky enough to get assigned to two sections. In the Cable and Harness Engineering section, my project was to look up the drawings of boxes previously used on satellites, take the connector count and find the complementary harness connector for the box connector. Once I had a database of all the harness connectors for the generic satellite boxes, I researched the connector weights and finally calculated the total connector weight for the harness side of each box.
Working in the Electromagnetic Compatibility Engineering section, my project took an Excel tool that was already make and applied it to thermal blankets. I took several drawings of thermal blankets, measured them, and then altered the Excel tool to model the blankets as closely as possible. Then I used the tool to calculate surface resistivity for the blanket based on the location of the ground strap and test point.

What was your favorite experience at NASA SHARP?

It is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to pinpoint the one event or experience that would qualify as my favorite part of the program. The whole experience in itself is so much of a ‘favorite experience’ that I cannot break it down. Every day in the program has been amazing, no matter if it was simply going to work and then watching TV and talking or swimming and going to bed extremely late, or going to Disneyland, or Dryden (or getting lost in the-middle-of-nowhere California). The people in the program quickly became some of my closest friends. Getting to spend eight weeks with people that have interests that mirror your own is an indescribable experience. Living completely distanced from everything that I grew up around - parents, friends, home – has made this program more exciting. Besides the amazing people and amazing things we all get to see and do, the best part is getting to say ‘I worked for NASA.’

Words to live by:

"It's the friends you can call up at 4 am that matter"

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