At 22, I am still an “aspiring” author. Of course, that’s a nice way of saying “unpublished.” I’m not ashamed of that at all, since I am so young and this is honestly the first time I’ve attempted to be published. It’s like being the first 200 feet into a marathon.
So imagine my amusement when I recently discovered that my name has been included in a published work – it’s just not fiction.
When I was a NASA Academy intern in 2012, I worked in the Environmental Control and Life Support Systems branch of Marshall Space Flight Center. I helped build an instrument called the Methane Purification Assembly, which is part of a resource recovery chain. Basically, you filter a stream of methane, carbon dioxide, and water through the MePA, and it absorbs everything but the methane. The methane travels on to other instruments to be broken back down into hydrogen (and acetylene, but that’s filtered out and discarded as well). If successful, this instrument will join others aboard the International Space Station, and will get us closer to achieving longterm life support beyond Low Earth Orbit.
Turns out this research has finally been published, and you can find it on the NASA Technical Documents server! And my name is on it! You can find it here. You can actually download the entire paper (it’s only 11 pages) and read it, if you’re so inclined. Either way, it’s proof that I do have one publishing credit to my name ;)