Writing for Space Outside of NASA, Part 1: NASA Contractors

Once upon a time, if you wanted to have anything to do with space exploration in this country, you went to work for NASA because they were it. Sixty years after the start of the Space Age, that is no longer entirely the case. If you are interested in working directly for NASA, I recommend my recent two-part discussion of places to work within the U.S. space agency (Part 1, Part 2). However, the space industry has broadened a bit in 60 years. If you’re interested in alternatives, read on!  Continue reading

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The Many Worlds of NASA, Part 2

As promised, here’s part 2 of my discussion on the NASA organization. In Part 1, I talked about the different Mission Directorates. Continue reading

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The Many Worlds of NASA, Part 1

Writing for “NASA” is a bit vague. It’s rather like working for Disney or even the Department of Defense–given the diversity of said organizations, you could be anywhere from the upper echelons of the organization to the front line. Today I’m going to go take a crack at explaining some of the different functions NASA performs and how it structures itself to carry out those functions. I will cover NASA Headquarters in  my discussion about the NASA centers. Apologies in advance for the length. Continue reading

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Technical Writing and Wine

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Wine barrels at Chateau Montelena.

Okay, so I just got back from a week in Northern California, which included (oddly enough) some quality time in “wine country,” a.k.a. Napa Valley. Rather than tell you what I did on my summer vacation, I’ll share some thoughts on technical writing that I had while enjoying some of the fruits of the vine. Continue reading

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Summarizing My Career Advice

Yep, still on vacation. But that doesn’t mean I can’t provide useful information in absentia. Today I’ll be reviewing my general approach to people looking to change, improve, or start their career–in technical communication or elsewhere. I’ll be back to posting “live” Thursday. Continue reading

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What Are People Reading on This Blog?

I’m taking an extended vacation this week, so today’s entry and Monday’s will be retrospective pieces to save me from bringing my laptop with me. Today I’ll be looking at the top five entries from 2017 (so far!). Enjoy. Continue reading

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Reader Response: What Kind of Reports Do You Write at NASA?

This week’s reader letter comes from Brittany, a student who had questions about the types of reports I’ve written for NASA, who I wrote them for, and what sorts of legal or ethical issues could be tied to those reports. There is no short version for that, except to say I wrote a lot of reports of varying flavors, and that the ethical/legal issues varied by the product and the audience. Read on to learn more. Continue reading

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