Pros: flexible schedule, ability to be creative
Cons: grant funding
In working as a research biologist, I was able to see my research through from concept to final post-flight testing. I wrote proposals to secure a flight, wrote all safety documents, and final reports. I was able to design and build the research payload, and perform flight component testing. Often, revisions had to be made due to the conditions of the flight. For instance, bacteria were modified throught transformation, the media was adjusted, and temperatures had to be maintained throughout the flight. It was challenging to find, or create suitable components for flight, but this was also very educational. It was sometimes challenging to work as a team and discover the strengths of teammates. Seeing the research payloads fly upon the NASA platforms was very fulfilling, however the most enjoyable part of my job was participating in the astronaut training program and flying on the "vomit comet" to perform some biological testing.