Learn to write and speak well, and to work productively and efficiently with other people.
The international collaboration is challenging, but very interesting and rewarding. We started this kind of collaboration working with the Soviet Union in 1989, and since then have had fun working with scientists and engineers from many countries.
The “SPICE” information system is used on virtually every NASA planetary exploration project. That means the small NAIF group–six of us–are very busy supporting several other Mars projects and quite a few other missions… about eleven in total right now.
I’m single and have no children. Working on my job consumes much of what might otherwise be “free time.” But I occasionally find time to do some bike riding, and one day I’ll get back to restoring my antique 1955 T-bird car. I like reading, I’m interested in geography, and I occasionally play the piano for myself or my friends.