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NASA spacesuit Cornell Engineering Supplemental


turntablespp 6 / 41  
Dec 28, 2010   #1
Engineers turn ideas (technical, scientific, mathematical) into reality. Tell us about an engineering idea you have or your interest in engineering. Explain how Cornell Engineering can help you further explore this idea or interest. (500 words)

Sometimes I look up at the sky, only to realize the bittersweet truth that I am alone. It is ironic that there are approximately seven billion people swarming the earth, yet, when I look into space, it is lifeless.

Looking though my telescope at night, I could see craters on the moon, and behind the moon, I could see Mars, crimson like the setting sun. Many call it the red planet; I call it a beckon of life. Maybe space wasn't so lifeless after all: Mars, unlike any other planet, has frozen ice caps. The mere presence of water could indicate the possibility of life.

As an avid inventor, I have created rockets from scraps metal and tools after being inspired by Homer Hickam in October Sky, hoping to find that one could cross Earth's atmosphere and traverse into the barren space system. But those were mere baby steps compared to the opportunity that would allow me to truly expand my interest in Mars.

NASA wanted young engineers, myself and 42 other students selected from a national pool of applicants, to come up with ideas for a future spacesuit. This was the perfect opportunity to express my desire to create a meaningful contraption, or at least a machine bigger than my 13-inch stainless steel rockets, that would one day reach mars and explore the possibility of life. I was invited to attend MIT to talk to various engineers on their latest spacesuit prototypes. Dr. Larry Kruzntez, a senior scientist at NASA, and Charles Camrada, a former astronaut, taught me the basic principles regarding Mars. Its atmosphere is entirely different and complex than the Earth, with its most abundant gas being carbon dioxide. But more importantly, its gravitational forces are weaker than earth's, creating an essential problem when developing a maneuverable spacesuit. This difference in gravitational forces creates an imbalance in the center of gravity, making the astronaut unable to perform simple actions such as walking.

I focused on the robotics of the suit, which would not only help alleviate the atmospheric problems, but also the center of gravity issues. I had an idea to create an exoskeleton framework around the structure of the spacesuit that would maintain the center of mass of the suit. It would essentially be a titanium structure that would be attached to the inner compartments of the suit, where the weight of the life support system and the center of mass would be counter balanced through the titanium frame. This simple, yet, revolutionary idea sparked the interest of the judges as I presented my findings. NASA is currently evaluating my ideas in order to create potential patents.

Just as NASA provided me with an opportunity to make my idea come to life using the help of experienced scientists, Cornell Engineering programs such as Kessler Fellows, and The Cornell Center for Materials Research the would allow me to implement and make them real.
Jpuck 4 / 28  
Dec 28, 2010   #2
It's ironic that"
- "it is" do not use contractions in formal writing

day get to mars and
- capitalize the "m" in Mars.

with its most abundance in carbon dioxide.
- with its most abundant gas being carbon dioxide

I like the way its written but some of the sentence structure is a little awkward. I believe that what you have demonstrated in the essay is impressing, but you might want to discuss why Mars is a beckon of life, or why this is your dream.
OP turntablespp 6 / 41  
Dec 28, 2010   #3
Okay thanks! Would this be better?

[...] Many call it the red planet; I call it a beckon of life. Mars, unlike any other planet, has frozen ice caps. The mere presence of water could indicate the possibility of life.
Jpuck 4 / 28  
Dec 28, 2010   #4
I think that adds a bit more. Overall, I do think it was very well done. Do you still need your NYU essays read?
OP turntablespp 6 / 41  
Dec 28, 2010   #5
Yes I do! I read your Common app essay, well done :)
djkang 1 / 6  
Dec 28, 2010   #6
Wow. Your achievements sound very impressive!

The essay itself is mostly good. There's a bit of disconnect between the introduction and the rest of it, it's just written in a slightly different tone... sorry I'm not being more specific.

And I agree, the ending is somewhat abrupt... put in more about how Cornell's engineering programs specifically relate to your interest in space, perhaps? Or expand on how the programs would allow you to turn your ideas into reality.

For the most part, this is an impressive bit of work. Just tweak the introduction and expand on the conclusion.
ekim226 5 / 29  
Dec 28, 2010   #7
Great intro! But at this part: "yet, when I look into space, it is lifeless." I know you're referring "it" to "space" but I'm not sure how it's exactly relevant to you feeling alone. If y'know what I mean.

watch your verb tenses: "Looking though my telescope at night, I can see craters on the moon, and behind the moon, I can see Mars,"..."Maybe space isn't so lifeless"

"rockets from tools and scraps of metal "

I think your achievements are really cool! But I think it'd be really great if you could take out some info about NASA and that experience, make it a little more short and concise and then talk more about what you hope to do at Cornell and why Cornell is appropriate above other schools. :)

Good job though! And good luck!

(If you have time, I'd love your feedback on my UPenn and/or Common App essay. Thanks so much!)
dooditssunah 1 / 6  
Dec 29, 2010   #8
Overall, well written (:
My comment is the same as above. You got down the personal aspect of a "Why [insert college] Essay," but it would be ideal if you show more knowledge on the actual college, because you could honestly delete and insert any school's name and a couple of programs in the last paragraph. I think Cornell would appreciate if you gave it more distinction?
etaang 4 / 40  
Dec 30, 2010   #9
Sensory detail is very important in establishing the overarching tone of your essay, and the anecdote presented in the first three paragraphs is very clear, but I think you have devoted too much of your work on your experiences with the rocket. We can infer from your writing that you are enthusiastic about NASA and have an aptitude for engineering, but you need to ask yourself this question: who is this essay for, NASA or Cornell? Much of your essay is devoted to providing what seems like a biography of some of NASA's past achievements, whereas you should be focusing on your interests and your ideas. With that said, you seem to have missed the second part of the prompt (How can Cornell help...), too.
Arthua 1 / 8  
Dec 30, 2010   #10
Quickly, I looked at my watch; it was 5:16 pm. Perfect.(Put perfect closer to the sentence its pertaining to. Because putting it in the next sentence, makes it make no sense)Perfect, andA s if I held a ticking time bomb, I quickly placed my hands around the base ...

... wire that was extending to the combustion tank on fire, and ran as fast as I could. As if it was a dream, I saw my creation skyrocket about 65 feet into the sky, it was like a dream .

... the arms of the Earth,but unlike the welcoming Earth, I was hoping to find it ...
(I don't understand this. 'Unlike the welcoming earth?' explain what you mean, this doesn't make sense to me. Maybe you should just remove the "..unlike the welcoming earth" part.)

My eye'seyes reflected the white frozen ice ...
(I'm doing mere grammar check so I didn't read too deeply into what your writing, but I like the part with James Bell, very specific etc. I like it)

I really like your essay, you really show you have a passion for engineering :D I'll do some more checks after I correct my essay. Love it.
cdyal87 3 / 15  
Dec 30, 2010   #11
This essay is beautifully captivating. You answer what interest you about engineering and even give a specific detail. which is still in the works. You could further improve this essay by exmplifying how the Kessler Fellows and the Cornell Center for Materials Research will benefit your ongoing project.
OP turntablespp 6 / 41  
Dec 30, 2010   #12
How about this? Do you think I'm targeting Cornell more than NASA?
Arthua 1 / 8  
Dec 30, 2010   #13
...held my breath, and lit the wire that was extending to the combustion tank on fire, and ran as fast as I could. I saw my creation skyrocket about 65 feet into the sky, it was like a dream.

I would remove the "on fire" part.
IDK if you want to, but maybe throw in a course you like at Cornell (thats what I did, but you don't have to, since a lot of people are doing it. I think puting in Bell is enough.)

Although my rockets still lay buried in the ground they were first set off on, my idea has landed on Mars. As an engineer major at Cornell University, I see a wealth of opportunity in Cornell's Engineering programs such as Kessler Fellows, and The Cornell Center for Materials Research. Research is essential for engineers, with the further knowledge I can gain from Cornell's renowned researchers such as James F. Bell, I would work with them in order to allow me to fully implement my ideas in the engineering field and make them real. Although my rockets still lay buried in the ground they were first set off on, my idea has landed on Mars.

^ You repeated that line twice. Remove one, preferably the first one. I'd save that line as your closing sentence.

- to me your essay seems done. But get another source to see what they say.
OP turntablespp 6 / 41  
Dec 30, 2010   #14
Oh whoops that was a typo, it was meant to be the conclusion.
Hmm, maybe I should include a class. Should I also include another possible researcher to work with at Cornell?

Thanks!
Mick 3 / 14  
Dec 30, 2010   #15
This is definitely a good idea for your essay, and if your essay doesn't turn out marvelous, I suspect that you'll still get in based on your other merits. A few critiques about the writing. It seems like you're doing more "telling" than "showing". Create a story. You did that well in the first two paragraphs, but in the last two you focus a bit more on something that you might just put on a resume. Try to incorporate NASA's interest with you more in the story. However, I still think that just the fact that NASA was interested with you will give you a lot of help. Good luck!


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