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Hot, Dry, Barren: But…Signs of Life?

By December 1st, 2021No Comments

You know how hard Federal contracting is. You’ve had those weeks, those months: no signs of life anywhere. You turn over the rocks, you dig. Everything seems absolutely uninhabited. Nobody’s returning calls. No opportunities. Nothing.

And yet. You know that Federal agency is spending money. In fact, your competitor is winning some of it, and it’s really annoying the socks off you. What signs of life did they see that you missed?

Finding signs of life in a hostile, barren environment isn’t for everybody. Up for the challenge? You’ll need to look closely, analyze small clues, notice patterns that your experience suggests might mean there are opportunities nearby. It can be done…but finding what you’re looking for in a difficult environment takes expert help.


A friend of mine, Dr. Jay Glass at NASA’s Ames Research Center, is leading a field team to test the prototype of a remotely-operated rover in one of the hottest, driest, places on earth…which is to say, conditions as close as one might find on Mars* without making the trip. They want the rover to be able to collect and analyze samples on Mars and send data about those samples back to Earth, so we can understand more about what kind of life there may be, or may have been, on Mars.

He asked me if I’d like to visit the camp. I said yes!

The last week of February and the first week of March, I’ll meet roboticists, exobiologists, technologists, geologists, engineers, and other really smart folks who are doing things that are just about out of this world.

I’ll be sharing lessons from my field trip on what it’s like to be on the front lines with this Federal agency — its staff and contractors — while they literally push the bounds of science, technology, and exploration.

But I won’t be leaving you behind. In fact, I’ll be thinking about what lessons we can learn as Federal contractors as I watch how the NASA team depends on the specialists they engage to support the mission.

Follow me! I love photography as well as adventure…so “LIKE” my Summit Insight Facebook page (link is external) to get pix and updates while I’m with the NASA field camp in Chile!


P.S. As for Federal contracting, lots of people would rather take their chances in the hyper-competitive jungle than spelunk around Federal agencies that seem “dead”. After all, the jungle may be lush, wild, and dangerous, but at least stuff is growing like crazy. You just have to make sure it doesn’t kill you first (a different problem, to be sure).

Desert or jungle? What’s your pleasure? Either way, I’m happy to find you the experts you need to navigate to your success.

Book Cover: The Strategy Workbook, Government Contracts Made Easier by Judy Bradt

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