Each February young scientists at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center enroll in the Planetary Science Winter School. Together with a group of veteran engineers they have one week to work and submit the design of an instrument that can be proposed to fly in space. Mission proposals are not selected the first time around. It's a very competitive environment. Proposals are usually rejected when they fail to meet science, technical and cost requirements. A lesson that Brook Lakew, who has been on several successful flight missions learned on a personal level. I was designing an instrument, but the mission itself was deemed too expensive by NASA and was not selected. But that's the name of the game. Not every mission that you design flies. You submit several times and improve on it. And then someday you hope that you're going to be selected. In order to train young NASA scientists into mission creators, Dr. Lakew created the Planetary Winter School. In the Integrated Design Center they come with their abstract concept work with the engineers and then they face their reality if you will. As a young scientist, you're usually very focused on your science and analyzing data and hoping to participate in new missions. But, I think to be able to build your own instrument, your own mission, you really have to understand the engineering. The Integrated Design Center is where the magic happens. It's where they bring in all the different disciplines from communications and power and radiation and it allows us to get our feet wet in designing an instrument or a mission that could potentially be proposed to a real live NASA program one day. So if I'm going to be apart of a member of a large mission design, or going to be a PI not only should I be thinking about the science I should also be worrying about what the engineers can tell you. My job is naturally very collaborative. I work with a lot of scientists, but it's a very different way of thinking to go over to the engineers and talk with them. So one of the great things about the winter school is that we go from researchers to mission developers. We all learn about every element, from the budget to the mechanical, from the electrical and as scientists we typically don't have that choice. My role in the planetary science winter school is communications. I'm in charge of getting the data back from the instrument suite back home. Every time somebody made a change we had to figure out how long it was going to take to get things from the spacecraft back to Earth, how much time we had with the orbital parameters of the spacecraft and how much power that would take. So there we so many tradeoffs that every time any change was made, I had to recalculate all the numbers. When you're designing a mission or an instrument, it's all about trading off your science and the engineering. So you make sure you can keep the science you really want, maybe get a little bit of extra science that you'd like, but you've got to make it work. My vision is that the Planetary Winter School becomes the premiere program for training NASA earlier career scientists. It's a real investment in people and that's the most important one in my view. Goddard's postdoctoral planetary scientists are enrolling now for the 2016-2017 Planetary Science Winter School. This program is supported by NASA Goddard's New Business Office Chief Technologist's Office and Integrated Design Center.