While my week at NASA didn’t end as the agency may have planned, there’s no way around it: it was an incredible week.

Bonus: Check out my collection of photos from the trip over on Flickr.

If the first day was about why we do things in space, then the rest of the week was all about the how.

For example, we saw how thermal protection tiles — the tiles that allow vehicles to reenter the atmosphere without burning up — are made:

We also toured the Vehicle Assembly Building, where NASA assembles rockets. This image is from the center of the building, looking up almost 500 feet:

What impressed me more than the facilities, however, were the people getting things done: engineers, designers, project managers, bus drivers, press people and more, all pointed in the same direction.

Very quickly, I noticed something about these people, regardless of if they worked for NASA or a third-party company. They all use the word we when it comes to the work of space.

“Up on ISS, we have about 40 hours worth of experiments to run.”

“This is the pad we went to the moon on.”

“The SLS is what we will use to go to Mars.”

This sense of community and working toward a common goal was noticeable, no matter where I went last week. It’s something that I believe sets NASA apart in its work, and one of the factors in its on-going success.