At work – it would be building a seismometer to go to Mars. A seismometer is an instrument that measures Earthquakes. I helped build the seismometer for a Mars mission called InSight. It didn’t go to plan – we had lots of problems, some of the seismometers we built failed vibration testing. We do vibration testing to check the seismometers will survive the vibrations from the rocket launch. We did, however, manage to make a seismometer that is now working on Mars and has detected the first Marsquakes (like Earthquakes but on Mars). Woop woop! You can hear the Marsquake in the video here : https://mars.nasa.gov/news/8430/nasas-insight-detects-first-likely-quake-on-mars/?site=insight
The biggest challenge I did that I didn’t like was writing my PhD – I hate writing. I really enjoyed doing my PhD, but I did not enjoy writing it up. Lucky I had lots of good friends and colleagues that help me though that.