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The Essence

If you're new here,  or just new to space exploration,  take a quick seat. 
This time of year is tough in the crewed spaceflight industry.  We are faced with the anniversaries of Apollo 1, Challenger and Columbia.  Reminders that exploration is perilous. 


Hoof. Sometimes things get heavy over here. And they should.  Because this is heavy stuff.  It's important stuff. 
The exploration we continue to do on Earth, in space, on Mars, beyond the solar system...all of it...it's what we are made to do. The 'essence' of being human. 
They knew it. We know it.  The next generation will learn it. Take it to heart. Wrestle with it. Pass it on.
Don't let it perish. Ever.

Recent posts

GO/No-Go

Dawn. It's the 39th day of Increment 58.

This morning I had an early morning meeting and was scrambling to get the kids' stuff ready before I had to run out the door. As Chris came out to the kitchen he grabbed little Zara and walked out the back door. Of course I was curious.

When I got to the door I realized he was showing her the pretty pinks and oranges of the morning sunrise painting the clouds. He handed her off to me and scurried in to get the baby ready. In the meantime Zara was excitedly pointing at the clouds and exclaimed the most simple and beautiful phrase that made my heart melt, "Mom!! The clouds are so beautiful! You match them!"

Oh my gosh. These are the moments people. 
It's Monday. It's Mission Control Monday! In true Mission Control style I thought I would give you my current (personal) Go/No-Go list, in no particular order:

GO: Cloudy days with mild temperatures and a playground within walking distance.

No-Go: Baby drool is gettin' f…

Basal I{love}Q{you}

Last night was chilly. I put an extra blanket on the bed and snuggled in next to Chris, Wiener von Braun was nestled behind my knees. Don't worry - we keep the temperature warm upstairs for the babies ;-)

It was one of those nights that I prayed the baby would sleep all night and my blood sugar wouldn't go low. One of those prayers was answered - the baby slept all night.

I turned over in a sleepy stupor to check on the vibrations coming from my insulin pump - ugh, low blood sugar. But wait!! The insulin delivery had already been suspended thanks to that trusty built-in-pump-elf, Basal IQ. He had saved me from a frigid run across the house, a frantic frig search, and a hurried ingestion of way-too-many carbs to recover from this low (because "dangit, the more carbs I eat the better I will feel sooner, right?!"...low blood sugar brain).

I snuggled back under the covers with confidence in the Basal IQ system - first, that it would continue to suspend insulin delivery u…

On 20 years with Type 1 Diabetes

I think it's finally time to hit 'publish' on this post, considering it's been sitting here for, oh you know, like 2 weeks now ;-) Sometimes I "April" about things too much (this is Chris's term), and with my dad here for Christmas I realized that it's definitely a trait passed down, haha, love you dad!


To be honest, I never thought the day would come when I would say, "I've had Type 1 Diabetes for 20 years."

20 years ago a cure was 'just on the horizon' and as an 11 year old kid I took that phrase to heart - I had to. My continued existence was based solely on whatever the endocrinologist said - pancreas, insulin, autoimmune, blood sugar, islet cells, shots. I didn't know what I didn't know at that point. I had never heard of an insulin pump or glucose meter. Ketones and hyperglycemia were just big, meaningless words. Carb ratios and counting might as well have been formulas for travelling at light speed. I wasn't ov…

The 'Rocket Men' of Apollo 8

Nineteen-sixty-eight was a turbulent year for America, as highlighted in Robert Kurson's book "Rocket Men". The Tet Offensive, the Vietnam War, the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr, violent riots, and Richard Nixon winning the presidency - a huge chunk of important American history events all bottled into one, traumatic year. And amid all of the unrest was a little government agency named NASA, toiling away on a risky Christmas present to bookend the year - Apollo 8.

I love how Kurson takes us through the swift decision making that led to the radical change in Apollo 8's planned trajectory, no longer would this be a test mission in low Earth orbit - it was going all the way to the moon. And if you have ever been involved with government decision making you know the usual process is anything but "swift". But 1968 was a different time, with different enemies and competition. Kurson lays the ground work for the decision by discussing the fear of a Russi…

Anne, David, and Oleg Have Arrived!

Monday night as I was brushing my teeth and getting ready for bed I started to notice dull aches in my joints. My wrists and knees felt like they had been tensed up all day. My brain was mush and my eyes protested when I opened my book to read. Physically, it felt similar to that time I tried to hover in the Chinook simulator next to Dave.

Earlier that day I spent 10 hours in Flight Control Room 1 preparing the International Space Station for the arrival of three humans. They had only left Earth 6 hours earlier - rendezvousing in space a mere 4 orbits after launch. And even though spaceflight, and these Soyuz missions in particular, may seem almost routine, it is not the time to let your guard down. As flight controllers these are the experiences we train for, "routine" must be translated into "extra vigilant" - six lives are on the line, 3 in a small Soyuz spacecraft, and 3 onboard the International Space Station. Operations in space always present danger, even if…

Slap a Bow on it

November is coming to an end, so I would like to put a neat little bow on this "Diabetes Awareness Month" because the truth is, I can't put a neat little bow on Type 1 Diabetes itself. Nor would I want to. It doesn't look any better with a bow ;-)

Just today, as I was attempting to step off console for a little bathroom break (seemingly NOT Diabetes related) I got tangled in a web of headset cord and insulin pump tubing, delaying my precious break and causing a nugget of frustration. But this is just how Diabetes goes. It's always there, nagging and needy, annoying and ageless, constantly wrapped up and tangled into every little nook and cranny of life.

If you don't believe me, ask my daughter. She knows the words "medicine" and "diabetes" are associated with the strange, sticky patches on mommy's arms and legs. She knows sometimes we have to wait a few minutes before going on a walk to make sure my blood sugar is stable. She knows whe…
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