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FAQ - But what do you DOOOOO?

I often get asked what I DO at work, other than fly the space station, because, well, I don't do that every day! There are about 30 of us or so that are certified so we rotate the shifts. This scheme gives us a chance to complete all the other tasks in our group. But what are some of those "other tasks" you ask?!?!



This week has been a good example of the variety -

On Monday I evaluated an ADCO trainee during his final simulation. This means I sat next to him and took copious notes about all of his interactions with various other flight control team members. This is one of the more intense "off-console" tasks we have to do. As an ADCO Specialist it is my job to evaluate the trainee using the "Flight Controller Performance Criteria" - basically a set of characteristics that define what a certified ADCO must possess.

On Tuesday I put together a plan for the upcoming SpaceX release and the associated simulations that we will perform leading up to the rel…
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#happydiabeticchallenge - Blue Friday

Today is the final day of the MAY you be a #happydiabeticchallenge - Blue Friday! Generally I wear blue on Friday for diabetes awareness, but today as I sent commands to the space station from the backroom I couldn't help but notice that Earth was dressed to the nines in her gorgeous blues! I decided to repost an entry I made from 2014. Happy Friday friends!



I would really quite like, a trip into space, It’s such an adventure, it’s such a neat place. The Earth’s glowing texture, a feast for the eyes, The inky black heavens juxtaposed with sunrise.
The astro-thought hit me, when I was just five, Inspired me to learn, have determination and drive. Before understanding, the pile o’ paperwork, Astronauts, it seems, must be free of all quirks.  
Diabetes was a significant bump in the road, I got mad at the rules, I was going to explode. It was unfair and cruel, that fateful diagnosis, Even when the doctors said, “She has a great prognosis.”
“Why did this happen to me?” I would think, N…

#happydiabeticchallenge - Motivation

Current Tuesday situation:

Took my kids to early morning swim lessons, they only cried the.whole.time. Dialed in a quick correction bolus right before hopping in my car for work and promptly shoved the pump into my bra (fairly inaccessible while driving). Two minutes later heard the beeps indicating an "occlusion alarm". Well, isn't that convenient? Followed what I thought was my friend's car into work this morning, pulled in next to "her" and yelled "heyyyy gurrrlllll" as I was scrambling out of my seat to walk in with her. The white haired old man installing his sun shade was very confused. The first email I read at work simply said "Could you me the latest?" What in the literal heck people?! Just do a quick once-over before hitting send!Realized I forgot to send my sweet mum her mother's day card yesterday - I'm going to go ahead and blame my own motherhood for that. Ironic? Oh well. She'll understand. 
Today's #happydi…

#happydiabeticchallenge - Diagnosis

Well this is a little embarrassing - I'm coming up on 10 years of blogging about my adventures with Type 1 Diabetes and all things space but haven't ever formally shared my diagnosis story. Sheesh.

Continuing with Leah's (@the.insulin.type) MAY you be a #happydiabeticchallenge today - day 2 is all about #throwback to diagnosis.


Honestly, there isn't anything particularly unique about my diagnosis story, but maybe that's precisely why I should share it. The more people who know the signs and symptoms, the better.

What we all thought was just your standard run-of-the-mill December cold morphed into some odd symptoms. I was 11 years old and my grandparents were in town just like every Christmas. Normally we would stay up late playing cards and eating chocolates, but not this year. All I wanted to do was go to bed and then, once I was there I had to get up to pee 8-10 times. I was incessantly thirsty and just plain miserable.

My mom (bless her heart), thought I may be …

#happydiabeticchallenge - Introductions

Hi! Today's post is part of @the.insulin.type 'MAY' you be a #happydiabeticchallenge. Today is introductions!

Have you ever noticed how syringes look so similar to rockets? The pointy tip - aerodynamic for both air and skin. The markings - indicating stages or units. The fins - providing stability in both applications. As it turns out diabetes and rocket science really aren't all that different. Both require an in depth understanding of mathematics - and the reactions or lack thereof to these numbers can mean the difference between life and death. Both require an intense amount of training and self discipline to remain proficient. Both use a mix of cutting edge technology and the challenge to do more with what you already have. A rocket scientist is constantly making backup plans for launch slips or equipment malfunctions - sound familiar? The parallels are striking.

Welcome to my life as a rocket scientist living (LIVING!) with T1D. By day I fly the International Spa…

Feel Good Friday - Tidepool

It's been a hot minute since my last diabetes post - but never fear! Today I'm combining my love for all things numbers with my (sometimes) burdensome task of reviewing diabetes trends. And no, this post is not sponsored, it's just a good old-fashioned pass-on-what-works sort of thing!

A few months ago I was googling around, trying to find an integrated diabetes device uploader and happened upon Tidepool. The website looked slick (you know, important things people!), and the program was free so I decided to give it a go. Also, did I mention it's FREE?!?!

The program download was fast and easy, choosing which devices to sync was fast and easy, connecting and downloading data from said devices was fast and easy - basically the whole process was FAST and...EASY! WIN and WIN!

Also - I'm super late to the Tidepool party because I think it's been around in one form or another for around 5 years now, but I digress.

If I could reach out and just give Tidepool and all …

Crew Safety, Vehicle Safety, Mission Success

And just like that ISS Increment 58, and my stint as the ADCO Increment Lead, is in the rear view mirror.

I have had a couple weeks to decompress and get back to "normal" work, whatever that means - a week of technical meetings with my Russian colleagues, a few days of cleaning up Flight Rules and giving checkouts, then a seven night stretch of working overnight in Mission Control doing the real work of flying the International Space Station.

So, how do I feel, now, post-increment?

Lots of things actually - relieved, fired up, nostalgic. I'm a mixed bag of "thank goodness I have time to work out again" and "oh my gosh I want to fix all the things, right now!"

But, during the course of 85 days as Increment Lead I couldn't help but grow as a person, an engineer, and a space enthusiast! 

And to put a perfectly nerdy ribbon on this whole experience I want to share with you a tiny moment that occurred on my last full day of Expedition 58. As it turns …
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