Skip to main content

"Zero G [In A Chinook] And I Feel Fine"

You are probably sick of hearing about my job. Yes, it's awesome and yes, I love it and yes, I still don't know how I got this lucky. I can even blame it for my lack of posts lately - you know, since I wake up early, fly in a modified, experimental Chinook for 5 hours, and then process some data.

I never dreamed that I would have this opportunity when I started college in 2005. I never dreamed that I would get to experience engineering in such a hands-on way. It was almost exactly a year ago that I was taking my final final (haha), turning in my reports and packing up my stuff to move to Huntsville. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, and I'm glad, because it would have been extremely hard to focus on my studies while fighting off the excitement. So, what have I learned since graduating a year ago? Well, here are a few things:


1) I have learned that moving 1600 miles from home is hard. It makes you grow up, sometimes painfully. It makes "home" much more special.



2) I have learned that Chuckwagon BBQ is the bomb.

3) I have learned that I hate vacuuming. There, I said it. It sucks, literally.

4) I have learned that living in the shadow of the Saturn V never gets old. I still stare at it when I come home from work. I still marvel at it's engineering awesome-ness. I still think it's one of the coolest things I have ever seen.

5) I have learned that flightsuits are not the most ideal outfit for us ladies. Going to the restroom is a difficult task...still working on that one.

6) I have learned that sometimes I need to speak up and sometimes I need to shut up.

7) I have learned improved methods to keep warm while flying in a Chinook, close to the ground, with the windows open, while flying at 110 kts, in 40-degree weather. One word: bulkpackagesofthosehandwarmerthingiesfromCostco.

8) I have learned to love mail (well, the non-bill kind ;-).

9) I have learned not to try to beat the boys, but to join the boys. They aren't that bad, just stinky and grumpy, that's all.

10) I have learned that I have a lot left to learn.

11) I have learned that I am not scared in a Chinook at zero-g. [I definitely thought I would be]

12) I have learned that work is more fun when you throw foamy balls at each other over the cube walls. 

13) I have learned that a lot of the guys at work read this here blog on a semi-regular basis. 

14) Therefore, I have learned not to post anything TOO embarrassing.

15) I have learned to try new things more often. 

16) I have learned that there really are printers like the one in Office Space (our division has 2!). 

17) I have learned that mom and dad are only a call away (or a Skype session away!). 

18) I have learned that I am obsessed with fireworks. Seriously Arizona? Why did you force me to live my entire childhood without them?!

19) I have learned that there exists many fellow nerdies, like those ones standing next to the Chinook, gazing at the Antonov loading a rocket booster and chatting about how The Right Stuff was on last night. You know who you are.

AAAANNNNNNDDDDDD............

20) I have learned that I am one lucky sunofagun. 

So there you have it. A year can teach you a lot. 

Nerdy April Out.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

MCM - Certified Mom

This morning I woke up early, the baby monitor was chirping just a few minutes before my alarm was set to go off. Chris graciously rolled out of bed and set out to re-insert Otto's paci. Meanwhile, I pressed my clothes, curled my hair and brewed some coffee - my standard pre-console routine. After a quick breakfast Zara peeped her head over the railing and I heard a gentle "mama" echo down the stairs. It was still dark, but this little one was ready for her daily breakfast of oatmeal and milk in preparation for a fun day at swim lessons and school. As she sat, eating her "oatsss" (as she calls them), I whirled around the kitchen prepping bottles, gathering outfits for school, and ensuring all the swim lesson supplies were set out. It's hard leaving Chris to take care of both kids in the morning (#momguilt) so I try my best to complete as many get-ahead tasks as possible, in hopes his morning goes smoothly. 
This morning schedule description may seem mundan…

MCM - On Call

It's definitely Monday. Otto spit up on my work clothes this morning, I forgot to brush my teeth and I sat down in my car forgetting to clean the layer of sand from the beach yesterday. Whoops. But, it's also MONDAY!!!!! Which means you get a special look behind the proverbial curtain of Mission Control in a series I'm dubbing "Mission Control Monday". We all need a little "boost" (pun intended) at the beginning of the week, so why not get it from the heart of Manned Spaceflight itself - NASA's Mission Control
This week I am highlighting the little known fact that sometimes, as an ADCO Specialist, I am scheduled to be "On Call". It just so happens I am "on-call" this week! Even though we don't have a sweet 1990's pager, the ADCO on-call is a Specialist with the cumbersome responsibility of having their cell phone strapped to them at all times. Yes, even during the night. Yes, even when you have a 3 month old. Yes, just…

Experience the Kennedy Space Center

Manned spaceflight is not a challenge forged from one molten idea - it's not a put-this-in get-that-out equation - it's not a sport for the isolationists. The notion that it was "one man's passion" or "one nation's resources" that got us to this engineering moment is simply false. And the idea that alienation could ever lead to exploration is impossible. There is likely no other industry or singular goal so intentional about teamwork - from employing teachers to technicians, soliciting standard to specialized natural resources, planning short term and long, investing in ideas and inspiration, training fresh-outs to experts, and communicating technically and politically. Tangibly, the manned spaceflight challenge crosses borders and age and gender, there are pieces of its presence spanning the entire globe, and beyond! 
One of those spots - notable for it's history as the last piece of Earth many astronauts touched before launch - is the Kennedy…
01 09 10