Thursday, June 26, 2014

LoAC [Low-Ack]

***NOTE: this post is all about a SIMULATION, none of these events happened to the real International Space Station!!!!***

I wrote this part three days ago:

I can't wait to look back at this week and think, "that wasn't so bad."

I'm guilty, guilty, guilty of over-preparing, over-stressing, over-freaking-out when things get tough. And tomorrow, I will see my first Loss of Attitude Control during my mini sim. "Loss of Attitude Control" is a lot to say, so we normally just NASA-it-up and say "LoAC" (pronounced low-ack). As an Attitude Determination and Control Officer, "LoAC" is considered our major malfunction, and we have to lead the team through the recovery. Like I said, hopefully sim LoAC will become routine, but right now its scary to be faced with my first LoAC ever, and be responsible for the response.

I wrote this part today:

Good news: I made it through LoAC (maybe not graceful and perfect, but safely with many lessons learned).
Bad news: After I made it through LoAC and began the cleanup procedure, a Russian command was incorrectly sent and the station went to "Survival" mode. Basically, this means we will be Loss of Attitude Control for an indefinite amount of time and since it is likely our power generation will suffer due to the position of the solar arrays, an automatic set of powerdowns kicks off. Everyone kind of freaks out because a lot of equipment is powered down in a very short amount of time. And everyone is hoping I can come up with a way to avoid the situation during the 10 minute "countdown to Survival mode".

Ok, so looking back it wasn't terrible. You have a situation, you react appropriately, you realize LoAC and Survival Mode are not the end of the world and you move on. It was a great learning experience, and because of scheduling I get to do this specific sim a second time (more practice!).

When you're in the hot seat - [simulating] flying the ISS solo - a great responsibility is on your shoulders. But these are the moments when it is even more crucial to stay calm and think logically. Keep Calm and ADCO On.

I Survived...haha. Ok, dumb jokes over.