Thursday, January 8, 2015

NASA in 2015

First NASA update of 2015!!

Ok, so as you all know, I am patiently waiting my turn to officially start integrated simulations. I'm done, done, done with the mini simulations and I'm ready, ready, ready to get my feet wet in the "big room". Unfortunately there are only 1 or 2 integrated simulation runs per week, so I have to wait until one of the other guys is complete (which keeps getting pushed back, now looking like mid-Feb). It usually takes 8-12 integrated simulations to get certified, so I am looking at around 3-ish months of simulation time once I actually start...ugh, so frustrating. 

Ok / rant over. 

I'm trying to think positive thoughts like, "Let them get certified first so they have to work more late night shifts," or "Wait until the summer when its warmer out at midnight." But its hard to stay motivated when you are just sitting in this holding pattern. 

I keep reminding myself that even if I'm not a certified ADCO yet, I still have a pretty cool job. I get to hang out at NASA with lots of smart people, OJT (on-the-job-train) during complex ops like dockings or EVAs (spacewalks), help create new lessons for future ADCOs, and mentor the new classes coming in. It's fun to be in a place where I can openly watch NASA TV on my work computer and where taking time out to watch launches is encouraged. I still run into plenty of astronauts and get to practice my backroom skills as "Hawki" (Hawki is the call sign of our backroom, similar to how ADCO is the call sign for the front room). 

But most of all I just love the "buzz" around this place. There are always people in these halls and there are always controllers in FCR-1. There are always astronauts up in space and plenty around JSC getting ready for their turn. There are lectures and presentations, failure meetings and planning meetings. There's always an open seat in the FCR-1 viewing room for space nerds like me who just like the "feels" they get sitting face to face with the room that controls a multi-billion dollar, multi-nation asset, with brave people on board! 

All of these things help to keep me motivated. Truly they all hearken back to my kindergarten yearning to be an astronaut and to someday work at NASA. I have to keep pinching myself that this is really where I am...I have [just about] made it! 

Checking out the new room I will be simming in. Mission Control is upgrading their workstations, so there will be some room shuffling in the next few months. I will be simming out of this room, the White FCR, for a few months, then this will become the actual ISS mission control room for a few months while the old one gets renovated and upgraded.