Wednesday, September 16, 2015

In the Thick of Manned Spaceflight

It's been a little less than 5 months since I passed my final simulation to become a certified Attitude Determination and Control Officer for the International Space Station. As I was typing up a blurb for my manager the other day it really hit me how many cool things I have already been a part of.

For starters, by the end of this month I will have accumulated over 225 hours of "console time" flying the space station, or supporting from the backroom (although the majority of the time was just me, sitting in mission control, in the middle of the night, keeping her straight and level). In that time I supported an "Optimal Propellant Maneuver" (i.e. flipping the space station around for a docking), a Russian Solar Array Efficiency test, several thruster disable periods required for robotic operations, and the install of HTV-5 (a Japanese cargo vehicle currently attached to ISS). I have also met several astronauts who serve as the "CAPCOM" position (they talk to the astronauts onboard), and even received a call from one of the crew members currently on orbit. Yes, you heard that right, I received a personal call from space, how many people can say that?! And maybe most rewarding, I have enjoyed receiving texts or emails from friends and family when they see the ISS fly over them, knowing I'm at the helm!

I'm here, in mission control, at NASA Johnson Space Center, in the thick of manned spaceflight. I honestly never thought I would have an opportunity like this, and I'm so thankful to be a small part of this amazing adventure.

A picture I snapped during some of the HTV robotic operations. This was my first "dynamic" activity alone, we had a thruster disable to support the activity. 


Any one else out there feel like their heart is full, like their job really represents their greatest passion?!