Skip to main content

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 release. I also submitted a few procedure updates for my upcoming mission lead assignment on SpaceX-18.

Wednesday I hit the ground running bright and early - I was in a simulation of my own, practicing the communication and choreography required to release a SpX capsule safely. Our instructors put us through 6 runs or so of a simulated release with various failures. They told us "Ok, to get your feet wet the first run will be the nominal release," turns out they lied - that run had more failures than the rest!

On Thursday I got into work early to hop on a telecon with our Russian colleagues. I need to submit an update to one of our agreement documents and wanted to make sure they didn't have any questions. After that I met with the ADCO trainee I evaluated on Monday to discuss his performance and debrief the sim more in depth. Then I submitted four Flight Rule updates that I have been coordinating related to exercise constraints, window shutter constraints and motion control configurations for SpaceX rendezvous and release.

Tomorrow should be a lighter day - just a couple meetings to coordinate some upcoming software tests and cleaning up a few straggling to-dos.

Is your job the same every day or different? Are you someone who like routine or is unpredictability your thhanngg?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Critical Space Item: Handle With Extreme Care

Someday I want to open a box. The box will be neatly wrapped up with an excessive amount of packaging. Its contents will have been years in the making, and even though it won't weigh much, this small box will represent a huge step forward.


As most flight hardware begins, the space-rated closed-loop insulin delivery and monitoring device inside the box will be sterile and stark. But as the batteries whir to life and insulin is placed within, it will become an extra appendage, an external pancreas, for this Type 1 astro-hopeful. Bluetooth connections will be made and doctors, hungry for telemetry from my bionic body, will be at the ready. We will rely on each other - he on I for his very existence, and I on him for my continued existence. Together we will make up one whole, completely functioning, Type 1 Diabetic astronaut.

Admittedly, this dream feels further and further from reality. I have lived with this disease just under 20 years now, and the cure has always been "just 5 …

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…
01 09 10