Skip to main content

Launch America: Repost from July 8th, 2011

Our launch attempt yesterday of the Demo-2 mission was scrubbed due to weather. It's Florida. In May. So, none of us are surprised, but it's still a bummer! On the bright side it means another 4 hour block of launch coverage on Saturday (5/30), leading up to a new launch time of 3:22pm EDT, set your clocks!

To keep things interesting I have a couple more throwback blog posts to share! If you missed the last few days of throwbacks, check those out here, here and here. The repost below was originally published on July 8th, 2011 -- a year and half into my first job post-college as a civilian Flight Test Engineer for the Army. Ironically, one of the Demo-2 astronauts, Bob Behnken, was also a former Flight Test Engineer (although in the Air Force). It's neat to recognize these parallels and feel connected to such amazing space pioneers! 

I've also been sharing lots of fun behind-the-scenes on my Instagram stories, so be sure to hit follow over here
__________________________________________________________

Today was this nation's last Space Shuttle launch.


In that post-ignition plume were the dreams of many, whose ingenuity, integrity and intellect fueled this country's longest-running spacecraft program. Just as the plume expands, so also did Space Shuttle expand our knowledge of space, microgravity, and the engineering required to get there. Space Shuttle no doubt inspired millions (this humble aerospace engineer and blogger included) to reach for their dreams. The fiery hopes it leaves in its path will only work to launch the next generation of human-rated space vehicles. 

And as we look skyward with great nostalgia, we must remember to look onward. Onward towards missions to Mars, with Type 1 Diabetics on board. Onward towards maintaining safe access to space. Onward towards building a program that will pick up where Shuttle left off, a program that will inspire the next round of astronaut hopefuls and engineers, a program that will inject patriotism and encourage innovation.


Today may have been this nation's last Space Shuttle launch.
But tomorrow is this nation's first day toward inspiring the next generation.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The road to curing Type 1 Diabetes

From the moment of diagnosis, the road is rough, the learning curve is steep and the stakes are literally life or death. The map is less-than-helpful - paths originating from virtually every corner, coalescing at a center point (aka "diagnosis") and bursting back outwards - some paths cross and wrap around each other but others are isolated. And even with all of these roads, most of the territory is uncharted - how did we all get here and how will we all exit? Where are the obstacles we haven't found yet? Which passage holds the key to unlocking the solution?

On any given day I feel pretty isolated with this disease - I'm the only T1D in my group at work, the only one in mission control, the only one in my family. I go through the logistics of calling insurance companies, ordering supplies, changing sites and troubleshooting malfunctions mostly on my own. Even those pesky carbs really only get counted in my brain, no group think for a meal bolus here. But there is b…

International Travel with Type 1 Diabetes

Whew! Back from one international trip and on to another next week! I will admit my eyes roll every time I get the "we're gunna need to pat you down" talk at TSA, but international travel is a whole different animal. I thought it might be fun to see what goes through my brain and into my bags for these types of trips!


I wouldn't be a NASA Flight Controller if I wasn't good at planning, the key to international travel as a T1D is PLANNING!

3 months prior

Assess supplies. Mine come in 90-days supplies so I like to inventory at least 3 months prior and make a plan to order more early if the trip is going to coincide with the end of my 90-day stock. In my experience supply companies are usually pretty good about adjusting orders as needed if you tell them the reason for the early request - just mention you have an international trip coming up and want to make sure to have plenty of supplies (and backups!) in time. Request a loaner insulin pump. It's likely the comp…

Hot OJT

Last week I had the chance to mentor a newly certified ADCO trainee - the NASA process is called "Hot On-The-Job-Training", or Hot OJT. What makes it "hot" you ask? Well, essentially I am hands off - he is sitting at the console, working all the plan reviews and updates, making calls to other flight controllers and to the flight director, reacting to anomalies and preparing material for the shift handover. My job is to act as the fault tolerance - a backup ADCO of sorts.

Tuesday was his last official day and by Wednesday morning he was in the backroom sending commands to ISS in preparation for the docking of a three-person Soyuz.


The beauty of this system is the gradual buildup in responsibility. There is a subtle shift from student, to subject matter expert, to fresh operations trainee to advanced trainee and finally to certification and real-time operations flight controller - the process takes two years on average and is considered by many to be enough specializ…
01 09 10