Saturday, December 17, 2005

I've returned from Houston

My training in Houston was awesome. I was running a bunch of code in Unix to run SINDA, which modeled tile cavities. The tool is useful because it determines the temperatures of the tile adhesive to the structure, and the actual structure temperature with the input of cavity dimensions. I enjoyed my time in Houston and learned a lot.

The latest KSC update on the external tank is that the delivery of the external tank modified without the ramps is estimated for March 30, which would bring us to a launch date in July 2006.

I start my first graduate course Jan. 7th 2006. I'm excited, I am one of those who absolutley loves school and learning.

Hope everyone enjoys the holidays!!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Going to Houston and beginning my Personal Action Plan

Today I found out I get to go to a week training in December to Houston. I am so excited because it will be training in thermal modeling using SINDA.

Another plus is that I will be able to see the people I worked with in the Space Station program and friends still at Texas A&M.

So every so often, I think about how I am handling the tasks in my life. I have been preforming well at work, I have completed what I have to do to begin graduate school in January 2006, and I bought a house. So now that I have a grasp on those critical factors of life I will begin tonight to make a list of my goals that will be more focused to help me become an astronaut. Time to really start taking action!

Monday, November 14, 2005

A view of Discovery's belly

I took this picture in OPF 3, home for Discovery. I thought this would be a good picture as it shows techs/engineers hard at work. All the green tags hanging from the tiles are to signify that a tile has some type of damage to be repaired. There are certain processes to repair the tile and it depends on the size and criticality.

This week we completed the tile repair inspections for Discovery and have moved on to Atlantis (OV-104). Oh and good news, I got my acceptance letter from Embry-Riddle and will begin taking graduate classes in January 2006!!!!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Look who ELSE I met!!!

And I saw Eileen Collins! There was no way I was going to let her leave without getting a picture with her. She is such an inspiration to me since I was to be an astronaut.

Today in the bay where Discovery is "parked", we got a visit of the STS-114 crew.
I got to take a picture with Steve Robinson. He was the astronaut who pulled one of the gap fillers out while in orbit. It was good to talk to him about the gap fillers especially since I was involved in the failure analysis with the gap filler assessment group.

And finally, Wendy Lawrence, another great inspiration just motivating me even more to work hard and follow my dream. Enjoy the pictures!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Look who I met today!!!

Charlie Camarda from STS-114 stopped by work today to thank the KSC team.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

This week's update....

This last week I continued with the inspection of the tile repairs. We were given the "go-ahead" of inspecting the entire belly of the shuttle, not just the critical areas. I will be working on this probably for 2 more weeks with the and we'll have to give a status and present the data. This next week I will also still be working with the gap filler installation process and help in compiling/presenting the data that we have gathered with all the test gap fillers and pull tests the techs have been performing.

The last thing we need is a hurricane to cause damage to KSC. I've been watching the news non-stop and keeping posted though. I drove down to South Florida to help my mother with the hurricane shutters. It's weird how around here, you actually see all your neighbors only around this time. Everyone is outside helping one another with the shutters, sharing ladders, and exchanging numbers in case of emergency. My mom is only about an hour away from Naples and you should see the lines at the gas pumps. After we finish here, I am taking my mom with me to Orlando. At least when the hurricane hits the coast, she will safe in orlando. but if it actually starts heading towards the tampa area...then that's a different story.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Examples of repairs on a tile

In my previous post I said I was going to try to upload some pictures to show you the tile repairs. So here is a tile. The two corners that have triangular looking repairs are called a "Shave". Now the other repair that I zoomed into is what I have been inspecting for the past two weeks. We look closely to make sure it is not to porous or dry. The main focus is to determine if the repair has enough integrity to withstand future flights.

Things to share.....

Well i moved into my first home! My dog Riley has been enjoying it alot more than I have. He's having a ball running through the entire house. The house is a step up for him since we were crammed in a studio when I first moved out here. But it's great and I am happy. If it is one thing I have learned, is the responsibility that comes with being a homeowner! For all you homeowners out there.....I give you a big pat on the back!

So the new move has been keeping me busy. I couldn't ask for anything better. I wake up and have a job I love to go to... and when the day comes to an end, i come home to a beautiful house and puppy.

Speaking of my job. I shifted from working with the gap filler team to take part in visual inspections of previous tile repairs on Discovery. A group of 5 of us have chosen a critical zone of about 4000 tiles. We have looked at each one individually to see if there are any previous repairs done on the tile. If so, we inspect the integrity and make sure the repair is not eroded, loose, or comment if the repair could be re-worked a little better. Now let me tell you, 4000 tiles is a lot of tiles! We've been making note of the tiles that we feel need to be re-looked, and on Monday we will hear back from upper management if we should continue looking at all the tiles on Discovery's belly, or move on to the the critical zones in Atlantis and Endeavor. I'll see if this week I can take a picture a tile with a previous repair so you see what I am talking about.

I called Embry Riddle last week and they said that I should be getting my admissions letter really soon. The thing that is a bummer is that classes for the winter semester start on Oct. 18th. So I won't be able to start school now until January 2006 since I am still not "admitted" in the computer system.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Explanation about the shuttle tile Gap Fillers

Ok so picture 1, you see a tile. The soft looking stuff is called "Sip". You see the red stuff that has smeared on the tile side wall? Well that is called RTV.

In the next picture, that's the Gap Filler. Now not every single tile on the orbiter needs a gap filler. It's just that sometimes, there are gaps in between the tile and in order to prevent any type of air/heat flow to enter through the cavity, a gap filler is installed.

So this is it upclose. Going back to the tile picture, the side with the soft looking side is what is attached to the surface of the orbiter. So the other side of the tile is black and has a part number sprayed on it. This is what you see on the whole belly side of the orbiter.

Once the tiles are installed is when the gap fillers are installed. So right now, the installation of the gap fillers is what is trying to be perfected. The red RTV is applied to the gap filler and the issue right now is that when it installed, the RTV smears or droops down against the tile sidewall, which creates less bonding closer to the surface.

But this is why we have great team working on this. They are testing new methods, coming up with the reasons certains ones have failed, and we are doing alot of failure analysis.

Till next time everyone.. and I promise it won't be like 2 weeks later. Take care.

P.S By the way.. the rope loops that you see in the gap filler pictures are not part of the installation. They are doing pull tests in that picture to see how many pounds it can withstand until it fails.

Insight of the shuttle tiles and gap fillers

I know, I know.. it's been a while since I have posted something, but I promise this time, I won't ever give us that much space again. haha. I do have some good news though. Not last week, but the week before, I had to give 2 big presentations on the work I have been doing on the specification for tile fabrication. After giving one of the presentations, I received a Boeing achievement award from my manager and the logistics manager. I was pretty proud. Now aside from that, the big pressing issue right now is the bonding of the tile gap fillers. They're currently trying out different processes to ensure that the gap fillers will be bonded 100% with no chance of failure. I am going to post two picture right now and explain them. But this is basically what I have been working on lately. Still waiting to hear back from ERAU. And early tomorrow I find out if I've been approved for my first home!!! :) If so, I have the walk-through tomorrow and close on Friday. (Cross your fingers for me!!) :)
Alright two cool pictures with explanations coming right up!!

Saturday, September 10, 2005

A busy week...

I was extremely busy this past week. I have been helping with failure analysis on the gap fillers. You want to know something cool?? I actually held in my hand the two gap fillers that were taken off in orbit! The team is analyzing the reasons why the gap fillers were protruding as well as implementing new methods on how to install gap fillers. I would post pictures up, but I got a virus on my computer and am try to clean it all up. For the mean time, I'll just be updating what I've been doing. Till next time....

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Enjoy your Labor Day Weekend

I won't be posting anything until after the weekend. I hope you all enjoy the long weekend either relaxing by yourself, with family, or in good company of some friends. I can't wait because my birthday is on Sunday! :) I'll be 24! A great game of golf awaits me on Sunday. (hee hee)

This past week was so busy for me. I have been taking part and listening in on the gap filler assessment team. A great team of engineers, technicians, quality, and safety people meet everyday to lay out the problems with the gaps fillers. They are also conducting tests to create a better method in bonding the gap fillers. I have also been working with specifications this week which include the processes for the technicians to fabricate the shuttle tiles. I have been learning so much on the job! Also this week, I was able to see the MPLM (Multi-Purpose Logistics Module). This was the payload that flew on the flight. It basically looks like a big tin canister. They filled this module with the ISS trash. Some of techs were telling me that it smelled so bad especially since it was sitting in the hot California sun. The cool thing is that they run lab tests on the trash that the astronauts bring back.  Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 25, 2005

I know the posting of this image is rather late, but I wanted to share with all of you this picture of the shuttle at Edwards Air Force Base. This was taken the Sunday before it arrived back at Kennedy Space Center. It was stormin' pretty bad out there. The weather was the issue why the return of the shuttle to KSC was delayed a little. Now.....It's Floridas turn with the weather. The winds are pretty bad in South Florida right now.  Posted by Picasa

Friday, August 19, 2005

Discovery is coming back home

Discovery took off from CA. about will then be ferried to Oklahoma then Louisiana, remain overnight, then KSC at 11:00am Sat.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Such a great capture! Shuttle Discovery taking off in the background as an F-15 soars through the skies! Posted by Picasa

ERAU here I come!

So I am really excited today because I got a call from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University! They say they have received my application and transcripts from Texas A&M and that I should be hearing from them soon. This was the school I wanted to go to for my undergraduate degree, but financially it just was not feasible. So I completed a year and a half at Houston Community College and then transferred to Texas A&M. I am just glad that I will be able to earn my Master's degree from ERAU because it has always been a school of my choice. As a Boeing employee, I get reimbursed to tuition, so all works out just grand! I have decided that I want to get a masters in Aeronautical Science - Human Factors. They say I should be able to start classes in October. I really hope everything works as planned.

This is a picture from the landing at Edwards Air Force Base. If kept up with the issues on re-entry, you can see the blanket that was "the talk" above and to the left of the "D" a little bubbled out. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Discovery Home Safely.....

I have to admit, I was a little nervous when the orbiter was approaching re-entry. We were all watching the re-entry here on NASA TV and everyone clapped and cheered when our seven friends safely landed. I have pictures i am going to upload tonight on Atlantis. Until then.. i have to get back to work!!!!

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Did you watch this morning's EVA?

Early this morning at work, we watched as astronaut Robinson removed the gap fillers. If anyone wants to understand what the gap fillers are, visit or It was great to see the view from his helmet camera. In the second link, you can see the video with sound. It's great. This is actually interesting to me because one of my job functions is to provide engineering support with these gap fillers. How I would have loved to be the astronaut performing the EVA today. :) It would have been such a beautiful view, don't you think?? Posted by Picasa

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Here's a picture of the recovery of the Solid Rocket Boosters (SRB). Today at work, was awesome. I stayed late with the KSC Imagery team to take a look at some of the video from launch. They have reels and reels of video that they are watching frame by frame for any possible debris. Whether the debris is hazardous or not to the orbiter, they document what they see. Another video that was interesting was a video taken by a crew member from inside the orbiter when the external tank separated. They followed the ET until is burned up in the atmosphere. It was just amazing to see the such high definition video footage. Posted by Picasa

Pictures of Discovery's Launch

Here are some pictures from the launch. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
STS-114 Slideshow

Because of the foam problem, the shuttle fleet has been grounded until engineers are fully confident and able to understand the problem. However, it seems like our crew will still be able to return in Discovery safely. Full Story...

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Did you see it??????

That was absolutley amazing.. I wish all of you could have been here. You could hear the rumbling in the ground, the buildings feeling the vibration. I wish you could have all seen and heard it all. I will try to upload my video when I get a chance to.....

Today is the day Discovery Launches

So right now I am getting ready for work.. I have been up since 3:45 am because I want to get in early, plus to beat the tourist traffic. I am so excited today. The only thing that can stop us today is the weather. I have a good feeling things will run smoothly today. I will upload a picture of the KSC atmosphere during launch.

From as of 4:45am:
"Discovery's seven astronauts will be gathering for a pre-launch snack and photo opportunity in the dining room of crew quarters at 5 a.m. That will be followed by a weather briefing and then suitup. The crew will head for launch pad 39B at 6:49 a.m., arriving about 20 minutes later to begin boarding Discovery. The ship's crew compartment hatch should be closed for flight around 8:30 a.m"

Monday, July 25, 2005

Track the mission status

Nows the time to really be looking at this website. I know I already posted this before, but it's beginning to get a lot more exciting

Right now, the weather is a little concern. Hopefully everything will turn out to be a success.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

An update on ME! :)

First I want to thank all the people who have been sending such supporting messages to me on my blog. I truly appreciate it. It only inspires me and keeps me motivated even more to reach my goal.

I know I have only been uploading pictures lately and not documenting what I am doing or really how I got here. If you go back to my very first blog, you can see a little "intro" on me.

As stated in my first posting, I graduated from Texas A&M University in May with a degree in Aerospace Engineering. Since I was young I would just sit in front of the TV and watch the NASA channel. There would be no sound. I would just watch the world turn and the astronauts up in space. It was great.

While I was in college I worked for The Spacecraft Technology Center. I was hired in as a student-worker to work on some computer networking tasks. Although not related to my major, I wanted to get my feet in the door, and I did. Working there really helped open doors. I was involved in a reduced gravity project for about two years. You totally have to check out the site: I also had the chance to work with a payload called StarNav 1 that was onboard Columbia (STS-107). I really enjoyed that because the team was able to sit at the console for the entire duration of the mission. On the headsets in mission control we could hear when they would wake the astronauts up with music; Oh it was so inspiring.

So currently I work for Boeing out at KSC. I also was an intern for two terms working in the Structural Integrity group for the ISS in Houston, TX. So one day I saw there was a position open at KSC, and well.. here I am.

I was hired into the Thermal Protection Systems (TPS) group as a Aerothermal Engineer. Its great because most of the courses I concentrated on in college were Structures related. Its always good to explore different areas and fields.

Right now I am studying for the GRE and the FE; Getting ready for GRAD SCHOOL. I have applied and sent all my paperwork to Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. I would like to get a masters in Aerospace Science specializing in Human Factors. I want to give the hard engineering a little break, but I am sure after that degree I will go back and get another masters in engineering.

Ok.. I will write more on Monday and upload a couple more pictures. There are some more cool ones, but I left them on my work computer. Sorry if this post is extremely long, but I did get some comments that I am not writing enough about me and what I'm doing. Hope this helps a little :) Bye!

So yesterday they rolled out shuttle Atlantis (OV-104) which is scheduled to launch in September to go to the ISS. In back of me, in this picture, you can see it "reversing" from the Orbiter Processing Facility (OPF).  Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Best Website EVER to track STS-114 and other launches to come!

Most people don't know of this site and I personally don't know who is the person that keeps updating it.. BUT it gets updated FREQUENTLY and I find it as the best resource.....

Hosted by Spaceflight Now
The website is:

We're go for launch Tuesday July 26th at 10:39 a.m

This is it everyone!!!! :)

Thursday, July 14, 2005

A fighters view over the launch pad! Posted by Picasa

Such a great picture with the VAB (Vehicle Assembly Building) in the background. This was taken on the day that Shuttle Discovery was supposed to launch. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, July 10, 2005

This is a picture of the VAB (Vehicle Assembly Building). Posted by Picasa

This is Shuttle Atlantis with the payload bay doors open. This will be the next shuttle rolling out as Discovery sets off for its mission this week. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, June 23, 2005

This is me and a girl named Stephanie that works for USA. We are in front of Discovery's astronaut crew hatch door.  Posted by Hello

The external tank and solid rocket boosters face the beach. The shuttle is mounted and top and the top of the shuttle faces KSC. In this picture you can see the MLP (Mobile Launch Platform) and the rock path the shuttle takes to get to the launch pad.  Posted by Hello

This is the view of the coast line. Its a beautiful view from up here. Posted by Hello

This picture was taken from the level of the crew hatch. In the event of an emergency before launch, if the astronauts would be inside the shuttle, they would have to evacuate by rapidly getting out of the shuttle and holding on tight to a handle bar that travels down these cables.  Posted by Hello

This is the crew hatch door the astronauts will enter prior to launch.  Posted by Hello

This should give you a good idea about how big the external tank and SRBs are. Here, I was standing on the MLP (Mobile Launch Platform) Posted by Hello