Friday, December 29, 2006

My Holiday Vacation so far

I didn't think I was going to be busy.....but who was i kidding!? For 2 straight days I have been studying for a midterm in my space medicine and habitation course. A very interesting class I must say, because it is introducing me to the effects of space on the human physiology. Yesterday I took a break from studying and mapped that I will be graduating with my first Master's next December. Aside from studying I have also been taking care of my 3 year old niece. She is a handful because the girl has got a ton of energy, but so fun to be around. She so innocent and intelligent!!! Ha ha....and then there is me, her crazy aunt, sitting with her to watch reruns on the NASA channel as they broadcast the 13 day STS-116 mission. But hey, now when she sees an astronaut, she'll call it out and get excited!

Speaking of astronauts, a co-worker gave me the best Christmas present ever!!! It's a book by Astronaut Mike Mullane called Riding Rockets, and he even got it personally signed for me! I have been reading it since I opened it and it's so hard to put down. It's GREAT!!! Any space enthusiast has got to get this book! It's hilarious and a good insight on his life, what he went through to become an astronaut, and reflections from particular missions. I highly recommend this book! F.Y.I: The book is geared to adults, and not children.

I hope everyone spent a great holiday with either loved ones or friends. Has everyone been thinking about their New Year's Resolution. Here's what's on my list. 1.) Eating Healhy/Exercising 2.) Strengthing relationships by calm communication 3.) Not spending money where I don't need to and keeping a budget.

Well, I have 3 more lectures to watch right now so I am going to keep studying. I'll be posting next year!! Adios!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Welcome home for Discovery from its 33rd Flight!!

Waiting around yesterday was so suspenseful!! 1st attempt to land at KSC passed us up. Then we thought it was going to land in Dryden and it ended up the it was going to be KSC. We were anxiously listening to weather briefings and getting the latest updates. It was a long day yesterday, but so worth it!! Personally, I think after experiencing my 1st runway landing, it's more exciting than a launch. Although i have to admit that a launch is really cool to watch. There is just so much suspense in a landing. From hearing the sonic boom, to seeing the first sighting of the Orbiter, to having the astronauts come out while you're inspecting. Last night, it was drizzling a little bit but I was under the Orbiter so i didn't get too wet. We took pictures and noted the major points of interest and left a mini tag-up report on the overall condition of Discovery Thermal Protection System. Overall, Discovery came back looking in great shape. Nothing out of the ordinary. Anybody see me in the background on t.v? LOL! Hope you enjoy my little slide show below!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Landing at KSC?

Well i am here and will be leaving in about 5 minutes to go out to the Shuttle Landing Facility. It's a little windy here and there are some low ceiling clouds present. But no rain yet. So if you happen to watch the NASA channel and we do land here, I am wearing a fuchsia colored polo shirt with jeans. Ha ha. We'll know for sure if Discovery will be landing here when it gets closer to the deorbit burn at 2:49pm. If it doesn't look good, well then the crew going out to California/New Mexico will need to get i go to the SLF.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

What a week!!! And it's not even over yet!

If Space Shuttle Discovery lands at KSC on Friday, I will be supporting along with another co-worker to be out on the runway. So if it lands on at KSC and you watch the NASA channel, you may see me on t.v. Upon landing and after the astronauts are removed from the Orbiter, we get to greet them and shake their hand, and then perform a walk-down and take pictures of the major visible damages on the orbiter to later compile a post-flight landing report. If the weather is not good here, then they will scrub the landing at KSC and land at Edwards AFB or maybe even White Sands(due to cold temps at Edwards AFB). I'm excited because it will be my first time to be out on the runway for a landing. It will be a great first time experience.

In February 2007, I will be traveling to Ridley Park High School again to give them a talk! They're eager and so am I!!!

Friday, December 15, 2006

During the Imagery inspection

Many of you know that after the space shuttle launches from Kennedy Space Center, I head out to Johnson Space Center the next day to support looking at imagery obtained as the Orbiter approaches the International Space Station. During the last mission, there were more photos of me and the group at work, but this time, there were only a couple. The first one is, yes, of the back of my head. After we all complete looking at the imagery, we have a tradition of 'milk-n-cookies'. So here's a snapshot of me caught dipping my oreo in my milk!

(milk-n-cookies photo credit: David R. Bretz)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Imagery inspection of Orbiter lower surface

Here's an example of one of the hundreds of pictures that get looked at for damages. you can see here some damages around the external tank door. Various different models were run against the big tile damage, and it was cleared to say this will not pose a threat upon reentry.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Pictures from today's launch

Well, I am going to Houston in the morning for imagery support. After the weather deemed 70% chance of unfavorable weather conditions, out of no where it was decreased to only 30%.....and well...we launched!!! Here are some photos

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Mission Status

1615 GMT (11:15 a.m. EST)

The Mission Management Team has given a "go" to begin fueling space shuttle Discovery for tonight's liftoff. The weather remains on the major worry in the countdown. Forecasters are predicting a 60 percent chance conditions at Kenned Space Center will be unacceptable at launch time. The emergency landing sites in Spain and France are also expecting unfavorable weather.

The updated outlook is 90 percent "no go" for Friday and 70 percent on Saturday.

But the countdown is pressing forward for liftoff a few seconds before 9:36 p.m. EST this evening in hopes NASA gets a break in the weather. There are no significant technical issues being reported.