Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Endeavor's (OV-105) Nose Landing Gear

Florida Today Photographer Michael R. Brown took this picture of me before the article was released last week. In the picture, I am standing next to Endeavor's (OV-105) Nose Landing Gear Doors (NLGD). I felt this was a good picture to share with you as it is close up enough to see the nose landing gear retracted in the lower forward fuselage. At the time the picture was taken, technicians were working on the NLGD, so that is the extra stuff you see taped on the tiles.

When the Orbiter approaches the runway for landing, the landing gear is deployed while the Orbiter is gliding at about 267 mph. Touchdown of the main landing gear occurs as the Orbiter reaches about 215 mph!!! Then at about 213 mpg the nose landing gear wheels touch the runway. The landing gear tires have a life of one flight.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

In the VAB...

Here are pictures from inside the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB). Red dye is applied to external tank to help expose cracks or compression dents. The red dye is sanded away and a vacuum hose is used to remove excess particles. Several service platforms were arranged around the Shuttle to provide access for the technicians to repair the damages on the ET and the Orbiter caused by the hail storm.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Happy Tuesday!

This evening I went to the BCC Planetarium where Bruce Melnick gave a talk about his astronaut experiences. The event was held to support the Citizens for Space Exploration raise money to sponsor students to join us in the annual Washington D.C trip this May. The students will join as advocates of the space program and help us gain support from our Senators and members of Congress.

I am more occupied with school this term than I was the last. However, I am really enjoying the classes. As a graduation requirement, I have to complete my Graduate Capstone Project and I am in the processes of finalizing my research topic. It will somewhere along the lines of researching why there is a lack of awareness among the public about the value and benefits of space exploration. I'll be conducting surveys to the general public to understand their perspective.

I've also been working out a lot lately! Also in May, I am going to be participating in the 2007 Muddy Buddy Ride & Run. I'd explain it, but the title says it all. It's basically a biking/running obstacle course with a giant mud pit finish line at the end. I'm excited!!!

At work, we're all still waiting to hear about the ET repair assessment/new launch date. Here's the latest info I have:

"Space Shuttle Atlantis, now parked in high bay No. 1 of the Vehicle Assembly Building, continues to undergo inspection for hail damage. Special scaffolding and access platforms have been erected to allow for the mapping and inspection of the external fuel tank, and repair methods and criteria are being developed.

Repairs to the orbiter's thermal protection system tiles are nearly complete, and technicians are preparing to conduct non-destructive evaluation of the vehicle's reinforced carbon-carbon panels on the left wing leading edge using thermography equipment.

Shuttle program managers plan to meet next week to assess the damage and repair status. "

Here's something cool.....How would you like to win a ZERO-G flight!?!
The ZERO-G raffle is being sponsored by Jacobs Engineering -- the prize is a flight on the ZERO-G Corporation's "G-Force One" aircraft (which simulates weightlessness) and $600 toward airfare and hotel (with a total prize value worth over $4200). This is a nationwide raffle, with the drawing taking place live at the Yuri's Night Houston party. Raffle tickets are $5 each, and will be available online at until April 10th, 2007. You can also purchase them in person at the YN Houston party on April 12th until approximately 8PM. You can purchase as many tickets as you like and do not have to be present to win. (You get one free entry with admission to Yuri's Night!

Since I'm not in Houston....I'll be entering for a chance online. I did experience microgravity on the KC-135 during NASA's RGSFOP and had a blast! Honestly, being in microgravity in the KC-135 (a.k.a Vomit Comet) has been one of my most memorable moments EVER!


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Going to see Astronaut Bruce Melnick next week!

Today I attended a meeting with the Citizens for Space Exploration. It was a planning session as we prepare to take our trip to Washington D.C in May to advocate the space program to Senators and members of Congress. To have students representatives from all states attend the trip with us, we are holding a fundraising event next week (March 20) where Astronaut Bruce Melnick will speak about his experiences in space at the BCC Planetarium. I bought my tickets today!! I've heard Bruce is a very charismatic speaker so I am looking forward to hearing about his experiences and shaking hands with him!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Break Over.....Back-2-School....

I just got my grade for the three courses I took this last term! 2 A's and 1 B!! It was the first term that I attempted 3 courses and I did it! And now I'm doing it again. This week my next term starts and the three courses I am taking are Aviation/Aerospace Accident Investigation & Safety Systems, Memory and Cognition, and Methods and Procedures for the Graduate Capstone Project. After this term I will have only two courses left to receive my first masters! I'm excited!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

The BEST Friday EVER thanks to Ridley High School!!!!

On Friday, I got home late from work and was extremely exhausted! However, when I went to get the mail, I found a thick envelope that contained thank you letters from each Ridley High School student that sat through the presentation I did for them during National Engineers Week. This posting is a special 'thank you' to each and every student who took the time in writing such kind words. Many asked questions relating to my career, engineering, or the Space Shuttle, and I plan on taking the time in answering each letter as each of the students took the time to thank me. I wish I could post all of the comments from the students because they were so inspiring, and I read how my presentation had an impact on their future decisions. Below are just a few (and I mean a few, of the comments:

Dear Ms. Sarria,
Thank you very much for coming all the way from Florida to come to talk to us about your job. I thought it was the most interesting guest speaker we had by far. It was also really neat to see how you are a young woman in such a high field. I really look up to you for that. I thought the coolest thing you talked about was experiencing zero gravity when you proposed that experiment. That is something I would seriously want to do because of my love for roller coasters. Ever since I was little I had always wanted to go to space or even just be in a space ship when it launched. I hope that some day you will be lucky enough to be able to go to space. Good Luck! And thank you once again.
Sincerely, Keely Emery

Dear Ms. Sarria,
Thank you for coming to Ridley High School to tell us about your job. I think it is really cool how you are a rocket scientist. I can not believe I just met a woman who has already achieved so much in her life. I think the zero gravity experiment was interesting. That would be fun to try when I get older. Thank you so much for coming to my school.
Sincerely, Sarah Rutter

Dear Ms. Sarria,
Thank you for coming to talk to our class. You were much better than the stock broker who put us all to sleep. Good luck becoming an astronaut. Thanks again.
Sincerely, Jeff Dugan
P.S Can you take this letter to space

Dear Miss Sarria,
Thank you for taking the time to fly out of state and talk to us about your career and background. I think that an Aerospace Engineer might have fun doing that job because they get to work with all parts of the Orbiter. I thought that the tiles were neat. In addition, it was interesting how your group of students were able to run experiments on a special plane. I think engineering is a cool field because I used to build robots for school and it's amazing that you can build so many things. I know people who worked for Boeing and some were engineers on some of their projects and it is fun to talk to them about what they do. When I am older, I plan to go into the engineering or medical field. Thank you again for coming to talk to us and good luck with your career and applying to be an astronaut.
Sincerely, Tim Kirk

Dear Ms. Sarria,
Thanks so much for coming to our school and teaching us about rocket science stuff. It is very interesting that a one inch piece of tile can sustain that high amount of heat. I never knew that rocket science can be so much fun!! After your presentation, I was thinking about joining a team from NASA. I have a question though, was it hard for you to become a rocket scientist? Well keep up the good work and hopefully you'll go into space.
Sincerely, Reed Anderson

Dear Ms. Sarria,
Thank you for coming and talking about your career as a Space Shuttle Orbiter Thermal Protection Systems Engineer at Kennedy Space Center. It seems as if you enjoy your job very much and it is an awesome career to have. It must be amazing working on parts of the space shuttle that actually go into space. I really look up to you for being a minority, as a woman in this field. I know for sure I would like to be some kind of engineer. Your presentation made me very interested in what you do and I am thinking about going to college for it. I have a few questions for you. Do you enjoy what you do? If so, how much? What are some of the classes you had to take in college? When you graduated high school, did you know what you wanted to be? I wish you luck in your goal of becoming an astronaut.
Sincerely, Brigette McGinn

Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, FL.

On Saturday, I went to Tampa and visited Big Cat Rescue. It's a sanctuary for wild cats. I was able to witness the goodness this non-profit organization provides to wild cats who were previously mistreated and abused. I became knowledgeable in the behavior and characteristics of the wild cat from my tour guide, Denny. The tour made me very aware of the cruelty and mishaps these animals have been through. Here are some pictures from my visit!