Sunday, September 30, 2007

Space Shuttle Discovery at the pad!

I've been working on a paper for school and I'm almost complete! My paper is on the available on-orbit repair methods, how they came about, and the applicability for each one.

Space shuttle Discovery arrived at Launch Pad 39A this afternoon (by ~1:15 p.m.). The shuttle began its slow 3.4-mile journey from the VAB to the pad on top of the crawler transporter at 6:47 a.m.

Something you'd want to check out is World Space Expo will be coming to Kennedy Space Center on November 1 - 4, 2007. It's going to be an awesome event that will be celebrating our 50 years in space. Check out the website and try to make it out to this event as a lot of great participants will be there! Next week I will start contributing to the team that is making this event even possible! So expect updates!!

I won't be supporting mission imagery for the next mission (STS-120), but next week I will be traveling to Houston for an imagery simulation for the LESS/RCC group. During Atlantis's STS-122 mission, I will be in Houston supporting imagery inspections of the wing leading edge, nose cap, and the foward External Tank attachment point. The simulation will get me aquainted with the procedures of documenting anything we find that is different from pre-flight images. What we look for during every mission are damages/discrepancies that could potentially effect the Thermal Protection System. Below is an example of an image that was downlinked during STS-121. Now what you see here in this picture is not a damage, but bird poop that was very noticeable. :) (Bird poop burns up during re-entry)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Will I be applying? OF COURSE!

So I have been asked if I am going to be applying for the astronaut candidate slot....well of course! I'd like to personally thank those who left inspiring comments for me to apply. I encourage those who are contemplating on applying to just do it!

So get this....the required standing height minimum is 62 inches. I am 62.5. I was close on that one. Phew!!! During my senior year of college, I was thinking about going into the Navy or the Air Force to become a pilot. I couldn't go into the Navy because I didn't have the perfect 20/20 vision. The Air Force wouldn't take me because I was 0.5 inch short of the standing and sitting height requirement. Oh least I am okay to apply for the astronaut candidate position.

I am projecting on getting my application and paperwork in by mid February. The cutoff for applications is July 1, 2008.

I do have some good news. I have finals coming up in about two weeks for a class I am currently taking, which leaves only my research to be completed. During my last school term, I wrote my proposal for my graduate research project. Once your proposal is approved, you have to search for two board members to support your research. When I wrote my proposal, I was little disappointed in the direction my research topic was going. I had my topic in mind but had to change based on comments from the class and professor. The topic I had last term was comparing the public affairs methods used to inform the public by NASA and various military branches. It just wasn't the way I really wanted to go. My main concern was to evaluate how NASA was communicating to the public, not the military. After talking to a previous professor, it sounds like my original intentions were right on track. He and another colleague of his will be supporting my research!!! Now, I will be soley researching NASA's Public Affairs methods on communicating the importance of space exploration and how effective they are to the public. The term to complete my research will begin November 7, 2007, which means I will be complete with my Masters February 19, 2008!!!

After talking to my manager, I will not be going to Houston to support on-orbit imagery inspection for STS-120. As vehicle lead, I will need to stay to help process Atlantis (OV-104) get ready for transfer to the VAB. I will however, get to go out to Houston for STS-122 (launch December 6th)!!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I actually have butterflies in my stomach.......!!!!

Sept. 18, 2007


HOUSTON - NASA is accepting applications for the 2009 Astronaut Candidate Class. Those selected could fly to space for long-duration stays on the International Space Station and missions to the moon.

"We look forward to gathering applications and then being able to select from the largest pool possible," said Ellen Ochoa, NASA's chief of Flight Crew Operations at the Johnson Space Center.
"Continuing our impressive record in successfully carrying out challenging human spaceflight missions depends on maintaining a talented and diverse astronaut corps."

To be considered, a bachelor's degree in engineering, science or math and three years of relevant professional experience are required.
Typically, successful applicants have significant qualifications in engineering or science, or extensive experience flying high-performance jet aircraft.

Teaching experience, including work at the kindergarten through 12th grade level, is considered qualifying. Educators with the appropriate educational background are encouraged to apply.

After a six-month period of evaluation and interviews, NASA will announce final selections in early 2009. Astronaut candidates will report to Johnson in the summer of 2009 to begin the basic training program to prepare them for future spaceflight assignments.

NASA will accept applications through July 1, 2008. To apply visit:

Additional information about the Astronaut Candidate Program is available by calling the Astronaut Selection Office at 281-483-5907 or by visiting:

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Meeting Day

Today, the Coalition for Space Exploration held the annual board meeting. It was the first meeting that I have been able since I was given the position to serve on the board. Many great representatives of the board were in attendance at the meeting. Currently, the Coalition for Space Exploration collaborates with a marketing group that helps them with ways to engage the public on the importance of space exploration. The marketing group presented the 2008 proposal with fresh ideas that could be incorporated into the coalition. The discussion we had was great because we recieved insight from the Gen Y members, educators, and the government affairs officers. As a Gen Y member, we really came into play during the topic of utilizing certain social medias such as YouTube, MySpace, Facebook, Second Life, etc.

After the meeting ended, I was thinking about changing my flight to leave that night. But I thought to myself 'why would I want to rush myself, get to the airport, then drive home around midnight'? So I ended up going running on Mt. Vernon Trail again, got a couple snapshots along the trail, and headed home fully rested the next morning. :)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

With some of the Gen Y Board Members

As soon as I landed in Virginia, I was jealous of the beautiful weather. I made sure I packed my running gear, because rain or shine, I was making myself get out there today. It was gorgeous outside, breezy and no humidity. I ended up running on Mt. Vernon Trail after I checked into the hotel. The trail is along the Potomac River and you can see the Washington Monument and Capital at a near distance.

Tonight, a reception was held where I met some of the Board of Advisors for the Coalition for Space Exploration. It was held in an awesome Lockheed Martin facility where they have mock ups of the certain projects such as the Stardust satellite, the Genesis probe, etc.

Below is a picture of myself with some of the Gen Y members.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Virginia, here I come...

Tomorrow I will be traveling to Arlington, VA. as the Coalition for Space Exploration will be holding their Annual Board of Advisors meeting. This is my first year of being on the board of advisors representing Gen Y. So far, I have had teleconferences, given insight, and new ideas to improve advocacy for space exploration.

At work I have been very busy as I am now vehicle lead for OV-104 (Orbiter Atlantis). Daily I am learning new things and am encountered with TPS issues I have to evaluate and use my engineering judgement on, along with the great expertise from others in my group to help me evaluate issues outside of my realm. Roll over to the VAB is still scheduled for October!!!

I'll be sure to update during the board meeting trip and post some pictures. I am excited to meet the rest of the board members for the first time.