Friday, August 29, 2008

ISU SSP 2008 Closing Ceremony

On Thursday, our team did a great job with our final presentation. Over the past four weeks, our team developed an evaluation mechanism to assess existing or proposed spaceports. The development of the criteria also provides comprehensive recommendations to be considered when developing or improving a spaceport.

Tonight was the closing ceremony for ISU's 2008 Space Studies Summer Program. I am now off to pack and take an early flight back to Florida. This summer has unvieled an incredible experience for me that one would have to relive in order to fully understand. I have established great new friendships and will miss everyone.

So now....back to work at Kennedy Space Center. I will return just in time to see Atlantis roll out to launch pad 39A on Tuesday! (Launch is still set for 10/8/2008 @ 1:34 a.m. EST)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Week 9 at ISU

This is the final week I will be here in Barcelona as the International Space University's 2008 Space Studies Summer Program comes to an end.

Currently, the editors within the group are adding the finishing touches on the report and as part of the presentation team, we are preparing slides for Thursday's formal presenation. As part of a group of 41 different members, representing 11 different countries, we have collaborated in a remarkably efficient and organized manner. I am very proud to be working with the following team members:

Atlantis in the VAB

Atlantis has made its way over to the Vehicle Assembly Building. Even with tropical storm Fay delays, it is not expected to effect the targeted launch date of October 8th.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Week 8 at ISU

Next week is my last week at ISU and it´s hard to believe. In the mean time we are currently extremely occupied with putting our final report together. Our team name is called FuturIST: Future Infrastructure for Space Transportation. We are researching all the that is involved for a spaceport to be commercially viable and then a creating a criteria/evaluation tool for future spaceport operators, investors, or entrepreneurs and vaildating the tool towards existing spaceports. So far, the subgroups have completed their respective sections and we still have 2 more chapters to contribute to. In parallel, the editors are reviewing all the submissions and compiling the report. We have various teams working together on differents tasks at the moment. Next week we will be presenting the final report and the weekend will conclude my stay in Barcelona.

Delay in Atlantis roll over

Monday's planned roll of space shuttle Atlantis from the orbiter processing facility (OPF) to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) has been delayed due to Fay's approach. The new plan is to roll over to the VAB on Thursday.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Tonight's Partial Lunar Eclipse

The last eclipse of 2008 is a partial lunar eclipse at the Moon's ascending node in Capricornus. It is visibile primarily from the Eastern Hemisphere as well as eastern South America. Here is my view from Barcelona, Spain.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Kennedy Space Center Update!

During the launch of STS-124, there was some pretty extensive damage caused to the flame trench of launch pad 39A. Part of the flame trench wall has been undergoing some repairs. A localized area of bricks were removed and a steel grid structure has been welded. A heat-resistant concrete (Fondue Fyre) has been sprayed into the grid structures. Atlantis's targeted launch date is on October 8th and the repairs are expected to be completed before then. Below is a sequence of photos that show the repair process post STS-124.

Atlantis will be rolling over to the Vehicle Assembly Building on August 18th.

The external fuel tank for space shuttle Endeavour's STS-126 mission has made its way to the Vehicle Assembly Building. Launch for Endeavour is targeted for November 10th.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


Today a group of us went to visit Montserrat. We took the Funicular de Sant Joan to take us to the top of the mountain (about 2,400 feet above sea level) where there are various abandoned hovels in the cliff faces that were previously the abodes of reclusive monks. Montserrat, with its unique rock formations, dramatic mountain monastery, and connection with the Catalan people and their struggles, is a very important pilgrimage site for Catalunya.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

News segments on EVA dive

So we were able to find that clip from someone else that was interviewed from my group. You can see me in the background and we are also the group that is being shot underwater!

Here is the link:

Also yesterday, another department had their rocket launches and they were featured in the news as well!

Here are the links to the videos: Video 1 and Video 2

Talking with the media during "our EVA"

Some students mentioned that they saw me on the local TV station from when I was interviewed at the pool when we were doing our simulated EVA under water.

I didn't get a chance to see it on TV, but someone was able to get these photos of me. :)

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Simulated EVA...underwater

This afternoon we went to a deep pool to do a SCUBA dive. We simulated an EVA as we were each divided in groups of four with certain roles and tasks. Our scenario was to fix a broken sensor on the Hubble Space Telescope. One person had very thick insulated gloves and had to unscrew certain segments with tooling. Another team member had to replace the sensor. One person was in charge in distributing the correct tools and making sure the tools stayed in the bag. I was in charge of making sure the procedures were carried out as required. We had a waterproof procedure sheet that we took with us and I was in change making sure our procedures were carried out as required and that the assigned person was performing the task. Our group communicated so well and did a great job at team work. We did an awesome job in communicating with hand signals since we couldn´t talk to each other. I was also inteviewed by a Spanish television station; BarcelonaTV. They interviewed me at the pool to talk about the ISU program, the dive, and about applying for the astronaut candidate program.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Space Masquerade Ball and Sunday Stroll

Last night, we had a space masquerade ball. A group of us did a group costume theme where I was the Sun, someone else was my solar wind, and 8 bits with 1 error (due to the solar wind electromagnetic radiation). Purely embarassing for me to dress up like this...but I think it was pretty creative. :)

Today we had a full day off so I did a little walking around Barcelona. The group got a good group rate at the University of Barcelona gym so when I got back I swam some laps in the outdoor pool. It was definitely a way to cool down from the heat. :)