Monday, October 17, 2011

I think I would enjoy this view!

Ask a question to Astronaut Mike Fossum!

Want to ask a question to an astronaut in space? Now's your chance! If you have a question for the commander of the International Space Station, let know! This Wednesday (Oct. 19), will be speaking to NASA astronaut Mike Fossum, who is currently living and working aboard the station. He also happens to be my favorite Aggie!

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Astronaut Candidate Selection Timeline

Fall 2011 - Vacancy Announcement opens in USAJOBS

January 13, 2012 - Vacancy Announcement closes

March-July 2012 - Qualified Applications reviewed to determine Highly Qualified applicants. Qualifications Inquiry form sent to Supervisors/References and civilian applicants contacted by mail to obtain an FAA medical exam.

June-September 2012 - Highly Qualified applications reviewed to determine Interviewees

August-October 2012 - Interviewees brought to JSC for preliminary interview, medical evaluation, and orientation. Interviewees will be selected from the Highly Qualified group and contacted on a week-by-week basis.

October 2012 - Finalists determined

November 2012-January 2013 - Finalists brought to JSC for additional interview and complete medical evaluation

March 2013 - Astronaut Candidate Class of 2013 announced

June 2013 - Astronaut Candidate Class of 2013 reports to the Johnson Space Center


Thursday, September 29, 2011

This made me smile today......


Thursday, July 07, 2011

Final Space Shuttle Mission - STS-135

It really hasn't hit me yet that this is the last space shuttle mission. I am sure that if I still worked out at Kennedy Space Center, I would most definitely have that eerie feeling as the co-workers you worked with for so long start taking different paths and the workload starts decreasing. You don't realize how much of the country is in the dark about spaceflight until you're not in states like Florida or Texas where shuttle missions and spaceflight are always in the news.

Space Shuttle Atlantis is the shuttle that I worked on the most as a lead for the Thermal Protection System. I worked with an amazing team, learned so much, and am grateful to have worked on what has always been a key part to the United States history, spaceflight. Hopefully we will establish a path forward to continue our spaceflight exploration efforts.

Even though there is a high chance of rain in the forecast for tomorrow (70%), NASA is pressing along with flight preparations. If all goes as planned, The last shuttle flight will take off tomorrow from Kennedy Space Center at 11:26am EDT.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Launch Countdown of STS-134

So far the countdown is going smoothly! Shuttle Endeavour is poised for blastoff at 8:56 a.m. EDT (1256 GMT) on a 16-day flight to deliver an exotic particle physics experiment and a hefty load of spare parts to the International Space Station.

Mission Status Center Updates

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Endeavour's Final Mission: STS-134 Space Shuttle

Endeavour's final space shuttle mission is scheduled for next week, April 29, 2011. The mission will include four-spacewalks, deliver supplies, spare parts and a $2 billion particle physics detector (Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer) to the International Space Station.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Celebrating Manned Space Flight

The United States and Russia are joined at the hip in space as the world marks the 50th anniversary of the first human space flight, Soviet Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin's solo mission around the Earth on April 12, 1961. The day also marks the 30th anniversary of NASA's first shuttle flight, another milestone that has the Russian concerned as the orbiters near retirement, leaving both countries at least temporarily unable to transport large cargos to and from Earth orbit.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Upcoming talk at Lowell High School!

I'm excited for an upcoming talk I have at Lowell High School!!! On April 5, 2011 I will be talking to Lowell High School students on my engineering career and the cool stuff I do as an engineer.

The talk will be in support of Vibes & Waves in Action, a K-12 education project that involves a cross-disciplinary network of researchers in the Colleges of Engineering, Education and Arts & Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Lowell and high-school teachers and students in the school districts of Lowell and Lawrence, Massachusetts.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Did you get to see the Supermoon!?!?!

The largest full moon in more than 18 years – a so-called "supermoon" – did not disappoint eager skywatchers around the world Saturday when it rose, big and bright, into Earth's night sky.

The full moon of March was 221,565 miles (356,575 kilometers) on Saturday, March 19 just 50 minutes after it hit its full phase, making it the biggest and brightest full moon since 1993. The "supermoon" phenomenon occurred because the moon was in its full phase and just 50 minutes past perigee – the point of its orbit that brings it closer to Earth.

Below are some shots by some photographers that capture the beauty of the full moon. Check out more images at

Friday, March 18, 2011

Honoring the Space Shuttle Program's 30-year Legacy

A unique photo was taken designed to honor the space shuttle program's 30-year legacy and the people who contribute to safely processing, launching and landing the vehicle.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A Time of Mixed Emotions at Kennedy Space Center

Discovery landed last week ending not only a 13-day mission, but a 27-year spaceflight career. Preparations are now in work to retire the orbiter which will eventually be placed on public display in a museum.

Endeavour now sits on the launch pad awaiting a launch for April 19. On Monday, an accident involving in the death of James D. Vanover occured from the launch pad during preparations of Endeavour. The incident is being investigated it was a very sad day at Kennedy Space Center. This will be the final mission for Endeavour and it has been confirmed that the commander will still be Mark Kelly, husband of congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

SWE Boston WOW! That's Engineering!

Since last summer I was actively planning an outreach event for girls in grades 6-8. Together with the MIT Lincoln Laboratory and the Society of Women Engineers in Boston, we hosted a full day of engineering workshops to engage and encourage these young girls in the fields of math, science, and engineering. After the students checked in, they were directed to tables with all sorts of different donated hardware such as Rock Band guitars, printers, computers, old cell phones, etc. The girls were given screwdrivers and allowed to take any item apart to explore its technology. Best of all, they didn't have to put it back together!! Throughout the day, group rotated in 4 workshops: Robotics, Solar Energy Car, Electrical Circuit, and Lip Gloss mixing. Each workshop was hands on and the girls got to leave with what they built during the activity. During lunch, we had a Liquid Nitrogen demonstration where the girls had the opportunity to smash pennies, flowers, and marshmallows that were dipped in liquid nitrogen. The event was such a success, that we're planning the next one for this July!!!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

STS-133: Last Launch for Shuttle Discovery

During this 11-day mission, Discovery will deliver two key components—an Italian-built Permanent Multipurpose Module and the Express Logistics Carrier—that will provide spare parts and storage capacity to the ISS. Discovery will also deliver Robonaut 2, which will become the first humanoid robot in space.

Launch is set for today, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011, at 4:50 p.m. EST.

Follow the launch at:

Friday, January 07, 2011

Shuttle Discovery (STS-133) launch delayed to late February

NASA shuttle managers need more time to investigate and repair the cracks in shuttle Discovery's external fuel tank. Thursday, they delayed the launch of Discovery's final mission again, moving out of the next launch window, which extended from Feb. 3 to Feb. 10. No new date was established, but the next window extends from Feb. 27 through March 6. The date could be advanced some, but February is a busy month for the launching of Russian, Japanese and European cargo capsules to the station. Meanwhile, engineers continue to investigate why the cracks appeared during a Nov. 5 launch scrub. (full story)

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

All-in-One: Solar Eclipse, ISS, Sunspots!

Belgian astrophotographer Thierry Legault's picture of Tuesday's partial solar eclipse also shows the International Space Station passing over the sun's disk.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Happy New Year!!! What's in Plan for 2010?

Happy New Year, everyone! Let's start this year off with a blog post!

It's hard to believe that I have been in Boston for 8 months now. I absolutely love my job and living in this city. I think 8 months is good enough to say I've gotten settled into the area, the new job, my first experience with an actual snowy winter, new friends, and a puppy (Higley)!

Now time for the realistic "how-can-I-improve" list. There are so many things that I want to work towards. My main priority for the first quarter is an event I'm coordinating for the Society of Women Engineers this coming March. We're planning a full Saturday of engineering workshops for girls in grades 6-8. While I knew it was going to be a lot of work, I'm blown away by everything that has to come together to make an event this big happen.

Other personal things on my list include:
Take a photography class to really make the most out of my camera
Eat healthy and keep my exercise routine going
Teach myself sign language
Read more books
Plan a ladies camping escape trip in the woods
Keep in touch with friends better
Run a half marathon
Learn Japanese
Become a Big Sister

Let's be thankful for all that we have and for the support we've had from either family or friends. I hope everyone has a successful 2011 an good luck if you're working towards any personal goals!

Welcome, 2011!