On Sunday I was able to tour the Range Control Center at NASA Wallops Flight Center less than 24 hours before they launched an Orbital ATK Antares Rocket carrying a Cygnus Spaceship bound for the International Space Station (it arrived and docked this morning). Our tour leader was Frank Bellinger, who is the Technical Director at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility. I cannot imagine how awesome it would be to work in there, all the live camera feeds and data streaming across the computer screens. Someone on our tour asked a great question “How do I get a job in here?” Frank laughed and said experience, lots and lots of experience looking at data like this. You need flight controller skills, to be able to process lots of data quickly, keep your cool, and make fast decisions. It is from these range control centers that we hear the “Go for Launch” commands and also the somewhat disappointing but equally important “Hold Hold Hold” calls when those highly skilled and experienced professionals react to the data they see. I’d love to be a fly on the wall during an actual flight. While we were there the 13th Administrator of NASA (the big cheese himself) Jim Bridenstine stopped by and chatted with us. He took a self with all of us (see if you can find me) and was a pretty impressive guy. I was a little unsure about him when he was chosen but I’m definitely starting to really like him. What an awesome experience this was . . . . still really hasn’t sunk in that it wasn’t just a dream. Thanks NASA and Orbital ATK! #nasa#rangecontrolcenter#nasasocial#jimbridenstine#nasawallops#astronomy#physics#rocketry#antaresrocket#oa9#internationalspacestation#liveyourlifelikeamovie#dreambig#workhard
Marsbound: Today marks my first flight tweak, or as my team says “trajectory correction maneuver—TCM1.” Since I looped around Earth first, my team looks at my flight path and makes sure I’m on track. I wouldn’t want to miss my stop. Click link in bio to read more .