jump to navigation

What a day… April 14, 2011

Posted by dakotabiker in MegaTweet, Rants.
Tags: ,


My first fully cell phone post. And the first with a work day emphasis for a change…

But I am a biker so…  the day started with the decision of whether or not to ride in this morning.  Was to be a beautiful day, but I was facing an all day meeting and dinner, both of which required a suit.  A good ride in is 55 minutes; by car and metro: an hour and a half.  But to take the Harley would have meant metroing from work to the dinner and back to change clothes, then a night time ride home through DC versus hopping right on the metro home from the dinner.  I opted for the latter…

So, after 20+ years of working in the world of robotic spaceflight, I am transitioning into the realm of human spaceflight.  With the retirement of the space shuttle, NASA is developing a new archtecture for sending humans into space… not just to low earth orbit (like the shuttle) but beyond.  The first steps are the development of a heavy lift launch capabilty, a crew vehicle, and the ground operations systems to get them launched.  Since it is critical that each of these parts combine to create the integrated exploration capability, we are developing the plans and processees to assure their smooth integration.

That is where I come in.  I am now on a headquarters team assigned to lead this technical integration effort.  Today we met with the folks with the technical responsibility for each of the parts.  Our objective was to discuss how we would work together to effectively integrate the capability.

The differences in culture were pretty amazing; doubly so for me: jumping from the robotic world to that of human space exploration, and bridging the differences between the headquarters point view and that of the programs at the various NASA centers.  The meeting was hugely educational for me, and we made great strides in understanding our respective approaches…

After 10 hours of drinking from the information firehose, fatigue was setting in and it was time to break for dinner.  As I packed up my laptop and briefcase, I plugged in my phone to top off the charge for the evening, thinking to myself “I bet I forget this…”

I helped clean up the meeting room grabbed my fully packed briefcase and joined my colleagues for the metro ride to dinner, where I realized the self fulfilling prophesy had in fact been fulfilled. 

The dinner conversation was really good. I spent most of my time talking with my new colleagues in the engineering effort for the launch vehicle,  one of which is also a luthier and bluegrass musician.  I ordered a ribeye, which was disappointingly mediocre given the expense of both cash and calories. 

Facing another 2 hours to get home I headed for the metro back to work annoyed that I gave up a wonderful ride opportunity to avoid exactly this situation, which was actually made worse by schlepping my briefcase. 

I got to work finding my fully charged phone and headed back out walking the streets of DC fully laden with tomorrow’s work. Electing to avoid the risk of a 20-minute transfer between trains I walked a mile to the redline and decided to try my first phone blog…

So what did I learn today? Beyond the myriad of human spaceflight culture nuances, if the weather good enough to ride… RIDE! 
Oh, and that typing a blog article on a cell phone is a pain in the….

At least it was a beautiful night for a walk.



1. spacee2 - April 14, 2011

I seriously just went thru hell trying to “like” Ur blog. I liked it and now have my own blog??

Sounds like maybe u need a nap and a refund on Ur steak, lol

2. torquethis - April 15, 2011

Sounds like an exciting new adventure. “if the weather good enough to ride…RIDE!” – Well DAH!

3. binkyrabbit - April 15, 2011

Enjoyed reading your blog. congraduations on your success to human spaceflight.

4. rexjc - October 15, 2014

Oh yes, ride is always the answer! Congrats on your team assignment to lead a technical integration effort, sounds exciting. Great first mobile blog my friend!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: