Orion - NASA's Next-Gen Spacecraft is About Fly

In just under one month NASA's next generation space vehicle will fly on her maiden test voyage.

Check out the "Trial by Fire" video that explains the Orion spacecraft's first test mission - Exploration Flight Test 1 or EFT-1. This launch is scheduled for 4 December 2014 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

This flight will be the first one to send a human-rated spaceflight vehicle beyond low Earth orbit in over forty years! Many people (including myself) have never seen a spacecraft designed to carry humans leave our own "backyard" of 250 miles above our planet. It's an exciting time!

In order to share the experience with as many people as possible NASA has invited 150 of their social media followers to cover the event live. I am one of the lucky ones to be able to share it with the world via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and a number of other outlets. We hope to make it feel like you're there as well.

Keep your eyes on these places to experience the excitement:

  • Watch the launch live on 4 December at 07:05 ET (12:05 UTC) on NASA TV
  • Orion site at nasa.gov
  • NASA on Facebook
  • #NASASocial hashtag on Twitter
  • #Orion hashtag on Twitter
  • #EFT1 hashtag on Twitter
  • NASA Social on Twitter
  • I'd like to thank NASA for this incredible opportunity to witness history and I'd like you to come along with us for the ride.

    (Graphics courtesy of Aimee Crane of NASA)

    Live Your Passion

    Passion - it has a number of definitions:

  • “a strong and barely controllable emotion,”
  • “a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something.”
  • We all have a number of passions, right?

    Four years ago today a childhood passion was reignited after living for a couple weeks with some people I did not know and had never met but with whom I shared the same passion - spaceflight. The STS-133 NASA Tweetup for the final flight of Space Shuttle Discovery brought us together for over 115 days. Bonding with people who have the same child-like wonder and excitement was truly a life-changing event.

    Since seeing a crumbled piece of Skylab on TV at the Miss Universe pageant I have wanted to fly in space and work in the space industry. Thanks to the incredible people I have met and professors who have taught and helped me in the past four years, I now have that opportunity.

    I have accepted an internship opportunity at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. Yes, THAT Houston, but it is definitely NOT a problem.

    The internship is ISS Avionics and Software Assurance Analyst and it runs from 26 January 2015 until 15 May 2015. I'm sure that sixteen weeks will fly by in no time.

    It is an exciting and, to be honest, scary situation. Basically putting a stable, awesome, and well-paying job of fourteen years on hold, and leaving behind absolutely incredible teammates and bosses, for intern pay and the unknown. Also leaving my friends and family and the only place I've every lived.

    Some may think it to be a foolish move. This time and place in my life affords me the chance to be a little unconventional.

    I’ll probably be the oldest intern in the group, but we’ll teach each other, and just like my friends from STS-133, I’m sure we all have the same passion - spaceflight.

    Don’t be afraid to follow your passion! As the old proverb goes, do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.

    Who knows, maybe I’ll be the oldest in another elite group of trainees in the near future.

    See you soon Houston!

    The Airport Race and The Last Semester

    I recently returned from my first trip to Germany. Given that I am of German decent I've always wanted to go to Germany. My friends invited me to run the Hamburg Airport Race so I figured it was a good excuse to visit my ancestors homeland.

    The trip was great! I finished the race in a respectable time. I also visited Cologne which is the home of DLR and the European Space Agency's European Astronaut Center. Thanks to some great people (and now whom I consider friends, Romain and Andgie) I received VIP treatment and got to step inside the same training modules that the ESA astronauts use for training.

    Thanks to everyone at ESA for their hospitality.

    I also recently started my last undergraduate semester. It's been a long time coming but well worth all the work.

    By the end of December I will have obtained my Bachelor's of Science in Computer Science!

    While finishing up the undergraduate degree I have been heavily researching the Masters programs at USC and UND. I'm still up in the air. I'm planning a visit to both campuses and I have to have my applications in by the middle of December so I'll need to make that final decision soon.

    After that decision and completing my Fall semester courses I'll look forward to attending UIS Commencement ceremonies in May 2015.

    YAY!

    Talk to everyone soon.

    Cheers,
    Flux.

    Light at the End of the Tunnel

    So much for writing more here. It's been almost a year since the last post however I've been busy with school and obtaining my private pilot certificate.

    The light at the end of the tunnel is my undergraduate degree in computer science. Just like this image that I took of the first Space Shuttle launch I saw in person in 2010. That launch occurred in the year that kicked off this amazing journey back to finishing my degree and beyond. I never thought I would be in the process of preparing for a Masters or Ph.D.

    If all goes well I'll obtain my Bachelors degree in December of this year (2014). I'm taking some refresher courses in calculus and physics in the fall semester. These classes will get me back up to speed for my pursuit of an advanced degree.

    My current plan is the masters program in Astronautical Engineering at the University of Southern California. Check out the class list! http://astronautics.usc.edu/academics/degree_programs/ms/ - some amazing things to learn!

    Go big or go home, right?

    I hope you all have a great summer and I'll see you in orbit ;)

    Flux.

    About One Year to Go

    I finally have some time to write a little something.

    This semester resulted in a 4.0! Pretty excited about that. With that semester under my belt the end is almost in site. I should graduate from the University of Illinois at Springfield at the end of the Fall 2014 semester with a bachelor's degree in computer science - really the last piece of the puzzle I need to apply to be a NASA Astronaut.

    I know it's a long shot, but one has to follow one's dreams and that's mine.

    Checking out Drupal 7 and Drupal Commerce for miclothing.com

    Since I don't return to class for another 10 days or so I've been looking into putting some time into updating the website for the clothing line I started with my dude QB from The Websters.

    Currently the Music Integrated Clothing (MIC) website runs on Drupal 6.0 with Ubercart. The system runs just fine but the site needs a freshening up and I figured I would update the underlying infrastructure while I'm have time.

    Welcome 2013

    Happy New Year everyone!

    One of my New Year's resolutions was to write more - both online and in a personal journal. Expect to see more regular updates regarding my thoughts on things topical and probably space-related.

    I'll also be updating my Information Technology blog http://itnervecenter.com at least once per week. If you are in the IT industry or like tech, check out that site as well.

    Thanks to everyone who made 2012 an incredible year for me.

    Wishing you all a joyous and prosperous 2013.

    Cheers,
    Flux.

    Endevaour's Final Ride

    Thanks to NASA once again I got to experience a once-in-a-lifetime event: Space Shuttle Endevour's final flight en route to the California Science Center (http://www.californiasciencecenter.org/).

    She landed at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center on Edwards Air Force Base near Lancaster and Palmdale California (note: Palmdale is the site where all of the space shuttle orbiters were assembled).

    I'll have a much longer write-up soon, but wanted to get something up.

    Thanks again to all the great #spacetweeps with which I had the pleasure of experiencing this event.

    My quest to become an astronaut - Thanks #NASATweetup #NASASocial

    So as most of my friends and family know, I've return to university to complete my Bachelor's degree. This degree will give me the ability to apply to become a NASA Astronaut - a dream of mine since at least age 8.

    How much would you pay for the Universe? #Penny4NASA

    If you are a United States Citizen, I'd like you to sign this petition: http://wh.gov/RPO - At least double NASA’s annual budget to one penny for every government dollar spent.

    If you'd like to know why I think this petition is a good idea, continue reading ...

    How much would you pay for the Universe? The whole thing? Every galaxy, every star, every planet, every moon - everything!

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