The Foundations of Flight Operations

1. To instill in ourselves these qualities essential to professional excellence

  • Discipline … Being able to follow as well as lead, knowing that we must master ourselves before we can master our task.
  • Competence … There being no substitute for total preparation and complete dedication, for flight will not tolerate the careless or indifferent.
  • Confidence … Believing in ourselves as well as others, knowing that we must master fear and hesitation before we can succeed.
  • Responsibility … Realizing that it cannot be shifted to others, for it belongs to each of us; we must answer for what we do or fail to do.
  • Toughness … Taking a stand when we must; and to try again and again, even if it means following a more difficult path.
  • Teamwork … Respecting and using the ability of others. realizing that we work toward a common goal, for success depends on the efforts of all.
  • Vigilance … Being always attentive to the dangers of flight; never accepting success as a substitute for rigor in everything we do.

2. To always be aware that, suddenly and unexpectedly, we may find ourselves in a role where our performance has the ultimate consequences.

3. To recognize that the greatest error is not to have tried and failed, but that, in the trying, we do not give it our best effort.

#JSC #NASAIntern is Half Over

8 weeks down, 8 weeks to go. I’ve done some incredible things already and met and bonded with some incredible people! I can’t wait to see what the next 8 weeks hold, and then what comes next.

I’m working hard to find a permanent position at JSC. On Friday (20 Mar 2015) the interns and co-ops heard from Ginger Kerrick about her inspirational story of going from intern, to co-op, to the first non-astronaut CAPCOM, to Flight Director. Wow! What a story. It reassured me that it’s not crazy for me to be here in this situation. If you ever have a chance to meeting Ms. Kerrick or hear her speak, jump at the chance – you won’t regret it!

The other interns are SO dope! We’ve bonded over board games and St. Patrick’s Day parties (where I finally got to break out the tables). Thank you for making me feel like family.

And speaking of family, my friends that have been here for a while have been so incredibly gracious and helpful. I can’t thank Natcho, James, Liz, and Jess enough. You’ve made me feel at home when I’ve never lived away from home (the Greater Cincinnati area) before. You’re freaking awesome! You are family! Damn kids! Get off my lawn! 😉

I really want to stay here and work, and enjoy life outside of work with these amazing people.

This place really feels like home. 🙂

PS If you or someone you know wants to intern at NASA check out the OSSI page for NASA Interns, Fellows, and Scholars

#JSC #NASAIntern – Going Way Too Fast

Well Week 6 of my #NASAIntern is almost half complete. I knew this experience would go WAY too fast.

Since the last post we’ve demoed one of the projects I’ve been working on and it was received well. People are already using it to gather historical Space Station telemetry data orders of magnitude quicker. To be fair the base portion of the app was accomplished by the great work of the interns that came before me. Thank you for leaving with a great base upon which to build.

The Interns and Co-ops also had the honor of meeting and having a picture taken with the crew of International Space Station Expedition 40 ( I also was honored to meet and chat for a bit with European Space Agency Astronaut of German descent Alexander Gerst. What a pleasure!

Time to iron clothes for today and then off to the “office” – one of the best jobs in the world!

Later y’all 🙂

#JSC #NASAIntern Week 4 is Beginning

Wow! Week 4 is beginning (and my journaling skillz are weak). I’m doing a good job journaling the work things in OneNote though so that’ll help. I promise I will journal at least four times per week.

This week is the big telemetry demo for John (one of my mentors). I absolutely have to get that form complete today so he can test it tomorrow.

Last week we went on a tour of Building 9, Mission Control, and historic Mission Control. The picture you see in this entry is of us in the ISS mockup in Building 9.

We get to see such amazing things being an intern. I can’t wait to go full-time. It WILL happen 🙂

OK, off to work!!!

Week 2 of #JSC #NASAIntern Has Begun

Week 2 of my JSC internship has begun. The first item on my project plan is complete. I’ll have to get with John to see if that’s what he had in mind.

Yesterday was the big #StateOfNASA address. Administrator Bolden was at Kennedy Space Center but we watched from the Teague auditorium at JSC. The Administrator outlined all of the accomplishments of 2014 and laid out what’s ahead for the Agency. I have to say it’s an exciting time to be working at NASA.

Another surreal moment happened when our division director, former astronaut Bill McArthur, walked by me in the auditorium and said “Hi Flux.” I was almost speechless.

I worked late again, leaving at around 19:30. I have to get in as much time as I can while I’m here 🙂

I was a little deficient journaling/blogging last week. I will do better this week.

#JSC #NASAIntern Day 3 – Day of Remembrance 2015

Day 3 was a little surreal – being at JSC for NASA’s Day of Remembrance. It was 29 years ago that Challenger broke apart 73 secs into her mission. NASA designates one day to remember the crews that perished during their missions – Apollo 1, Challenger (STS-51L), and Columbia (STS-107). Nobody in the branch really made a big deal out of it but as I was walking back from lunch I walk passed Mission Control and the flag was flying at half-mast. I had to stop and take a picture and just honor the fallen crews.

I then thought “I’m going to walk through the Mission Control building when ever I get a chance. I may never have a chance to do this without an escort after this internship.” So I did. No escort. Just me.

So that is my goal – whenever I walk past the MCC building (30) I will alter my path so I have to walk through.


#JSC #NASAIntern Day 2 – First Day in the Office

I guess I’ll try to write in the mornings because I was wiped out last night.

Yesterday was the first day we reported to our organizations. The first half of the day was introductions and getting settled in. Bill Mcallister showed Chris (my fellow intern) and me around the division and gave us the required fire safety drill.

After that we were shown our desks and Desiree helped us out with our computers and office supplies. She’s so nice and helpful. It seems like she’s always smiling (even though I’ve only worked with her for one day).

The interns were invited to be bi-weekly status meeting so that we could introduce ourselves. That went very smoothly and everyone in the organization is so nice and helpful.

We left the meeting and Bill took us over to the ISS Conference Center for a small surprise retirement party – with cake!

The real joy of the day was toward the end of the day when Chris (not the intern), John, and Mike were talking about all of the anomalies on Station last week. I knew about the MDM but now they were going into super technical details of what happened. Since I don’t know how much detail I’m allowed to share I’ll just leave it at that. Just incredible though.

I cannot believe I am getting paid to be in this environment! What a joy 🙂

Well I need to iron my shirt and head to work for day 2 in the office (day 3 overall).


First Day as a #JSC #NASAIntern

Today was way better than I could have ever expected! Orientation day as a JSC NASA intern! Every one of the interns is really cool and super smart. They told us today that the 18 of us were selected from over 4000 applicants! Crazy. I feel even more privileged. Just to be included in these people is an honor.

We launched paper rockets that we built from scratch. Team Rockinators (name courtesy of Rihab) came in second. Obviously the competitive side of me was not satisfied with that result but we’ll come in first next time.

Had my first tofu burrito at Chipotle with Isabelle, Matt, Scott, Mike, and Ryan after work (how can you even call working at NASA work!?). Not too bad.

We were going to meet some of the co-ops at Fuddruckers but Ryan and I were early and felt like a beer so we went to Boondoggles. I found out his grandfather worked at KSC back in the day and that’s where he got his space bug.

Tomorrow the work begins.


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 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!