I spent the morning at Mission Control, getting there at the the bright and early time of 5:15 a.m.
Definitely a fantastic end to a second week. For a couple of reasons:
- I was in Mission Control. And not just in the viewing room, but on the floor.
- The spacewalk had to be terminated early (which was not good), but meant that I was next to Rob when he did all the commentary that factored in the anomaly. Like PR on the fly, and it was spectacular. He’s really a pro.
- I watched as Gary did some social media/Premiere Pro magic.
- I learned a whole lot about spacewalks and a chunk about commentary.
- I got some pretty fantastic pictures.
(PAO stands for Public Affairs Officer. And Rob was doing live commentary the whole time.)
So, to give a little background on the spacewalk, it was the 192nd. NASA’s Tim Kopra and Britain’s Tim Peake were going out to do four things:
- Replace a failed voltage regulator on the space station
- Install a vent
- Grab a broken light bulb
- Lay a lot of cable
Tim and Tim finished one, and Tim was working on four and Tim just finished two, when Tim who finished two saw water floating in his helmet. Yes, water inside his airtight helmet. From there, Mission Control called off the spacewalk.
Watch a brief recap here. When the video switches to the camera angle of the full view of Mission Control, you can see Rob, Gary, and I in the top left-hand corner.
Remember Paul? (He held up the toothbrush during the spacewalk briefing. The Tims did not use the toothbrush during the walk.) Paul was there, of course.
Hopefully he’s not upset about the spacewalk going a bit differently then he planned. It went swimmingly up until the helmet prob and a faulty CO2 sensor (even ahead of schedule a bit!), and even during the termination, everything was by the book.
Jessica Mier was one of the two astronauts who was communicating with the space station throughout my time in Mission Control. I’ll be in a documentary with her later on. So that will be cool!
Also, I love the little relics by all of the stations.
But to give you a perspective of where I was last time I saw this Mission Control…
I was up there. Behind the glass and unable to hear all the little channels.
So thank you Rob! It was a wonderful experience, and I hope you didn’t mind my questions too much. And thank you Gary for putting up with me and letting me into Mission Control!
From left, Gary (a Penn Stater), Rob (the voice of NASA), and yours truly. The lovely lady sitting in PLUTO’s section here took the photo.
P.S. This was my view. I really enjoyed it.