Browsing articles from "August, 2011"

L-3 and Counting: We’re Off to #NASATweetup #NASAJuno Mission to Jupiter

Aug 2, 2011   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog, Space, Travel  //  No Comments

Juno NASA credit NASASeveral weeks ago NASA announced a new Tweetup for the launch of NASA Juno, a mission to collect data about the origins of Jupiter.  Rob and I were not selected in the first round, but waitlisted (lovingly referred to as being on the #WaitUp List).  Just a couple of weeks ago we both got news that we were moved up to the invite list. That made me happy, as Rob has not yet had the opportunity to attend a NASATweetup before.  This time we can share the experience…and I hope the blogging and picture taking duties. 

This rocket launch is scheduled to take place Friday 5 August around 11:34 AM ET.  Right now it’s looking like the weather is still at 70% go, even with Emily forming in the Atlantic.

Like the NASATweetup I attended in May, NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) will be providing briefings and demonstrations the day before the launch.  Notice that you can watch some of the NASATweetup activities on NASA TV starting at 10:30 AM ET on 4 August.  Since NASA provides this stream for free to most TV providers, you may get this channel for free.  If not, you can also live stream via the links provided.

The Juno spacecraft will take five years to reach Jupiter.  In 2016 it will spend about a year orbiting the red-eyed planet then "deorbit" into Jupiter to end its mission.  The spacecraft is solar powered.  You might notice how large those panels are in the NASA artwork.  That’s because Jupiter is 25 times further away from the sun as the Earth is, so it has less sunlight to power the craft.

Our agenda for the 2-day NASATweetup will be:

 

Thursday, Aug.4/L-1: Tweetup Day 1

(8:00 a.m. – Tower rollback)

9:00 a.m. – Welcome by Trent Perrotto (@NASA) & Veronica McGregor (@NASAJPL)

10:30 a.m. – Waleed Abdalati, Chief Scientist, NASA Headquarters (NASA TV starts http://www.ustream.tv/nasatelevision)

10:45 a.m. – Jim Adams (@NASAJim), deputy director, Planetary Science, NASA Headquarters

11:00 a.m. – Scott Bolton, Juno principal investigator

11:10 a.m. – Steve Levin, Juno project scientist

11:30 a.m. – Juno Science Team members Toby Owen, Fran Bagenal, Dave Stevenson discuss Why Jupiter? Why Juno?

11:55 a.m. – Steve Matousek (@SteveMatousek), Juno proposal manager, and Jan Chodas, Juno project manager

12:15 p.m. – Chris Brosious, chief systems engineer for Juno, Lockheed Martin

2:00 p.m. – Tour of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, including stops at Launch Complex 17 (GRAIL), the Atlas V Spaceflight Operations Center (Juno/Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity), Launch Complex 41 (Juno), and the Vehicle Assembly Building

Friday, Aug. 5/ Launch: Tweetup Day 2

8:30 a.m. – Group picture beside the countdown clock

8:35 a.m. – Mike Ravine, JunoCam instrument manager, and Mike Caplinger, JunoCam Systems Engineer, Malin Space Science Systems

9:00 a.m. –     Group 1: "Eyes on the Solar System" demo with Doug Ellison, JPL Visualization Producer (@NASA_Eyes) in press briefing room

Group 2: Gravity table demo with Dan Goods, JPL Visual Strategist, and What’s Up? astronomy demo with Jane Houston Jones, JPL Outreach Specialist, Cassini mission (@CassiniSaturn) in the tent

9:30 a.m. –     Group 1: Gravity table and What’s Up?

                        Group 2: Eyes on the Solar System

10:00 a.m. – Rex Engelhardt, (@NASA_LSP), mission manager, Launch Services Program

10:30 a.m. – Bill Nye the Science Guy, (@thescienceguy)

11:34 a.m.Launch window opens for Juno spacecraft to Jupiter

(window closes at 12:43 p.m.)

~1 p.m. – Post-launch news conference on NASA TV

What an agenda.  Bill Nye the Science guy.  Investigators, Scientists, Project managers, Mission managers.  What I found so great about the previous Tweetup I attended was having the opportunity to chat with people who are making a difference in the lives of millions of people, even for generations to come.

The tour is one of the most amazing parts of being a NASATweetup attendee.  Special access to launch pads, the Vehicle Assembly Building, operations centers: these are really once in a lifetime experiences.  We’ll be tweeting most of the event and posting pictures using the #NASATweetup and #NASAJuno hashtags, along with 150 other lucky space geeks.

Part 2 of Professional Development: What Would You Tell Your 16-Year-Old Self?

Aug 2, 2011   //   by Rob Drysdale   //   Blog, Fun, Professional Development, Space  //  4 Comments

Rob HS Graduation

A couple of weeks ago, Karen posted Professional Development: What Would You Tell Your 16-Year-Old Self?  There was a lot of discussion about it on Twitter and I’ve been meaning to write up a post about my 16-Year-Old self ever since then.  It would appear though that they’ve finally come out and said that time-travel is impossible so I’ll never get to go back and say these things to myself.  I also had trouble finding a pic of me at 16, but I did find the one above of me at 18.

While Karen focused on the purely professional advice she’d give to herself, I’m going to wander a bit more than that and hit the highlights on a few more topics than she did.

  1. The end of high school or university is not the end.  Remember that you always need to be learning new things.  You don’t necessarily have to take formal classes, but there will always be new things to learn.
  2. You can’t rely on others to look after your career and your training.  You are the one that is in control of your life.  Don’t ever forget it.
  3. Working for a living is not the same as living for work.  And you don’t have to work 40 hours a week for someone else to make a living.
  4. Learn how to say No.  As you work through the early years in your career you need to make sure that you only take on what you can handle and that it’s okay to say ‘No’.  Somewhere you grew up with this idea that you can’t say ‘No’, but think about it.  You are the one that can judge whether you can handle something or not.  You may not know this now, but even your own Father learned to say no to certain jobs he didn’t want to do. And that’s okay.
  5. Speaking of our Father…watch how he does those mechanical and household repairs.  Sooner or later you’re going to own a house and you’ll need to know those things.  But just remember, you’ll never be able to drywall, tape, mud and sand as well as he can.
  6. You’ll never, ever regret those two years of typing class you just had.
  7. You know that Space Shuttle that just launched? Keep watching those because in 30 years it will have it’s last flight.
  8. Take time to enjoy life as it comes and don’t let work get in the way.  And when Karen (oh yeah, you’re going to marry a wonderful woman named Karen) goes to Germany, Amsterdam, New Zealand and … (heck, I can’t even list them all), don’t say you can’t go with her because you have to work.
  9. Never forget to have fun.  When it stops being fun, stop doing it.
  10. Oh, and one last thing…that company called “Apple” that just started publicly selling shares last year…buy some.

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