From One Blue Sphere

In a cosmos void and lifeless vast, Where stars gleamed cold, and shadows cast, Lay empty realms, a silent space, Without a pulse, a breath, a trace.

But from one blue and teeming sphere, Emerged a race, that conquered fear. With dreams as vast as skies above, Humanity soared on wings of love.

They took the seeds of life they knew, And ‘cross the void, those seeds they threw. To barren worlds and empty moons, To silent nights and endless noons.

With tech and touch, they wove a dance, Gave planets chance, a second glance. Where once was stillness, now there thrived, New forms of life, awake, alive.

Oceans bloomed and forests grew, Skies turned pink, then orange, then blue. Creatures stirred in seas and land, All shaped by humanity’s hand.

And thus, the once dead universe, Heard songs, and tales, a poet’s verse. For every corner, nook and cranny, Echoed with life, from Mercury to uncanny galaxies.

A testament to the human will, That cannot sit, that cannot still. In a lifeless void, cold and vast, Humanity ensured life would last.

Going to work in Mission Control at NASA!!

In February, I start a job at NASA’s Johnson Space Center eventually working in mission control supporting the International Space Station (ISS).

I think you all know that space exploration and the vision of humanity going into the rest of the solar system and beyond excites me. You have surely seen the monthly North Houston Space Society meetings that I help put on. Or maybe you participated in my Countdown to the Moon project. Or maybe you saw one of the many of my space related posts.

Now, I am no longer just talking, posting, and dreaming, but actually taking steps to do something professionally space related.

This is a complete career change for me.

For the past 25 years, I have worked in the computer industry. I started out at Neosoft doing tech support for dialup internet customers, worked at T1 Design creating internet applications for Compaq, at HP working on their online store and sales planning applications, and the last 7 years at Anaplan in various roles, including as a manager.

The job I will be doing at NASA is an entry level job which most people get right out of college. I figure it is a great place to start for something completely new and different. It involves 1 to 2 years of training and testing, and then I will be working on the SPARTAN team in mission control responsible for station power and the external thermal control systems.

Over the course of the next few years, I will be developing a much deeper and real-world view of space operations. My absolute dream would be to work on the Artemis program and to be in mission control the next time we have people walking on the moon.

I look forward to sharing my journey with you.

I hope that by taking this small step, that it might be a giant leap in helping to encourage you and others to pursue any dreams that you want to do.

Reflections on Countdown to the Moon a year ago – 1794 – Lisa

Lisa was taking tennis lessons a year ago. Several things I learned from this interview.

  1. In Germany it is common to say “press our thumbs” instead of “cross our fingers” when hoping something would happen.
  2. Having a goal of every visitor that goes to Space Center Houston know that we are planning to send people back to the moon would be a good thing
  3. People need to understand “Why now?” “What triggers us to go?”

Reflections on Countdown to the Moon a year ago – 1795 – Opal

Opal also worked at the mall. Different kiosk, but she did know Syed. She thinks it would be cool if we could actually accomplish this goal. And she seemed to find it more interesting.

It is amazing how many people are out there willing to help a stranger with his project. I’m very grateful to everyone that has participated.

And I look forward to some day being able to talk to people at kiosks at a mall, without a mask, and without concern for a pandemic. How much has changed in the past year!

Reflections on Countdown to the Moon a year ago – 1796 – Syed

Who to interview? I had started trying to interview people at the mall. Going up to random shoppers felt odd. But there were people working a kiosks that were trying to get people’s attention. Syed was one of them. I think his was glasses.

Syed would prefer to go some place different. “We have already been to the moon. We should invest those resources into something else.” I started to probe his position and he became a little defensive “I’m not a fan of astronomy. If you go into the nitty gritty, then there might be some advantage but my point of view is that we should do something else.” And that is a valid point of view.

One thing I try not to do on these interviews is to make people feel defensive, embarrassed or questioned. My number one objective with these interviews is to try to make people feel understood or at least have them feel that they are trying to be understood.

GadgetNate’s Week in Review and Preview February 21, 02021

LAST WEEK to Donate to St. Jude and get a chance to go to space:

Reflections on Countdown to the Moon a year ago – 1797 – Cornell and Jamal

Cornell and Jamal were in the neighborhood doing door to door marketing. They made a few interesting comments “We actually made it to the moon” (reference to the Apollo deniers I think). “Why did we stop going?” “cost” “I didn’t know that America had a problem with cost.”

It seems we have unlimited money for weapons, for jails, for police, for military, for stadiums, and the like. But it seems that we are limited when it comes to education, exploration, and science. Though we do spend a lot of money on these things.

But we in the US value conflict and winning. We do not necessarily value science, exploration, and discovery. Name some explorers. ok… Now name some rich people. Name some powerful people. Ok now try to name some smart people. Why are they smart.

I feel that no one will have trouble naming rich and powerful people. But will be challenged to name a scientist.

Reflections on Countdown to the Moon a year ago – 1798 – Karastin

Last January I was attending Yoga weekly. I was interviewing a person each week. It took care of one of the days. It was neat to sit down and find out a little more about the people in the class. The previous week I interviewed Huong. The week before that Charlie. And in future weeks I would interview Karastin’s friend, and I think after that I went to the UK and then the lockdowns happened. How soon will we get back to normal?

Karastin mentioned a podcast about the people living in the Hi-Seas simulation in Hawaii. I believe it was The Habitat:

It is interesting that Karastin does not want to travel to space. But I would find out over the course of the year that many people have a fear of going to space. Perhaps many of them their most vivid and direct space memories are of the Challenger blowing up in 1986 or the Columbia disintegrating over Texas in 2003.