Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Enquiring Minds

Hockey-Chica Mrs. L asks: If you fall asleep during "awake" time, how do they wake you up?
A staff member would shake your shoulder and try to help you feel more alert by playing a game, moving you to a common room to spend time with others, etc. I did nearly doze off during the foot veins test, and the ultra-sound guy just touched my arm and said, "try not to fall asleep." Then hurry up, pal ;)

In the mornings, we get the same kind of "astronaut wake-up call" that the folks in space (since the Gemini era) get -- selected music piped through speakers near our beds. The staff usually picks songs, though we can request specific ones if we like.

Mrs. L also asks: Will they show you on the NASA channel?
That would be a big NO, haha... honestly, even if a camera crew descended upon us, it would be far more interesting to speak to the scientists who develop test protocols or countermeasures. However, a NASA rep asked us questions for an article to be posted on their website, that may be published this fall.

Carmi of Written Inc asks: Do you get to go see shuttle launches? NASA swag? Dinner with an astronaut? Space center tours?
Definitely swag! Our Activities Coordinator gave me a pen, shirt and tote bag so far. She also arranged for items from the employee store… and I hear we get gifts upon completion. I've already seen two shuttle launches and toured two space centers twice each. While interviewing, we're driven around areas of NASA that tourists don't generally lay eyes on, and that was a pretty cool perq -- if you don't mind gun-toting-guys barking at you for your security badge and driver's license at checkpoints. I know other folks went to see Rocket Park during screening.

Alas, no astro-dinners... I wish! In the past, Dan Thomas and one of the Kelly brothers came to visit... also Michael Coats came through once to meet everyone. More may breeze through, who knows!