Thursday, December 31, 2009

Best Job Ever


A new bit of press from the International CSM, to wrap up 2009! And not a moment too soon. Everyone seems anxious to reach 2010, hoping for a break in the recession routine. However, or those of us lucky enough to land the "best job ever" in the Flight Analog Program, this was a nice end-of-year wrap.

CSM Writer Laurent Belsie submitted what I think is one of the best articles ever written about the Simulation programs, and gave us many "firsts" (not an easy feat now, given how many organizations have covered the NASA project, either with NASA's knowledge and cooperation or independently) -- first time it hasn't incorrectly been dubbed a "sleep" study by an international outlet, first time I think I was correctly quoted (!) with no attempt to appear controversial... and definitely the first time it's been in the "Money" section of a publication, indicating a choice for employment.

Most other times, we'll show up in a Science, Tech or Space section... or much to our amusement, in FOX Houston's "WEIRD NEWS" section.

Can You Spot The Upside-Down Monkey?

This feature had information on three different test subjects -- Debra Robison in 2007, me in 2008 and Scott Saslow in 2009. Covering all the bases! Laurent was a great interviewer as well, prepared with sensible, analytical questions about the space science, and he managed to be both informative and accurate about the program protocols in an upbeat way.

I think he gave a very balanced view of the pros and cons of the overall experience of the study. While it's an amazing way to participate in the space program and there are many fun perqs, it does have its distinct challenges.

With my apologies to Scott, however... I liked the refried beans just fine. It was that chicken-mushroom dish I dreaded, after about the 10th rotation!

Looking forward to seeing all new subjects for the new programs in the new year! I hear rumblings from the island that some new variations in the simulations are about to begin... mostly 30-day and 60-day campaigns, now that the 90-day studies have been brought to a close. Perhaps new Lunar Gravity and Vertical Treadmill studies? We'll soon see...