Thursday, February 18, 2010



Ah... I love being me. I love my life. I love living so close to a major space flight center. I love my passion for space, and even more, I love, love, LOVE being surrounded by hundreds of people with the same desire to support exploration and collaboration in the name of human spaceflight.

NASA Twitter
My first NASA Tweetup was truly amazing! Our Twitter group got a personal message from the crew of Expedition 22 on the International Space Station, met an astronaut and the king of the flight controllers, witnessed live communications from Shuttle Mission Control and cruised the major astronaut training facilities, even seeing some new AsCans hard at work!

I know I am not alone in profusely thanking all of the event organizers and "NASA Ambassadors" who badged, orientated, and guided all of us roaming twitterers -- whether you only drove a few hours (yeah, I was the slacker of the group) or flew 5,000 miles from Brazil (seriously!), they made everyone feel special and welcome! Kudos to all of you for your hard work, you should be very proud!

Reporter’s mission briefing pad, badge & event program - CLICK to EMBIGGEN
Reporter’s mission briefing pad, badge & event program

Over the next week, I’ll be sharing videos on my YouTube Channel and also loads of fun photos of all my new buddies... BUT FIRST...

It was my very great honor and pleasure to meet Tim Reynolds at the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility, where he serves as the Operations Control Center Supervisor – and has seen many an astronaut come and go for simulation training! (For those who aren't familiar with the SVMF, I have picture galleries of both the aerial views and floor level views from my previous visit there... and not much changed, so I won’t bore anyone with repeats.)

Tim Reynolds Astronaut Memorial
Tim Reynolds, SVMF Operations Control

We rather interfered with their workday, but everyone was very generous with their time. Tim in particular was great sport for posing with his favorite creation (done aside from his usual job and in his spare time) –- a beautiful and moving astronaut memorial. Created with help from NASA graphic design artist Vicki Cantrell, this collage commemorates the lives lost in Apollo 1, Challenger and Columbia.

I remembered Tim Reynolds from the Johnson Space Center magazine I read last year while in the Lunar Gravity Study at UTMB, where he was the focus of an employee spotlight article. Interestingly, he mentioned that if he weren't working for JSC, he might be in Colorado or New Mexico... and now that's precisely where he is retiring in about 2 weeks!

After nearly 15 years of service at NASA for our nation's space program, he will be free to cavort amongst the Rocky Mountains to his heart's content. It will be a loss to the SMVF, but well-deserved rest for him and certainly Colorado's gain... thanks for the tour and good luck, Tim!