Friday, February 4, 2011


Astro-NOTS Emblem
No astronauts available for Shuttle simulator testing? Hey, just catch a flight controller by the toe! They can use anyone who fits the suit and knows the drill (although, those two requirements aren't as simple as they sound)...

You may remember Liz Warren from my past post about folks who work in the Mission Control Center (MCC) in Houston, and she was also recently featured on the NASA Education site by my old friend The Other Heather. Sometimes we all just link in circles!

Scientist Liz WarrenThe team that straps the astronauts into the Space Shuttle prior to launch are called "The Closeout Crew", and they undergo training sessions at Johnson Space Center in the Space Vehicle Mock-up Facility, just like the astronauts.

Liz recently joined them in the SVMF for Closeout Crew Training, where she suited up to be strapped into one of the Shuttle Orbiter mock-ups -- most specifically, the CCT or Crew Compartment Trainer... that would be the one pointed skyward for these exercises.

NASA Spacesuits
Have you ever laid your clothes out on the bed the night before you wear them? It must be great to be an astronaut and have a suit specialist do it for you -- because truly, just getting into a space suit and wearing it all day is enough hard work for one body.

That's CDR Spasmunkey to you!
Wouldn't we all love to sit in this chair for a drill! I'd sure try it, any day. Ingress, pretty easy... and as for Egress? "You basically pretend like you are incapacitated and they drag you out of the orbiter." Sounds fun. And check out who else showed up for Astro-NOT duty one day:

Stephen ColbertSpecial thanks to Flight Controllers Sarah Saroy, Liz Warren and astronaut trainer Michael Grabois (in that order through the post!) for these great images. Is it possible to have too much fun?!