I promised a recap of STS-132 so before time gets away from me…and my memories are replaced by new and improved ones…grab your beverage of choice and enjoy.
The STS-132 mission will forever hold a special place in the ole memory bank for many reasons. This is my first and only mission as a lead flight data file (FDF) coordinator. To the outside world that doesn’t really mean much and to those in the inside world it means even less but to me…it was a new challenge and opportunity to build on my skill set and share in new experiences.
I come from the International Space Station (ISS) Operations Data File (ODF) side of the house…yes our houses have continued to remain divided. Here’s a sneak peek comparing the tasks:
Managed by procedure ~3000+
IPs have input to many procedures
On avg ~ 150 change request
4 or 5 books and 4 cue cards fabricated for crew review
Crew is already on board ISS
Very little involvement w/crew training
Managed by book (24)
On avg ~16 change request
No translation of any kind
24 books/150 cue cards fabricated for crew review
Crew is in training on ground
Attend almost all of crew training events
The last attribute is the one that makes the difference…involvement in the crew training events. This is where you get to know the crew and develop professional relationships.
This particular crew was made up of veteran crew members, meaning they have all flown before, and tasked with the last flight of Atlantis. The crew office couldn’t have picked a better crew. They were laid back, easy going and they didn’t sweat the small stuff and most of all they knew how to have fun and were shenanigan friendly.
In the beginning I was nervous and unsure but by the time crew review came around (6 months later about 2 weeks prior to launch) I had come into my own and participated in the free flowing playful banter free during crew review.
My fondest memories of this flight:
• Team pictures at Minute Maid when it was rainy and at least 30 degrees inside the park
• Crew Review
• Final days of flight prep leading up to launch
• Ascent/Abort cue card
• Email from SPACE!
• Welcome home at Ellington Field
I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to work with this team and get my FDF on and most of all…be a part of history.