I've shared a little about the projects keeping me busy, and since I've done nothing new since then I thought I'd share some more details. These aren't your every day regular projects. They are first time ever done projects, which might explain my fried nerves.
Yep. My rocket. Well, I don't own it. But for the last two years I've been doing outreach and education for the Solar Dynamics Observatory, NASA's first mission in the Living With a Star Program, meant to study the Sun. I've been designing lessons, visiting classrooms, speaking with teachers, making things, waiting, hoping that launch day would finally come. We've been pushed back a total of two years now. Problems arise, more popular missions come up, and we get a new launch date.
Through Twitter that is exactly what we've been able to plan. As of this morning there were 200 events - school or independent - registered across the country (and world!) People in Florida will be talking to people in India who will be talking to classrooms in VA and TX. All this around the launch of a satellite that "no one cares about." I'm exhausted with work in preparation for these events, but I'm constantly re-energized by talking to these teachers about their classrooms, students, and plans to get them excited about science and space exploration.
I had a "Once in a lifetime" moment last weekend. I taught a teacher workshop at Kennedy Space Center. For me this was the Mecca of science/space education. NASA gives you quality resources, but to get them from a NASA center is even better, and to be the one giving those resources - lets just say I had an emotional moment. I don't plan on spending my career at NASA, and most likely this will be the only launch I experience from the inside. Standing in front of those teachers at the Kennedy ERC was a high point for me, truly a once in a lifetime moment.
This whole launch process has gotten very emotional. My boss and I were tearing up in the office last week. The launch means a change in EPO approach, the end of a phase and the beginning of a new one. The things we've been working on for so long are finally done, finally here. It's finally time to say goodbye.