Space Is Our Future!
It is shortsighted of us as a collective humanity to think that we will be able to contain ourselves to this planet. It only takes a clear, starry night to prove to a person that there is so much more out there than this "Pale Blue Dot" , to quote the late Dr. Carl Sagan.
The awe and wonder of seeing a Shuttle launch, watching old Apollo footage, or just staring up at the night sky prove to me, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that space exploration will be man's last, best destiny.
The responsibility for maintaining man's presence in space falls upon each and every one of us.
If you haven't done your part, it's time to take action! NASA and the space exploration push as a whole is constantly under fire from organizations, politicians, and individuals who don't realize the benefits from space exploration.
It's up to us to educate them!
As a nation and a planet, the exploration of space and other worlds will provide a unifying force... a sense of direction and purpose... that can only be a positive influence in this insane "me me me" lifestyle that seems to permeate society.
Why am I so passionate about space exploration?
I was five years old when Apollo 11 landed on the Moon.
That year, for Christmas, I received a spacesuit and helmet... I still have the picture and remember how much I loved them.
From that point on, I was determined to do something space-related.
My Career in Mission Control
I was fortunate enough to live my life-long dream and have a 12 year career with NASA as a Rendezvous Flight Dynamics Officer (FDO) working in the Space Shuttle Mission Control Center (MCC). The FDO (pronounced "FDO") is the primary MCC Flight Controller responsible for the overall trajectory of the manned vehicle and the target vehicle(s). When I was a FDO, that was the Space Shuttle and various payloads, including the Russian space station Mir.
I started work at NASA's Johnson Space Center three weeks and two days prior to the STS-51L accident that resulted in the loss of Challenger and her crew.
The period that followed left an indelible mark on my life as I was able to be a part of the recovery as the entire NASA community came together as a family, solved the problems, and returned to space.
The links, below, cover a range of topics, from specific information on "What is a FDO?" to some information on life and operations in the MCC. The tributes under the Space Exploration section mean a lot to me... please take the time to read them! Thanks... and drop me a line sometime!