Sorry that I haven't blogged in such a while, but as I've said before, work has been pretty rough, but things are improving (I think...). And, last week I was in Houston for the National Challenger Learning Center for Space Science Education Conference. The week was pretty good. Monday was AWESOME! For those of us who got there a day early, we got an up close and personal tour of Johnson Space Center. I was in the Mission Control Room where the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo and first shuttle missions were run. For a space geek like me, that was like being in Jerusalem or Mecca for a Jew or Muslim, respectively. I saw the Neutral Buoyancy Lab (otherwise known as the largest pool in the world where astronauts train underwater in their 185 lb spacesuits), Building 9 (one full size shuttle mock-up, two cockpit mock-ups, one International Space Station mock-up, etc.) and Mission Control. I got to meet four astronauts last week. Barbara Morgan, Scott Paraczynski (sp?), Bill McArthur, and Rick Mastracchio. Rick and Barbara are training together for their June 2007 mission (STS-118). They were both incredibly nice and Rick was really great for talking with Mellisa and me for two hours. We were able to pick his brain about living in space, training to be an astronaut, going through the application process, etc. I also talked with him a little about Waterbury, CT (his hometown, where my mom and Aunt Shennie grew up).
This week also began training for our new staff. Day One went well, tomorrow we get our interim receptionist. So yay! I don't have to learn another job. I'm down to 2 and a half jobs rather than three (Kim's still training, so I'm still doing half her job for at least another two to three weeks...)
I'll make up a flickr account or something for my Houston pics. I'll post the link once I've got the hookup.