So I've never really blogged. Anywhere. Ever. But for once, I have a reason to.
Some of you know that I do mission operations work for 5 different satellites for the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space physics (University of Colorado). If you've been following the news, you may know that the newest of these satellites, Kepler, just launched and is currently in its 60-day commissioning phase.
So, why am I blogging? Because I feel I need to share the best parts about my job. I'm not talking about those glorious moments where I (me) (me!) command a crucial maneuver to point the high-gain antenna at the Earth or to eject the dust cover. I'm not talking about the technical analysis I do verify the health and safety of the spacecraft. I'm talking about the free food. The glorious, glorious free good.
You see, because we're funded by NASA and Ball Aerospace, we get free food every day -- 4 meals a day -- for the entire 60-day commissioning period before the nominal science mission begins. And we're not getting just coffee, cookies, and snacks. We're getting catered food from the Front Range Catering Company. Quality stuff.
Launch was on March 6. Today is March 18. 48 -- count them -- days until the free food runs out. I'm going to post the highlights of the best of the free food that we get, because when you have to sit on a late-night shift from 11pm to 7am and basically watch paint dry on a computer screen, the free food is the only thing we at LASP and BATC give a shit about. Satellite health and safety? Strictly secondary. (Don't tell them I said that.)
Here is an abbreviated list of the food we've gotten in the 12 days since launch on March 6, not in chronological order:
-Italian Sausage (and vegetarian) Lasagna; Caesar Salad; fresh-baked peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies
-Corned Beef Sandwiches (St. Patty's Day!)
-Taco Salad with Chicken and Chef's Salad with 4 kinds of meat (and at least 9 kinds of dressing... wtf)
-Pasta Fresca with Vodka Cream Sauce; Caesar Salad; Brownies
-Sub sandwiches (Italian, Roast Beef/Turkey, Vegetarian); Carrot Cake
-Meatball Subs, mozzarella cheese, marinara; 4 kinds of salad
-Indian Food -- not sure what it was, I missed out.
And, of course, an unlimited supply of coffee.
"LASP Mission Ops: We don't believe in 'Caffeine Free'."