January 12, 2005

Deep Impact

NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft was successfully launched into space today, and yours truly was there to watch...sort of. I wasn't at Kennedy Space Center; instead, I was at the "ROC", which is where the project "NOPE" (Network Operations Project Engineer) keeps tabs on all the things that have to go right for JPL to track the spacecraft, receive its telemetry, and send it commands. Among those things are the various subsystems of JPL's Deep Space Network. For critical events (such as launch and first acquisition) the flight projects like to have subsystem engineers on-tap in case anything should go wrong. And since I work on the Uplink subsystem, that meant me, or one of my co-workers. This time it was me.

The experience was both exciting, as I'd not supported a launch before, and terribly, terribly boring, as nothing went wrong that I had to deal with. Please note: I'm not complaining. Boring is what I was hoping for.

But a full day of boring leaves me tolerably brain-dead and in no mood for blogging, so I will leave you with a link to the Deep Impact home page. Don't miss it!

Posted by Will Duquette at January 12, 2005 08:11 PM