Even though I never made it to space (darned color-blindness disqualification!!), I was honored to have spent a good portion of my professional life in Mission Control.
I served 26 flights as a Flight Dynamics Officer. 12 years spent deploying satellites, rendezvousing with Mir (multiple times!), helping work new and interesting trajectory techniques, and so many other cool things.
But more importantly, I was blessed with being a part of the greatest group of people I’ve ever had the honor and privilege of knowing.
The entire Mission Operations Directorate were more than co-workers… we were family. We looked out for each other. There were marriages, births, divorces, deaths, graduations.
We were there. Happy times and sad. Ups and downs.
Softball games, chili cook-offs, pre-flight tamale parties, certification beer busts, post-flight parties at The Outpost… great times with fantastic people.