Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Space Camp Hall of Fame

It has been a very busy couple of weeks, that have included two exciting geeky weekends.

I don't often Blog about my involvement with the Society of Women Engineers (SWE). As my disclaimer says, this blog is my personal opinion, that does not necessarily represent that of any organization in which I am a member, nor that of my employer.

One of the benefits of being involved in a porfessional society like SWE or AIAA, is that these societies bring up opportunities. I failed to mention that a few years ago, AIAA brought in Roger Launius as our special guest speaker for the end-of-year awards banquet. I don't always blog about these events, although I usually journal about them. Professional society events are generally public and open knowledge... yet they also blur the boundaries between work and personal life.

So, I'm involved with the North Alabama section of SWE.

Our most recent past President of SWE (at the Society level) was Elizabeth Bierman. On July 25th, she was inducted in to the Space Camp Hall of Fame. As an active participant in the local section, I was given the opportunity to represent the Section at the SWE table, an opportunity that I gratefully accepted.

As my husband and son headed to Indiana for a week of "Camp Grandma," I was re-inspired by the speakers and the Space Camp Youth attending this banquet.

Before the dinner, astronaut Rhea Seddon was autographing copies of her book, "Go for Orbit."

Then there were a few minutes to socialize before we ate, and then the program began.

The Keynote Address was given by the Space Launch System Program Manager at Marshall Space Flight Center, Todd May. He spoke about the Pluto FlyBy, and where SLS is going to take us.

The four Inductees were recognized, although only two were present this evening.

And when the program ended, we took more pictures. The Inductees were not the only special guests that evening. My last summer in Houston, while I was third trimester with my son, I coordinated a conversation that included Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger. She was at the ceremony, so we had a couple of minutes to catch up:

The other Inductee who was present that evening, was Bobak Ferdowski, the "Mohawk Guy" flight director for Mars Curiosity's landing.

And that was a wrap for the evening. My ticket didn't cover the concert in the Rocket Park, and besides I needed to get home to walk the dog & feed both pets.

It was... an emotional evening. The overall message was that Space Camp teaches teamwork. It takes all kinds of people, working together, to make a mission successful. I saw that up front when I worked in Houston.