What I’ve Been Up To… May and part of June

Our garden is looking pretty good:

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At work in May I was involved in the planning of 3 different tours, which was kind of stressful. But was also pretty cool. One was for the kids who won our engineering design challenge, one was for some of the employees of Think Geek, and one was for the group behind the Save JWST social media campaign.

Here are some pics taken during those tours. This is of the Hyperwall, a huge wall of monitors that make visualizations really impressive.

This one shows ocean currents:
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Nobel Laureate John Mather talking to the kids – this graph is basically what he won the Nobel Prize for. The data from his mission matched the predicted data and basically proved that the Big Bang Theory was correct.
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In the cleanroom – this is the ISIM structure (the black latticed thing) that will hold JWST’s instruments plus two of the flight instruments. The silver thing in it is one of the flight instruments.
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This is one of the 4 MMS satellites. MMS is the Magnetic Multiscale Mission. It’s basically 4 satellites that will study the earth’s magnetosphere!

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We also toured the kids through the fabrication building where they actually make spacecraft parts. This is, I think, a prototype of a Venus probe!
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In May the cupcake flavor of the month at a place I found up in Laurel was “Orange Dream” – it was pretty good.
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We’ve made a bunch of changes to our bandroom – new bass traps (made with coffee bags!) and now we each have our own DI box (direct-in) to plug our guitars into, making recording easier.
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I saw a Luna moth outside the post office:
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And…another Goddard tour. This is a self portrait in a shiny replica of the Lunar Reconaissance Orbiter satellite. That is a JWST mirror blank behind me.
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Back to the Hyperwall – more ocean currents, I think?
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This is the Satellite Servicing Capability building that I didn’t know existed until recently. They are working on robotic servicing of satellites for things like refueling. This is a mockup of part of a satellite and robot arms:
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This is the Robotic Refueling Mission. The real one is on the space station and was actually the very last space shuttle payload. This was another experiment in robotic refueling cability.

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But I had trouble looking away from this – live feeds from the space station. Astronauts kept floating by the upper left camera.
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Working in a vacuum chamber:
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A giant shaker table for vibration testing of satellites:
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Another view of that MMS satellite. Did you know each of the 4 satellites have different color struts so they can be easily told apart by techs working on them? I’ll have pics of the others coming up.
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This was outside the MMS cleanroom!
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The MMS cleanroom – you can see two of the other MMS satellites to the left:
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Here’s one – green struts!
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Timmy, the ThinkGeek monkey mascot in his little bunny suit in front of a real tech:
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Another MMS satellite. Black struts!
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I saw this on the internet and thought it was funny:
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A pretty sunset by a little trail/lake by Bowie Town Center:
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A cornflower:
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Up very early to cheer Doug in a 5k:
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He’s in there somewhere!
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Ranunculus in the supermarket:
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We visited my parents and took a walk on Slaughter Beach. It was really cold. And there was a wedding going on. They looked cold too…

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There were dead horseshoe crabs everywhere:
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Mother’s Day cupcakes:
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Selfie with JWST’s mirror blank:
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More cleanroom antics (this is probably tour #3):
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There is a super powerful camera in our big cleanroom that engineers can use to zoom in on things in the cleanroom. We got someone to unlock it and show it to us. He zoomed in on us, in the cleanroom observation area!
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Alex, in the office next door, got a coffee maker with a milk steamer. He made me a cappuccino:
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Our sole peony in our garden:
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The giant rose bush outside Building 8:
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Selfie with my Gretsch taken after I got home from Abbey Road on the River all inspired to play…
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How about a little tour of my office?
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My officemate’s many monitors:
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My mom scanned in a whole bunch of old class pictures, which has turned into a mini 80s reunion on Facebook. Here’s me in nursery school:
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A flower from Dress U:
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The drive home from Dress U:
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Baltimore in the rain:
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Selfie at band with my Fender Strat:
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Music equipment, my DI-box:
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So our new guy, Joe, had a birthday on June 7, two days before mine, so we had a combined birthday lunch at our fav Indian place. They gave us free ice cream. It looked like boobs.
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Clover:
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Willow decided that Doug’s Mac mini was a good butt-warmer:
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For my birthday, we had people over and played a bunch of games. We had an epic Cards Against Humanity game:
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Doug and I took a walk at a nearby trail he found that we didn’t know was there til recently:
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Also from the internet. Apologies to any biologists out there:
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Band again!
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The milk steamer in Alex and Joe’s office has turned into a full-fledged “Goddardbucks” complete with syrups, a tip jar, and CDs for “sale” – I put my band’s and my friend Kjetil’s CDs out:
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One of the last Big Bang Theories had a scene wherein there were 10 or 11 JWST things in it! It was really exciting. It never gets old.

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Whew, ok, well that takes us part-way through June!