As I sit here, it is less than eight hours until midnight and the start of 15 February. Or, Training Day, as I have started calling it. For 30 days I have been anxiously awaiting the clock’s ticking to take me to 15 February.
“Training Day”, granted, is a bit of a misnomer. Our Scientist/Astronaut training will not be encapsulated in a single day. Nor a single week or even a single month. It will be a two-year journey for me and (at least word) 14 other scientist/astronaut trainees. “Training Day” is simply the opening ceremonies of our two-year-long academic Olympics.Each one of us is competing against the single toughest opponent we have ever faced: ourselves. Good thing this is a team event, for one of the critical skills we will be learning will be team-building. This isn’t a SURVIVOR-type knock-out elimination event. The ideal goal is that we all graduate at the end, not as single individuals, but as Citizen Scientist/Astronaut Team 1.
No doubt, there will be a lot of work. There’s bound to be a lot of fun, too, along the way. Honestly, I’m looking forward to it all: meeting new professionals from different walks of life and professions; the new skills; the new knowledge; the raw experiences. All of it. I hope to document as much of this journey as I can within these virtual pages, not only so that you may come along for the experience, but so I can share this with my children and their children, in the future. Hence, the name of this section: Go For Launch! I think I can safely say that not only am I “go for launch!”, but my 14 teammates are, as well. So….
“We are T-minus 7 hours 27 minutes from launch. All systems report nominal. We remain go for launch.”