It’s almost 1 am. I have an STS-131 sim tomorrow. I need to get to sleep. But I can’t stop thinking about everything that happened today and the rumors from last week. I don’t post often. I wanted to post last week when the rumors started but I had a bad dream that someone from work saw it and I got in trouble.
No seriously, I didn’t make that up. I really had that dream. We’ll see how it plays out.
I’ve had more than a few people ask me how I feel about everything. I feel awful. Maybe it’s selfish because I’m worried about my job….maybe this is the best thing for human spaceflight and I just don’t know it yet. I acknowledge that may be true. And I’m 100% behind the more people in space, the better. But what will this do for me personally? I have no idea.
I have a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Could I get another job? Sure. But I don’t WANT another job. I don’t WANT to move. Since my Dad died in September I need to stay close to my Mom, plus I want to stay at the center of human spaceflight. The only reason I became an engineer was to work at NASA. This has been my passion since I was 7 years old. It’s like a brother or sister to me, as ridiculous as that may sound. My entire life I made decisions based on how they would affect my future with NASA. I did internships. I got certain scholarships. I worked at Space Camp. Whatever I could do….it was all for NASA.
Then finally one day 6 years ago I got that call and here I am today. I won’t lie to you and say it was all peaches and cream; there were some down times, some stressful times. But right now things are great. I have a great office, I’m in a great training flow, missions are fun, and I wouldn’t trade this in for the world. I am happy going to work everyday. I love my job. How many people can say that?
I have no idea what today’s announcements mean for our future. I’m scared, I’ll say that much. Yeah I’m an engineer but I want to work in the space business. That’s it! It’s my passion, it’s what I do. Without it what am I? It’s something that’s defined me for so long. They called me “Spacegirl” in college because, well, I was obsessed with space. In middle school and high school I did book reports on books about the space program; I really wasn’t interested in much else.
So, here I am, at my dream job. And I love it. And it is as great as I imagined. The problem is it could all go away in 6 months. And that SUCKS. I should be grateful for everything I have been able to experience….and I am, I really am, but it sucks that things are going so well and they may have to end just like that. It’s not fair.
I don’t know what the answers are, I don’t know where we go from here. I know I have an STS-131 sim tomorrow and I have a big sim on Thursday. I know Sunday morning we launch STS-130 and after that I need to block out any other distractions in my life. It will be hard for sure, but it’s what us steely eyed missile men (and women!) do.
But after that….none of our documented contingency plans work for this situation. Maybe I’ll have a job and maybe I won’t. I just don’t know. It terrifies me to think that I may have to leave this wonderful program that I’ve invested so much time and energy into…it truly is more than just a job. It really could go either way right now…I’m hoping for the best.