|Alex reviewing his code during the test run of Thorium on the USS Voyager at Renaissance Academy|
|The Voyager's Jensen Caldwell and Asst. Director Isaac Ostler in the Voyager's Control Room trying to keep up with Alex's demands. There was a lot of "Send This" and "Push That" along with "Can you see...." and "I'm not seeing".|
|Isaac was doing three things at once. Typical for this wunderkind.|
The Voyager launched with Thorium for a quick tour of the solar system. Alex stayed pretty much on the bridge issuing commands and logging results. Isaac and Jensen did their best to keep up in the Control Room. This was their first time working with Thorium so there was a learning curve.
Assisting Alex was his wife Crystal and long time friend and associate, Matt Ricks. Matt is a person you want as a friend. He knows a lot about everything and is always willing to help.
Tex spent most of the mission in the engine room struggling with confusion, the kind that comes from being introduced to something new. He was heard murmuring something about old dogs and new tricks by those unlucky enough to be on duty that afternoon.
Of course, there were issues; when aren't there with a new set of controls? Overall, the test went better than expected. The ship circled around Pluto and made it back to Earth in time for the Voyager's 3:00 P.M. private mission.
Take a moment and enjoy seeing Thorium at work on the USS Voyager.
The USS Voyager's Isolinear Chip Assembly Team Hard at Work
Testing the new Thorium Starship Controls wasn't the only thing on the Voyager's agenda yesterday. The ship's engineering department was busy at work soldering and assembling the ship's computer boards for the new isolinear chip module nearly ready to be installed in the simulator.
|Affan, Matt Ricks, and Isaac Ostler at work on the computer boards|
|Gibberish decorated the Briefing Room's white board. It looked important so I took a picture. I could have asked Affan what it all meant, but I didn't want to appear ignorant.|
|There were lots of these around. I mistook them for refreshments. A mistake only made once.|
|This is where the finished boards were going. Every board a labor of love and burned fingers.|
The young man in black on the receiving end of Isaac's exuberant enthusiasm is Jensen Caldwell. Jensen is a junior at UCAS in Orem, Utah and a former Renaissance Academy student. "Having Jensen on board really classes up the organization," I said out loud so I could have a quote to go along with the story.
Jensen started volunteering on a regular basis in December. Isaac was immediately impressed with his work and insisted Jensen be put on payroll. I held out as long as I could before approving the promotion because that's just what bosses do. In the end, Jensen's hard work, enthusiasm, punctuality, work habits, intelligence, and patience (necessary when working with the Voyager's management) won the day.
|Jensen readying the Voyager's crew for their long walk to the bridge|
Welcome to the Starship Voyager Jensen. We hope your time onboard will be rewarding and beneficial for you and the ship. Remember, we live to serve the ship.
By Mark Daymont
ISS: Dragon Arrives and Russians Take a Walk
SpaceX made another great launch last Monday, August 14th. The Falcon 9 rocket lifted the Dragon cargo spacecraft into orbit, and then flew back to Earth for a soft landing back at Cape Canaveral. The Dragon carried thousands of pounds of supplies and experiments for the crew on Expedition 52 in the International Space Station.
After a two day "chase" the Dragon spacecraft caught up to the ISS and maneuvered into a capture position. Astronauts Jack Fischer and Paulo Nespoli used the robotic arm to grab the capture point and guide the craft to its docking adapter. Eventually, the spacecraft was secured at the new Common Berthing Mechanism (CBM) on the US Harmony module. Dragon will remain at the station for unloading, and then reloading of items to return to Earth in September.
On Thursday, August 17, Russian cosmonauts conducted an EVA to launch satellites and bring samples back inside. Expedition 53 commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and flight engineer Sergey Ryazanskiy left the Russian Pirs module for a seven-hour spacewalk. They launched five nanosatellites that had been stored outside the station from a previous supply mission. One of the satellites was to test 3-D printed materials, while several others were commemorative or experimented with communications.
The best gifs of the week edited for a gentler audience