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Monday, January 20, 2014

A Weekend Update on the Two Space Centers. New Construction at the DSC. The CMSEC Installs a New Piece of Equipment Just for Me. The Imaginarium.

The Space Centers' Weekend Update

     The Troubadour got an anonymous call from somebody driving past the Discovery Space Center telling us the DSC's parking lot was full of run down, older model cars.  Our editorial staff knew immediately it had to be the DSC's staff.  I was there within minutes after getting the assignment.  The staff was debating a name change for the former Galileo Room.  Several rounds of voting later and a final decision still hadn't been reached. I think it was a tie between Command Center and the CIC.   I proposed "The Room of Possibilities" and was promptly stared down by all but one.  He was texting and didn't hear me.  

     Secret new ship designs were reviewed.  The large ship is the Atlantis.  The tiny speck is the Endeavor.  "Don't think of the Endeavor as small," Casey Voeks counseled. "Think of the Atlantis as BIG."
     "Wow, I never thought of it that way," replied a staff member.
     "I feel better already," replied another.
     "I'll never worry about money again," said a third.  

     The sound of saw and hammer filled the building.  A new wall was taking shape in the foyer - all part of a large remodeling campaign underway at the Discovery Space Center.
     One of the DSC's staff watched me as I took the photo.  I could tell he wanted my opinion.  "Impressive, great things are happening here."
     "It's Coke or Pepsi Mr. Williamson, Coke or Pepsi.  People in Utah County have a choice and we know they'll pick Shasta Cola!"
     I thought for a moment while he rocked back and forth waiting for his epiphany to bedazzle me. I smiled and tapped the side of my nose with my forefinger - the international sign for 'I get it'.  "Oh, and keep what I said under your hat.  We're all friends here."


     I found Bradyn Lystrup holding a broom.  "What do I do with this?"
     "Its called a broom.  You sweep up the sawdust with it."  My explanation only confused him more.
     He examined the handle throughly.  "Where do I plug it in?"
     Casey Voeks pushed me aside. "I'll handle this.  Bradyn take the boom, and hold it like this."  Casey mimed the correct way to hold and sweep a floor (as seen in the photo above) while Bradyn gave it a go.  Two others stood and watched, which is to be expected at any construction site.  

     The Galileo Room / Command Center / CID was carpeted in saw dust as new set pieces were being assembled and installed.

     I stopped at the DSC today for an update.  A new 'transporter' has been installed, leading from the Room of Possibilities to the stairway and up to the Endeavor, Challenger, and Columbia.

     New wall mounted television monitors in the Room of Possibilities.  Crews will get their mission briefings and universe updates from the monitors before boarding their ships.  It's all very Disney.  The DSC is doing a great job on the upgrade and renovation.

     The new wall leading into the Room of Possibilities is nearly finished.  This wall, The Great Wall of DSC, will keep the barbarian DSC staff and interns from venturing into the forbidden lands control by the Great Stone Gate Empire.  

     The Endeavor is being remodeled.  Two new touch screen stations have been installed, making the Endeavor the most high tech ship at the DSC.  "Those touchscreens were expensive," BJ Warner explained.
     "How much?" I asked while touching them.
     "I don't know, but expensive," he replied.
     I was confused. "Well, if you don't know how much they cost, how can you say there were..."
     BJ but me off, "Would you like to see them at work?"  He turned them on and loaded the Endeavor's new navigational software.

      "What do you think of this!" he said proudly.
     "This is for starship deep space navigation?" I scoffed.
     "Be cool man. Why be negative.  Coolness over functionality any day.  Just feel it man, feeeeel it."

Casey Voeks, purple with pride over his new bridge phone system

     Casey reminded me that BJ has his 1970's moments and to pay him no heed.  "What is cool is our new communications system."  Casey demonstrated the Endeavor's new Comm Station.  The headset plugs into the keyboard.  Two of the 'F' keys turns on and off the connection.
     Finally we see the end to our bridge telephones.  This is one big step forward in simulator design.


     I found Jon outside painting a new set piece for the Endeavor.  I was curious about his smile.  Normally one doesn't smile when painting.  The two don't go well together.
     "You're smiling," I pointed out the obvious.
     Jon gritted his teeth while still smiling. "We smile because we're happy."
     "But you're painting and it's cold outside. What's there to smile about?"
     His eyes darted between me and Casey.  Was that fear I saw?
     "See, everyone at the DSC is happy.  Always happy.  Didn't you know that this is the Second Happiest Place on Earth?"
     "That was my motto for the Space Center," I reminded him.
     "Shasta Cola my friend, Shasta......... and don't forget it."
     "What is it with this Shasta?" I thought to myself while waving goodbye to Jon.

      I heard the Challenger flying upstairs and stopped to see who was flight directing.  Aliah had just killed off her test crew.  She started smiling as soon as I popped my head around the door.  "Aliah, is this your first try at flight directing?"
     "Yes, its my family so I can make mistakes."  She gave me a thumbs up.
     Aliah was a long time Space Center volunteer before taking a job at the DSC.  She is awesome.  Any crew would be lucky to get her as a flight director.  "OK, I'll go and leave you to it, and you can stop smiling," I said while turning to walk away.
     "This is the Second Happiest Place on Ear..."
     "I know, I know," I cut her off.  "Good luck."
      The CMSEC Space Center was my last Saturday stop.  Megan had nothing to report.  The last week was textbook normal.  Then I noticed a new box attached to the wall by the school's front door.
     "A defibrillator?"
     "We had one installed just in case," Megan replied.
     "In case of what?  Are you saying missions here at the CMSEC are so thrilling and exciting that they might cause heart attacks!?  We didn't need a defibrillator when I ran this place."
     "Well, I'm in charge now and Yes, we just may need a defibrillator. We're taking it up a notch - no offense Bossman, but this ain't the 1990's."  She patted me on the back.  "Besides, you're getting on in years, and you do visit at least once a week.  Who knows when this might come in handy?"

Have a Great Week!
Mr. W

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