Devin and his band of merry men (and women) pose for a photo outside the Odyssey simulator at the Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center. "Just how many staff and volunteers do you need to run a mission?" I asked.
"You can never have enough talented staff and volunteers," Devin replied as he swept his arms outward to emphasize the fact that all those present fit the description.
Now you see why I say that the CMSEC is the second happiest place on Earth. Let's see Disneyland staff their park with anyone more talented than this group of somewhat moonstruck, slightly unhinged, merry band of do-gooders.
After a bit of arm-twisting, they even convinced me to take a small walk on role as a curious, obnoxious tourist visiting the Odyssey as the crew, or who I thought was the crew, cleaned the ship. In reality, they weren't the crew at all. My phone camera captured several shots of real honest to goodness space bad guys stealing the Odyssey right from under the nose of Starfleet's best.
Was my performance worthy of a Space Center Oscar? Doubtful. I didn't have time to mentally prepare for the role. Plus, I presented myself in my normal clothes, not given the time to outfit myself in something more off the rack 23rd century.
Telos Discovery Space Center's Crash Course in Flight Directing
or You Can Never Have too Many Flight Directors
Tristan (in red) was busy a few weeks back conducting a mass training for a new crop of flight director hopefuls. With four different space centers in Utah County, the need for well-trained flight directors is acute. The key word in that phrase is "well-trained". And how does someone become well-trained?
The answer is straightforward: practice, practice, and more practice. A good flight director also needs a good sense of what is politically correct not to mention excellent characterization and acting. They must also be patient, like Job, to a fault.
While many feel the calling to be a flight director, few ever make it. The profession is truly for the few, the brave, the chosen.
The weeding out process starts in the control rooms. The FD candidates watch mission after mission ad nauseam. If they play their cards right and don't annoy their FD trainer, they may get to scoot up to the second chair position. Impressing the FD with your imaginative approach to second story lines, along with a natural touch at the controls can only benefit your cause. The next steps are a bit less defined as one climbs the ladder to the coveted FD seat. It depends on the space center where you work. In my case, a few Diet Cokes back in the day, along with volunteering to clean the school's bathrooms during a camp, not to mention the occasional car wash did the trick.
|Flight Director Trainees watch and learn from TDSC's Assist Site Manager Tristan|
TDSC Announces Sydney's Elevation to 2nd Assistant to the Site Manager at the Canyon Grove Academy Location.
Just like Flight Directors, you can never have enough assistants to the manager. Sydney was recently promoted to the position. Shaking her hands are Site Manager Maeson (left) and Assistant to the Site Manager Tristan (right). Notice Sydney was given her new command pips during the same welcoming ceremony (notice Maeson's hand on the pip - either checking to see it was attached firmly or wanting to steal it and see what he could get for it at the local pawn shop).
Mason of Gallifrey, the CMSEC's Resident Time Lord and Consultant of Historical Truths, Sports a New Time Detector.
Finding the CMSEC's Resident Time Lord at the Space Center is no easy task, let me tell you. It's as if he doesn't want the publicity or something.
Well, the other day I spotted Mason in the CMSEC's Discovery Room reviewing a list of questions Mr. Porter had given him regarding a new mission in development. The mission referenced a doomed space liner torpedoed just outside the maritime boundary of the planet New Ireland in the Gamma Quadrant. I saw the word "Lusitania" written at the top of the paper. Under that, Mr. Porter had written: "Top Secret, For Your Eyes Only, Under Penalty of Law and the Interstellar Convention of Time Travel".
"Off to do a little research?" I asked. I noticed a new timepiece on his wrist and begged for a photo.
I noticed the dials were set for May 7, 1915. Mason didn't know that I knew how to read a Gallifrey Imperial Standard TimeDial so he took no notice of the attention I gave the instrument.
I could tell he was in a hurry. He rushed off after the snapshot mumbling something about not wanting to miss the ship's last luncheon of grapefruit cocktail, Croute au Pot, Creme Dubarry and a variety of hors d’oeuvres; followed by fresh river Sole Tartare served as the fish course, which was then followed by the choice of Vol au Vent Royale or Snipe en Cocotte Grand Mere.
His voice trailed off as he rushed down the hall toward the Voyager Hallway and destiny.