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Sunday, July 17, 2022

Fortuna, Goddess of Fortune and MisFortune, has Found the USS Cassini. Her Antics are the Best They've Ever Been. (Why Won't She Just Go Away?!) More of the Great Staff of Yesteryear's Space Center. Imaginarium Theater.

     Fortuna, great goddess of fortune and misfortune, rose in majesty and glory this month at the Space Center. The CMSC is familiar territory to her mischievous antics. Over the last 30 years her appearances brought moments of consternation and programming chaos to the staff. This blog is littered with such posts (easily found by using the search feature in the right sidebar) for your enjoyment - if seeing staff scratching their heads and throwing up their arms in exhaustion brings you joy.


Jon Parker and James Porter working on finding Fortuna's villainous work
within Thorium's programming 

     Over the last couple week's the USS Cassini's Thorium software began resetting during the missions.  The resets happened regularly during the flight.  They tended to occur more frequently during the five hour long programs.  
     Jon was seen to pound his fit on the counter and kick the control room's utility closet metal door during one reset occurring at the climatic end to the Canada mission. As the controls reset, a few impressionable volunteers heard a faint sinister chuckle from some dark, faraway place; Fortuna was heard once again within our walls.    
     Jon did everything he knew to persuade her to find enjoyment at some other space center, or at least another ship at the Space Center. The incense and incantations failed.  His calls to local mystics were promising until he heard their quotes to perform the necessary appeasements and sacrifice.
Where would he find an unblemished goat?  The task fell upon himself and James Porter, Space Center Director, to find the source of the issue at hand.     

Jon Parker and James Porter purging the system, reloading 
the software, and rebuilding the mission timelines 

      Last week we thought their labors did the trick.  Jon started a 6 hour long Officer's Camp in the Cassini, telling the mission Canada.  Two and a half hours into the mission the crew vacated the ship for a lengthy landing party.  Jon and I spoke about this and that in the Control Room. During the conversation it dawned on me that the controls hadn't reset once.  "Luck is with us, the controls haven't reset once," I innocently remarked, not knowing that Jon and I were not alone in the room.  Fortuna hovered overhead waiting for the perfect moment to strike.  
     Jon turned in his chair toward the flight computer and said the words which brought her to action:  "I think Fortuna has forgotten us."  At that exact moment the controls reset!  Let it never be said that the goddess hasn't got a sense of ironic humor.
     Fortuna has now spread the joy to other simulators. Over the last couple of days the Phoenix, Odyssey, and Falcon have experience a reset or two. A line has been drawn in the sand and Fortuna crossed it. All are dedicated to returning her to that place from which she sprung.
      Oh Fortuna, Goddess of Fortune, hear the words of mere mortals who in earnest are fed up to the brow with your bullying at our expense. We are sure the Gods of Olympus have business to tend to more interesting than the misfortune you've delivered to the innocent of the Space Center.  Perhaps you've not noticed the hundreds of cyclists on the Murdock Trail who venture out daily dreading a possible flat tire or untimely spill into the gravel.  See to their needs and not ours. 
     Your lesson has been taught and we have learned.  Now, dear lady, Move On!  
     Computers have been swapped and timelines rebuilt over the last few days.  Monday will tell the tale whether those remedies and potions have healed the patient.  I will be the flight director.  I'm bringing my lucky coin, rabbit's foot, garlic, cross, and bundled sage from the prairies of South Dakota to guarantee an uneventful mission. Wish me luck.  

Those Great Faces from Yesteryear

     Another installment in this series highlighting yesteryear's great staff and volunteers from the Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center last 30 years.   

    Several of these photos have been posted before but many of our current readers haven't had the pleasure of meeting the people who helped make the Space Center a unique and pioneering learning institution. Over the next several weeks The Troubadour will introduce them to you to them.    

     Of course there is my memory problem.  Some names I remember and some I don't.  Please help if I've forgotten a name or two by sending an email or a comment to the Facebook post.  
     Top left:  I forgot the doctor's name but remember him very well. Great volunteer from the early 2000's.  
     Top Right:  Landon, Soren, Charlie, Bryson, Brady, Matt, Bryce, and Randy outside of the Odyssey.
     Bottom Left and Right:  Josh at the Voyager's IIFX Station with Scott in red observing. Scott was one of our hypercard programmers. He married Vicki Carter's daughter (Vicki was a principal of Central School and is currently a district administrator).  

    Tanner is under the Galileo.  That is how you turned the main viewer on.  

     Top Left:  Bryce volunteering in the Galileo for an overnight camp.  
     Top Right:  Josh cleaning the black plastic on the Voyager's Bridge.
     Bottom Left:  Josh dead tired at the end of an overnight camp.
     Bottom Right:  Randy wearing a Magellan uniform checking out the new raspberry iMacs just installed in the Magellan. 

     Left:  It was the usually overnight Friday camp. The campers just turned in for the night. The staff always got together for a treat before bed at 11:00 P.M. We celebrated Ryan's birthday on that particular camp. 
     Top Right:  Bill Schuler (green shirt) and myself (left) saying a few words before the commander of the USS Salt Lake City (one of the country's submarines) cut the red ribbon to officially open the Odyssey simulator.  
     Bottom Right:  Dustin, Chase, James, Rio, Metta, and Ryan at the Odyssey entrance.   

Imaginarium Theater

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