Back to console ops - and Steve Gibson is "the man"

Written by Bob McCormick on 9/24/2006 08:36:00 PM

I get my turn again this week on console, working the graveyard shift again.

Actually, I should have started my work last night. However, I misread the console manning plan!

Normally, we staff the graveyard shift 5 days a week (Monday through Friday). The shift actually starts 1 hour prior to the beginning of the day - so my "Monday" shift starts at 11PM on Sunday and continues through 8 AM that day. I noted how I was on the graveyard shift but missed that it actually started Sunday - which is the way we normally staff for a Soyuz crew rotation mission (like we currently have).

Normally, this wouldn't be a problem. However, I had 4 tickets to the Houston-Oklahoma State game - and the kickoff would be at 8PM. Remember what I said about the Houston-Rice game?!? I wouldn't be home until 12:30 AM ... 1.5 hours after my first shift was to start!

I figured this out at 3 PM on Friday. Time to panic!

But after 10 seconds of panic, I calmed down & thought out what to do. First, call the CEO (Ms. McCormick) & tell her the bad news. As I describe it to her, it dawned on me that I might be able to find an Ops Planner still in the office to "pinch hit" for me for one shift. It was late Friday, but it was worth a shot. So I got off the phone with the CEO & attempted to find someone who I might be able to "cut a deal" with.

Enter Steve Gibson (a.k.a. "the man").

Steve was the Lead Ops Planner for Expedition 13, and had just earlier come off his duties at that position (with the Soyuz docking to the ISS). I explained my situation and asked him if he could help out - he said he'd have to check with his wife (I understood that - I have to check with the CEO on those things, too). After about an hour or so, Steve gave me the "thumbs up". Yahoo!

So far, everything has worked out. Oh, and Houston beat Oklahoma State, 34-25 (more blogging on that later).

So now I'm getting prepared for the majority of the Soyuz joint mission - Expedition 13, Expedition 14, and Anousheh Ansari.

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