Those of us flying in the afternoon head onto the plane to get everything ready. The team from Princeton loads their crystal solution slowly and carefully in order to not prematurely trigger the chemical reaction that they will study. The Trenton team loads their water tank with ball bearings that they will shoot into the tank during the flight. The Auburn team sets up their computer and equipment for their equilibrium experiments. We have 45 minutes to get everything done and we need every moment. Before we know it, NASA calls out "time" and we get off the plane so it can go through a final check-out and the flyers can board.
|Trenton, Auburn, and Princeton, along with Aliya, ready to board|
the morning flight.
90 minutes later, the plane lands. All three experiments worked well and everyone had a spectacular time! Teams get ready for the afternoon flight and I put on my flight suit. The afternoon flight has two special guests, a staff member from the White House's Office of Science, Technology, and Policy (OSTP), and Leland Melvin, a former astronaut and the head of NASA's education programs. We take our meds, go through the pre-flight briefings, and are ready to go.
|My afternoon flight as seen from the Johnson Space Center (photo courtesy of Up and At 'Em Cohen)|
In the evening, I had dinner with the VIPs and the education leadership team from Johnson Space Center at an Italian restaurant overlooking the water. It was a wonderful day.