Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Unsung Heroes

One of the things that has been emphasized over and over this week is the importance of team. The Discovery astronauts we saw last weekend were quick to credit all those who contributed to the success of their mission, and the list was long indeed. While Boise State's flight teams will come home with some of the most impressive anecdotes, they could never have gotten near the plane without a lot of support and encouragement from the steadfast ground team, including Jeff Perkins, Bob Davidson and Matt McCrink (pictured above). 

There are many more individuals and organizations that need to be formally thanked for contributing to this project (and they will be), but for now, we in Houston would like to recognize our vital teammates at home.

Jason Griswold, aka team "mom," wasn't able to join us as planned, but his name has been mentioned many times this week. We wish he was here.

Travis Dean was instrumental in fabricating the wheels, which are the heart of the experiment. He would have been here if not for a very joyous event in his life, which we're guessing is probably even more of a thrill than microgravity. 

Don Plumlee helped a great deal in supervising the design and execution of the experiment's motor and mechanical structure, and he should know that despite a few glitches caused by crazy gravity, everything is working beautifully.

Jake Forseberg contributed his time and skills to several projects, including the emergency stop button on the experiment and the sweet logo on all of our team shirts. He is observing the action this time around and hopefully will get involved in future projects.

Kim Long is a wonder. She helped with everything, from the scheduling to the financing to the cheerful smiles whenever they were needed. She deserves some serious NASA swag from our favorite souvenir shop.

Andy Diehl made it possible for the team to reserve space in the engineering buildings every week and enabled telephone and Internet conferences with our NASA mentor, which were crucial to the execution of the project.

Margaret Scott and Michele Armstrong have been getting the word out on the home front, using the College of Engineering homepage as an ever-evolving billboard. Thanks also for all the creative and technical help with the blog. It is our window on the world.

To everyone else supporting this team, thank you, and stay tuned for a more extended note of gratitude.

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