flight director

America Lands Mars Curiosity, Meets Bobak Ferdowsi

Mohawk + NASA + Twitter = Swoon

Bobak Ferdowsi works for NASA and is a flight director on the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity mission. Few people — fewer than 200 on Twitter — knew him before Sunday night. He cuts his hair differently for each mission, though, and tonight he became known. With a mohawk featuring maroon highlights and shaved stars on the side, Ferdowsi came only second in attention paid to the Mars Curiosity rover landing itself. He went from 200 followers to more than 8,000 10,000 during and after NASA’s livestream of the landing, which was shown live on several cable news networks as well.

via: Chris Geidner and Buzzfeed

Failure is not an Option — The Kranz Dictum

Gene Kranz was the NASA Flight Director for the Gemini and Apollo programs, including the famous Apollo 11 landing on the moon, and the near disasterous Apollo 13 mission.  On the day after the Apollo I accident which killed astronauts Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee , he gave this historic speech to Mission Control, now known as “The Kranz Dictum”,

“Spaceflight will never tolerate carelessness, incapacity, and neglect. Somewhere, somehow, we screwed up. It could have been in design, build, or test. Whatever it was, we should have caught it. We were too gung ho about the schedule and we locked out all of the problems we saw each day in our work. Every element of the program was in trouble and so were we. The simulators were not working, Mission Control was behind in virtually every area, and the flight and test procedures changed daily. Nothing we did had any shelf life. Not one of us stood up and said, ‘Dammit, stop!’ I don’t know what Thompson’s committee will find as the cause, but I know what I find. We are the cause! We were not ready! We did not do our job. We were rolling the dice, hoping that things would come together by launch day, when in our hearts we knew it would take a miracle. We were pushing the schedule and betting that the Cape would slip before we did.

From this day forward, Flight Control will be known by two words: 'Tough’ and 'Competent.' Tough means we are forever accountable for what we do or what we fail to do. We will never again compromise our responsibilities. Every time we walk into Mission Control we will know what we stand for. Competent means we will never take anything for granted. We will never be found short in our knowledge and in our skills. Mission Control will be perfect. When you leave this meeting today you will go to your office and the first thing you will do there is to write 'Tough and Competent’ on your blackboards. It will never be erased. Each day when you enter the room these words will remind you of the price paid by Grissom, White, and Chaffee. These words are the price of admission to the ranks of Mission Control.”

Doctor Channels MacGyver to Help Asthmatic Toddler Aboard Transatlantic Flight

A New York doctor became a hero in the skies recently when he turned into a medical MacGyver by creating a device that helped an asthmatic toddler struggling to breathe during a transatlantic flight.

Dr. Khurshid Guru, director of Robotic Surgery at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, told ABC News he was aboard a transatlantic Air Canada flight from Spain to the U.S. on Sept. 18 when he was notified of a toddler in trouble.

Guru said he found the 2-year-old boy crying and short of breath and his parents said they accidentally packed his asthma medication in checked luggage.

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If you’ve been following the Philae landing you will have seen this team often on your screen. You’ve probably heard a lot about flight director Andrea Accomazzo (middle) and Philae lander manager Stephan Ulamec (on his right), but you might wonder who the women in their midst was.

That is Elsa Montagnon, deputy flight director of Rosetta. She is a Spacecraft Operations Manager at ESOC (ESA’s operations center). Besides operating Rosetta she is also working on ESA’s Mercury mission BepiColombo.

If you’re interested in what she does, check out this neat video.

Source: ESA

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Well, it appears that while Misha and Osric have been taken “pre-flight” photos, our Director Cinde Monsam is already one mile into the race.

We hope you’ll follow Random Acts on Twitter (or stay tuned here) for updates on the trio’s progress. And if you’d like to contribute to Misha, Osric, and Cinde’s Crowdrise campaign, visit their campaign page.

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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Meet NASA’s Mohawk Guy, Bobak Ferdowsi 


Happy Birthday Gene Kranz!


The phrase “Tough and Competent” was created by NASA Flight Director Gene Kranz and became the rallying cry of NASA and the Mission Control crew after the Apollo 1 disaster. 

“Spaceflight will never tolerate carelessness, incapacity, and neglect. Somewhere, somehow, we screwed up. It could have been in design, build, or test. Whatever it was, we should have caught it. We were too gung ho about the schedule and we locked out all of the problems we saw each day in our work. Every element of the program was in trouble and so were we. The simulators were not working, Mission Control was behind in virtually every area, and the flight and test procedures changed daily. Nothing we did had any shelf life. Not one of us stood up and said, ‘Dammit, stop!’ I don’t know what Thompson’s committee will find as the cause, but I know what I find. We are the cause! We were not ready! We did not do our job. We were rolling the dice, hoping that things would come together by launch day, when in our hearts we knew it would take a miracle. We were pushing the schedule and betting that the Cape would slip before we did. From this day forward, Flight Control will be known by two words: 'Tough’ and 'Competent.’ Tough means we are forever accountable for what we do or what we fail to do. We will never again compromise our responsibilities. Every time we walk into Mission Control we will know what we stand for. Competent means we will never take anything for granted. We will never be found short in our knowledge and in our skills. Mission Control will be perfect. When you leave this meeting today you will go to your office and the first thing you will do there is to write 'Tough and Competent’ on your blackboards. It will never be erased. Each day when you enter the room these words will remind you of the price paid by Grissom, White, and Chaffee. These words are the price of admission to the ranks of Mission Control.” - The Kranz Dictum 

Gene Kranz served as Flight Director for a number of NASA milestones, including Apollo 11, the “successful failure” of Apollo 13, and the repair of the Hubble Space Telescope in 1994. Please be sure to checkout another great video from our friend Mike Dawson and his Assignment Universe project.

Watch “Gene Kranz - Mission Control: Tough & Competent” here:
Gene Kranz - Mission Control: Tough & Competent

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Remembering  Flight To The Moon at Magic Kingdom

Flight To The Moon opened in Tomorrowland at Walt Disney World in December 24, 1971, a little behind the October 1,1971 opening day of Magic Kingdom. After a brief introduction in a holding area, guests would enter the preshow room: Mission Control. Here guests got an inside look into their upcoming flight and met the director of operations, Mr. Tom Morrow. Guests exited Mission Control to head to the launch pad and their flight vehicle. The layout of the flight vehicle was a circular space with rows of seats surrounding a recessed center of the room. On the walls were multiple viewing screens as well as one on the ceiling and floor. As the craft launched into space the entire room, including the seats, began to shake with audible force. A few moments later as the craft exited Earth’s atmosphere, the seats changed to simulate the change in gravity. Guests were treated to a flight over the moon’s surface which they saw from the bottom “window” of the craft. While there, they were directed to look at the sun. As the importance of the mass of burning gasses was discussed, the craft suddenly becomes the victim of a meteor shower in space. The craft began to shake as sirens blasted but luckily, everyone is unharmed. Unfortunately, to keep guests from any more danger, it was then time to go back home to Earth. After just under 4 years of operation (and the end of Americans’ fascination with manned missions to the moon), Flight to the Moon sent its last guests on the journey in Spring of 1975. Just a few months later, the attraction re-opened with a similar premise and ride experience as Mission to Mars.
Source: omniluxe.net/wyw/fttm.htm