Welcome to JPL! A few days after I started as an engineer my co-worker gave me this pin. She told me that she saved it for me since she knew I was coming to work here. Her generosity made me feel like a kid at Christmas, especially since InSight was launched in May and I did not start working here until 3 months later. I appreciated her thoughtfulness.
Two days after a successful landing of InSight on Mars on November 26, I walk into my office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and see this.
Regardless of the rain, I always focus on the rainbow that I know is coming afterwards. Seeing the rainbow in my mind, I am thrilled and blessed to be an engineer here at NASA – JPL in Pasadena, California.
I work in the DSN (Deep Space Network) group. Those of us who didn’t follow the memo, suggesting that we work from home on this day to allow for the media and visitors from around the world to access JPL’s “campus,” gathered in the DSN conference room to eagerly view the arrival of InSight on Mars.
Just like watching an event on TV, there is nothing that can compare to seeing it live. If you can feel the energy on television, imagine being in the room. It’s magnified by 1000. Such was the feeling I experienced on Monday, November 26, as we joined the world hopeful to witness a successful landing.
The week before (Thanksgiving), on my office chair, I was excited to see a letter from the JPL Director along with this pin to celebrate the upcoming landing of InSight.
And I felt like a kid in a candy store when they handed these out as I was leaving the cafeteria after lunch!
Resurrected at lunch, I hadn’t eaten one of these since I was a kid in 1982.
I always talk about the big picture and in my life I always remember to focus on service to others, hopeful to make a positive impact. I always strive to leave any situation better than how I found it.
This event puts the US in a positive light around the world. I almost forgot what that feels like. I have friends living outside the country who tell me about the news they see on the US – not good. The successful InSight landing was a rainbow in the storm. So much so that less than a minute after the successful landing, Jim Bridenstine, a lead JPL Administrator received a congratulatory phone call from Mike Pence.
My mom in Pensacola watched the event on the NASA channel. So did my dad in Oklahoma City. I excitedly told them about my role at JPL and what part of the InSight mission uses DSN.
A couple days afterwards, my Dad calls me first thing in the morning, eagerly reading a newspaper article in the Oklahoman, touting the success of the mission. I can feel his giddiness over the phone, as he proudly quotes the excitement of the rocket scientists at JPL, knowing his daughter is part of the group. THAT made my day.
Wow! What a RIDE!
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All the BEST to you!