Some days, my work sucks. Some days, it is fun. And some days, it is Wicked Cool (as we say in New England).
Today was Wicked Cool.
We needed to test our new voice loops. What? What’s a voice loop?
Well, when you watched Apollo 13 and Tom Hanks is talking to Houston, he was on a voice loop. Every conversation on these loops are recorded and saved for future archival purposes. Today, we tested our new voice loop boxes. We should start using them next week.
Now, my team only uses them when the spacecraft, or our instrument is in trouble and we need to send commands up in real time. Otherwise, we review commands that are stored on the telescope and executed as the time comes around for them to be executed.
Today I got to play. Let’s say I was at terminal "TST". So here’s a sample conversation:
System to TST on Test loop
System, this is TST on Test Loop, go ahead
TST, could you switch over to the Flight Ops loop and report in the with OC?
System, I copy that… TST to OC on Fligh Ops loop
TST, this is OC
OC, I am just checking in, Going back to Test Loop
TST, I copy that
TST to System
System here, go ahead TST
I am back on the Test Loop, I checked in with OC on the Flight Ops loop.
BORING I am sure, but this is SO WICKED COOL!
We once had a software update that we were loading to the spacecraft and we had to delay for something.
The OC (operations controllers) asked us if we were okay or if there was an error. Turned out it was just that someone forgot that it really did take 1 minute for the commands to come back down.
I am recorded on that loop as saying "OC, this is TST, we are okay. We just had a human memory error" Followed by laughter by the OC, he couldn’t stop….
I love my job