STS-109 Crew Visit
numerous Crew Familiarization Meetings (crew fam).
On June 4 2001, the crew joined us for a picnic at the Goddard
Flight Center Recreation Center.
We enjoyed seeing and talking with them in a social setting.
John Grunsfeld is the Payload Commander. His role is to be the lead astronaut in all the spacewalks
and crew training.
The pilot for this mission will be Duane "Digger" Carey.
The robot arm (RMS) operator will be Mission Specialist 1, Nancy Currie
Nancy also has a daughter named Stephanie.
Michael Massimino will be one of the astronauts doing space walks.
In addition to the above social event, the crew visits us officially to familiarize themselves with our hardware.
This occurs during 'Crew Familiarization', or what we call "crew fams". The hardware being discussed here is the
HST Solar Array II. From left to right, Jim Newman (astronaut), Michael Massimino (astronaut, in blue shirt),
Richard Linnehan (astronaut), myself, Dave Parker (HST engineer), Mike Newns (ESA Engineer), Frank Cepollina
(head of HST Servicing), John Grunsfeld (astronaut, Payload Commander).
One of the items that will be replaced this mission is the Solar Arrays. The old ones need to be rolled up, and replaced with the new ones.
The Solar Array is very flexible and will not support its weight on the ground. In order to demonstrate its roll-up
operation, we constructed a large pool on which we floated foam bars to hold the Solar Array up. This very
low friction system permits the Arrays to roll up on the ground, allowing the astronauts a look at how it should
operate when they visit the HST.
On August 28, 2001 the crew joined our team at Goddard for a game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
Since this is Cal Ripken's final season as a baseball player, they are selling many commemorative
souvenirs. The entire seven person astronaut crew autographed this baseball (shown here spinning).
The game was pitched by Sidney Ponson (also a native Aruban), and was against the
Oakland Athletics. The A's won the game 6-2.