Tuesday, May 13, 2008

My Presentation Today

Today was the big day -- the reason I am here in Germany. I presented my paper entitled: "Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter: Aerobraking Sequencing Operations and Lessons Learned". The audience was even bigger than I anticipated it would be. I had maybe 100 people in attendance. Granted, about half of those were people from my place of work, but I'll take what I can get.

Anyway, it went very well. I came in under time, but then fielded far more questions than most people do. It turns out that the European Space Agency is considering doing aerobraking as an end-of-life experiment for the currently flying Venus Express. They want to email me, and I told them they could. I don't know how useful I might be to them, knowing they don't pay me and there's about a zillion ITAR restrictions on what I can tell them, but hey, they can ask.

In addition, there's a proposal currently on the table for a future NASA-sponsored Mars mission that will likely want to do aerobraking, too, and they should be mindful of the information in my paper. Turns out one of their systems engineers knows they'll need a project system engineer in about a year if they get funding for their mission, and he said he'll keep me in mind. (** wink wink nod nod ** Yeah, sounds weird, but this truly is how business is done in my industry ...)

Needless to say, the audience was impressed, it seemed. One fellow that I've worked with in the past was so enamored (it's weird to use that word, describing my own work) by the presentation that he wanted to know who my immediate supervisor is so he could put in a good word for raises this year. I was quick with a response.

In addition, my manager two levels up was also in attendance, and he has repeatedly said that he really enjoyed my paper -- and equally enjoyed the presentation. It must be good, I guess, but whatever.

Here's a few pictures that were taken by a friend of mine.

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And here's a picture of my celebratory dinner afterwards -- a German dish of white asparagus (a local delicacy) wrapped in ham and a crepe-like pancake covered in a creme sauce, and a salad on the side.

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It was absolutely delicious.

Anyway, now that I'm done with that, I think I'll go hiking tomorrow ... ;)


Nathan said...

I like your Blog! I like your Blog because I love you and your trip to Germany!

Angel said...

It sounds like you did a great job, and I wish that I had been there to see you (not that I would have understood anything that you said...). I am so grateful that you had a good experience today. Dinner looks super yummy, too.

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