Filming a broadcast yesterday was anything but typical. Today was a more typical day for me. Here is a run down of what a typical day for me looks like.
7:30: Get to work, walk past the Apollo IX command module and the Spirit of St. Louis on the way up to my office.
8:00: Write script and plan segments
9:00: Call an expert on orbital debris (who is on the DVD extra’s of the movie gravity) and plan a segment involving him. He tells me he will send me a PowerPoint presentation that has some of the things he will talk about
9:30: Get the PowerPoint presentation and spend the next half hour geeking out about how cool it is and how we can work it into the segment. I’m trying to get one of my coworkers to let me throw a baseball at him to simulate the force of a 1mm piece of space junk hitting something. That’s the only one we can simulate because it ramps up pretty quickly. A 3mm piece of space junk is like getting shot with a bullet and a 10 cm piece of junk going at 17,500 mph is like a large bomb going off.
10:30: Go down to the production studio to talk to the director, take the long way and sneak a feel of the moon rock while en route.
11:00: Set up a meeting with the a Geographer from the Center for Earth and Planetary Science at the Smithsonian, and the curator for the International Space Programs Collection.
12:00: Lunch with a coworker (the one I wanted to throw the baseball at) and discussed ways to grow the audience, including the possibility of including some of my SVMS students on the next show (if you are a student of mine from this year, I don’t have any specific details yet but I will let you know). We are working on getting a STEM in 30 Twitter and Facebook account set up.
2:00: Meeting with the two people I mentioned above. Started by talking to the curator about the launch key for Sputnik which is on display in the museum. She is going to talk about it on the next show. I made the off handed comment that, “I’m sure we can’t get it out.” WE MIGHT BE ABLE TO GET IT OUT! We also discussed at this meeting bringing in an astronaut to talk about space suits. The geographer is going to be discussing satellites and he had some great ideas for an opening segment that is on the cheesy side. Right up my alley.
3:00: Retirement party for one of the ladies in HR. They presented her with a really nice plaque, and a Smithsonian Flag that had flown on the Space Shuttle. I wonder how many years I have to work at the Smithsonian to get a flag flown in space?
3:30: Went with a different coworker to look for something in a managers office (we were looking for the test plates used for the Space Shuttle where they shot pellets through metal plates to see the damage it would do). We didn’t find what we were looking for but found a bunch of meteorites including one that was a part of the meteor that formed Meteor Crater in Arizona, and one that was made up of two asteroids that had collided and fused millions of years ago. Yup, got my geek on a little bit.
4:00: Responded to a few more emails and worked on setting up a time with a class to perform an experiment for the next show.
5:00: Worked out in the Smithsonian gym
6:00: Walked through sleet to get home and now I’m typing this.
If this is what a typical day continues to look like, I’m way good with a lot of typical days.