Today NASA called me at work! The last thing I expected was to hear our lovely secretary say "Mme Merriman NASA is on line one." I just about fell off my stool! We did a quick practice Skype to make sure we are ready to go on Tuesday. After that I was so distracted I couldn't even think straight. The kids worked on their science projects while I giggled like a little kid. I am such a space geek!
I also received an email from the Canadian Space Agency letting us know that it is possible that we may have to reschedule. Here is what they wrote:
"As mentioned in our confirmation email, astronauts’ schedules are subject to last minute changes and I’m afraid this could be one of those rare occasions. A computer problem was reported aboard the International Space Station last Friday and a contingency spacewalk is being planned for some time next week, possibly on the day of your Skype session. For the moment, your Skype session is still on the schedule for , but we may have to cancel at the very last minute.
Jeremy has been named Ground Intravehicular (IV) Officer for the spacewalk. The role of the IV is to support the astronauts and help them with procedures while they are spacewalking outside of the station – a little bit like an orchestra conductor if you will. It’s the first time that this kind of assignment is given to a Canadian astronaut – and a rookie nonetheless – and we feel that it’s actually a strong statement of confidence in his skills.
The date/time of the spacewalk is still uncertain as the scheduling depends on several factors including the successful launch of a rocket carrying the SpaceX Dragon resupply capsule. If we end up cancelling the session, we will be in touch early next week to reschedule the session for the end of May or mid-June.
I understand that the students may be disappointed, but I also think that this can be turned into a fantastic learning opportunity. The spacewalk can be followed live on www.nasa.gov/ntv (exact day and time still TBD). Normally, the exchanges between Jeremy and the crew should be heard on air. Students can follow the spacewalk in class or at home and ask their questions about it to Jeremy during the Skype session.
If you want to catch a fly over of the ISS as it zips across the sky here is the information for tonight if the clouds break and this terrible weather changes.
Time:Thu Apr 17 9:48 PM, Visible: 4 min, Max Height: 41 degrees, Appears: W, Disappears: SE
The SpaceEx launch is live tomorrow on NASA TV
April 18, Friday - EST - Eastern Standard Time