Yesterday’s mission was delayed by a generator problem. The sucker wouldn’t start . . . wouldn’t even turn over. We attributed this to the fact that the rocket had sat on it’s pad (otherwise known as Mom’s driveway), in some brutally cold conditions, without being fired up since New Year’s Eve. So everything was powered down, the grills going cold as the crew devised solutions. Ultimately, the generator compartment was opened up and a radiant heater was aimed at the engine block in hopes of warming it up. After twenty minutes or so, the ignition button was pressed and the generator came to life. The grills were fired up, ambient temperature in the rocket reached acceptable levels, and with only an hour and a half being lost, we blasted off at 12:45 hours. The day was saved !
While this may sound frustrating, it is actually one of the reasons the crew loves the rocket so much. Hardly a day goes by where we don’t find ourselves having to apply some lesson, some skill, some advice seemingly unrelated to our primary tasks. The value of a lifetime of learning and inquisition is immeasurable. Our previous aggregate professional experience is composed of long careers in commercial printing, marketing and theatre. At face value, these have nothing to do with food service and rocketry. However, when you are diligent, even in careers that you know may not be your life’s ambition, you are accumulating knowledge and experience that is going to come in handy down the road. There are no time outs in life, you have to use every moment made available to you . . . bank on it !