Sharing a Post Flight Tradition

I thought I’d share a glimpse of a tradition that the general public doesn’t normally get to see.  At the conclusion of every human spaceflight mission, the training teams take the opportunity to have a little fun with the crew, flight control teams, and even themselves.  Before the crew arrives back in Houston, the training team sorts through dozen of pictures and pages of notes for anything interesting or funny that happened either in training or during the actual mission.  If there’s little to be found, they’ll happily make stuff up through photo captions or Photoshop jobs. It’s the NASA equivalent of Lolcats, call it Lol Astronauts, and it’s a chance to have a little fun with the high stress, highly complicated things we do.

The above image was put up last week as we continue to move closer to the retirement of the shuttle program.  The words on the banner are a reference to three of the main functions that the Mission Operations Directorate provides for each human spaceflight mission – we plan the missions, train the missions, and with the crew, we fly those missions.  This tradition will continue after shuttle retirement as we also do this for the end of every ISS mission, but this is another bittersweet reminder, that the end of an era is upon us.

After normal working hours, the team comes in and decorates the first floor hallway of a building that houses the astronaut corps as well as many flight controllers and instructors.  You’ll see many people, crew members, team members, visitors, slowly walking through the hallway taking it all in.  These are just a few of the images that currently line the hallway, showing that we’re not afraid to poke a little fun and have a little laugh at the expense of ourselves.

SPDM Photobomb Collection

Caption reads "Try some of this...I didn't do anything to it...Really..."