Goddard Space Flight Center Divers
Mike Massimino, STS-125 Mission Specialist: We work with the engineers here at Goddard on a daily basis. When we’re down here, we get to work with them directly, they also come to Houston a lot and work with us particularly when we are getting ready for our training runs in the pool.
Justin Cassidy, HST Lead System Engineer, Crew Aids and Tools: I am one of about 20 engineers that scuba dive for the HST telescope program.
We travel down to JSC (Johnson Space Center) where we work with the astronaut crew. We develop tools, procedures and we actually assist in the training of the crewmembers to perform HST servicing tasks.
Since I am very deeply associated with the development of the tools, taking me to that work site, alongside the astronaut, and see how they interface with the work site, and how they use a specific tool, or how they see it or operate it… all these different factors are very important things that I need to see that I would not get from just looking at a piece of paper or just in normal conversation about how the task occur.
Well, it’s really cool diving in the NBL. This tank is 6.2 million gallons, it’s about 85 degrees. The entire pool is 40 feet deep, that’s just one big deep end. But when we are scuba diving, just like you were an astronaut floating around the cargo bay, you do get the sense that you are “flying” if you will. Just because the water is so clear. And, that’s a really terrific experience.