Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Llegan los Nuevos Tripulantes a la Estacion Espacial Internacional

El siguiente articulo aparecio en el website de NASA.  Esta es una traduccion  del mismo. Vease el enlace debajo del articulo.

Tres Nuevos Tripulates Llegan a la Estacion Internacional Espacial

Tres nuevos tripulantes acaban de arribar a la Estación Internacional Espacial.  Las compuertas de la estación espacial abrieron a las una y ocho de la mañana hora del este señalando el arribo de los Ingeñieros de Vuelo Mark Vande Hei y Joe Acaba de la NASA y Alexander Misurkin de Roscosmos.  El Comandante de la Expedicion 53 Randy Bresnik de la NASA y los Ingeñieros de Vuelo Sergey Ryazanskiy de Roscosmos y Poalo Nespoli de la ESA(Agencia Espacial de Europa) le dieron la bienvenida a los nuevos tripulantes a su hogar orbital.  Proximamente, la tripulación hablara con su familia y amigos desde BAikonur en una ceremonia de bienvenida que ira al aire en vivo en la TV de NASA.  

Joseph Acaba: Corta Biografia

El astronaut, Joseph M. Acaba fue seleccionado por la NASA en el 2004.  El es nativo de California y ha estado en el espacio ya por 138 dias en su dos misiones previas.  En el 2009, Acaba navego a bordo del STS-119 en el Space Shuttle Discovery para llegar a la Estacion Internacional del Espacio.  Durante esa misión, el condujo dos caminatas espaciales.  En el 2012, Acaba voló a bordo de una nave Soyuz a la estación espacial  donde trabajo como Ingeniero de Vuelo para la Expedicion 21/32.  Acaba recientemente sirvió como Director de Operaciones Rusas en la cuidad Estrella  apoyando los tripulantes en vía de entrenamiento  en los Segmentos de Sistemas Soyuz y Rusos.  Al presente esta en entrenamiento para ser Ingeniero de Vuelo de la Expedicion 53/54.  

Esta biografia aparece en ingles con fotografias en el siguiente enlace:

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Facing Irma with Scissors and Tape or How the Lord helped me through it!

Irma... the name of a friend.  Now a hurricane which in many places might be synonymous with destruction but here in Puerto Rico it will be remembered as the day that God was merciful to Puerto Rico.

I had been tracking Irma for days, in fact, on Saturday, I had checked my supplies and found I needed batteries and more propane gas cylinders.  The rush hadn't started, so in a way I felt I was cheating somehow because I got everything I needed way ahead of everyone else and on sale.  You need to be prepared during hurricane season. I already had my two 45-gallon trashcans ready to be filled with water to place in each bathroom.  I also had a George Foreman grill to use as a stove and also had pre-cut 1/2-inch plywood panels for the sliding glass doors.

Just as I always buy a new set of lights at Christmas, I knew that there was room for improvement to my hurricane preparedness kit.  So, Tuesday morning September 5th, the day before the storm, I was driving over to my sister’s house to pick up a small fan which my niece has managed to have a friend buy in Cayey which included a radio and a lamp that ran on 3 double A batteries. It turned out to be a godsend.

I was a little jittery, as I thought “Oh, boy, this is it.” All the memories of past hurricanes came to mind, Hugo when my son was only 5, and I was a young mother with three kids and still married to a not so hurricane conscious husband.  The memories of having to secure the house with my thoughtful daughters still irked me.  Then I recalled the 4 hurricanes in Florida in 2004 while living alone in Orlando. I spent Charley alone with Pup, my dog, in a walk-in closet never hearing when the tree split and came crashing down on my roof.

Suddenly, the Lord snapped me out of it when he whispered, “Have I ever failed you?”
"No, Lord you have always been faithful,” I responded as I bit my lip.
“And I will be with you. I will never leave you nor forsake you. I love you. You are not alone.”
Then the Lord’s loving presence came and I cried. Driving and drying my tears, He gave me his peace. It was a pivotal moment and set me secure for what lay ahead. 

I picked up my fan and visited with family and promised to stay in touch.  Everyone was on edge and busy and hot and tired.  I knew it would be best for me to ride out the storm in my second story apartment with all my gadgets and preparations.  In some respects, it worked out well, but it also had its downside: isolation.  Without company and electricity, you are mostly cut off from others. Thank goodness for a backup battery that kept my phone going, I was at least able to text others and receive encouraging texts from family and friends.

After leaving my sister's house, I went to the gas stations to pick up cash at their ATM.  As I entered the minimart I blurted out a "Dios los bendiga y nos acompañe en este huracán." I got several responses from the anxious eyes looking back at me.  One lady looked up with a meek smile, another had a nervous grin, and others nodded their heads. Someone needed to hear that.

At noon during his lunch break, my condo’s most reliable handyman, Anibal, helped me get some dusty plywood panels out of a crowded storage room in my apartment.  They were easily ten years old but in perfect shape.  They were heavy. Too heavy for me and we put three in place but he had to go back to work.    He promised to come and finish at three.  He got called to help someone else and could not help me finish but he assured me he would come in the morning.

Morning came and Anibal did not come to work. That was strange.  He was super reliable.  I knew he lived in Loíza and the road to Carolina could be blocked by the storm surge.  I was nonetheless upset.  Why didn’t he help me finish yesterday, I thought almost crying? I struggled but I forgave him.   At about nine, I realized for sure that Anibal wasn’t coming.  I would have to put these boards up myself.  I set to work, my sore knee and all.   In fact, I had to slide a board out, move it to the end, and screw it in place with my drill.  It was easy since three holes had already been drilled on the board and in the metal frame.  All I had to do was use three screws to secure it. The hard part was dragging it in place but I did it. I still had that final board to put in place and it was heavy and unwieldy.  To top it off, it didn’t fit! How would I do it?

I was holding the board when suddenly a furious wind came around the left-hand corner of the front building slapping the rain into small droplets forming a cloud hammered by the strong loud wind.  Irma had arrived!  As I watched that show of force, I immediately put down the ½ inch plywood board on the floor barely missing my toes, and ran inside. The pelting rain and wind lasted for about 20 minutes and there was a lull.  That sample of what was to come convinced me that I had to find a way to put that board up.  I prayed.  I asked God to show me how to make it fit.  He did because seconds later, I pictured myself doing it. What I needed to do was place the board in the space behind the boards that were in place and in the channel in the metal frame.  The glass door would keep it in place. First, I had to pull the board through the opening between the boards that were already in place and slide it behind these two boards in front of it.  Genius.  I take no credit. I knew the Lord gave me the idea.  It worked but I wasn’t done. I still had a window to fix.

Anibal had talked about helping me secure a broken window from the outside using an extension ladder.   Even if he showed up now it would be too dangerous for him because the weather was so unpredictable. I was carefully scanning the sky as not to be abruptly surprised by an unexpected gale. I was nervous. On one hand, I would have appreciated Anibal’s help but I also knew that the foul weather was quickly approaching.    I was relieved he hadn’t come because I knew it was too late to be out on the road much less working outside.   Later, I learned that Anibal had had to move his family to a shelter.  I would have to secure the window, on my own as well.   It was not easy but I had to come up with a creative plan with packing tape, scissors, and a shower curtain. I took a shot at it.
The tape was getting all twisted.  I think it was because I was feeling the pressure to get it done in a hurry.  I was nervous.  It wasn’t working.  I needed to start over.  All that work down the drain, but I started over.  I started working more methodically now.  I counted the panes.  There were six. I couldn't tape the top one but I had to wrap the other five with tape on the exterior side leaving a flap on the bottom and folding the tape over so it would be stronger.  I would use that flap to pull the window in and into place.   After an hour, (as I quoted over and over, they overcame by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony) I managed to tame the tape (really my hands), pull each pane shut, tighten and tape it in place.  Finally, I had loosely inserted a clear plastic sheet to the outside of the window.  That way once all the window panes were sealed tight, I would pull in the shower curtain from the top and bottom of the window and tape it in place from the inside.  If the wind pelted the window, it would hit the plastic sheet on the outside and not blow through the panes.  It worked.  Not one drop came in through that window.

After the rain started, I walked through the house and I discovered, I had another defective window!  I had forgotten was broken.  It had one pane that was not responding to the operator and though it was partially closed it was spewing water from the outside in as the lashing rain had returned and it was particularly harsh on this west side of the building.  It was a sight.  Oh, dear.  What could I do? I got some super sticky silver duct tape and tried wrapping the pane from the outside, and then pull it into place but it would not work. I tried again. Nada.  Almost on the verge of tears, I said, “Lord, I can’t do this on my own!”  Immediately, I tried again, and the pane snapped into place.  I know it was the Lord!  Practically in disbelief, I quickly secured it in place and placed a dishcloth underneath to catch any water but it caught very little.
As you can see, I was extremely busy during Irma.  I’m glad.  I had little time to fret.  Before I knew it, it was over.  The storm had increased in speed to 16 mph limiting how long it would pummel us and then turned towards the north.   The winds died down, and though we had no electric power, we had made it through.  Safe and sound and mostly dry!