Posted by Glenn on December 13th, 2009
We’re blessed to have made the acquaintance many years ago of a fellow named TJ Creamer. I have heard tales that he does have a real first name, but everyone knows him as TJ. In any event, our relationship was somewhat unusual at the time, as we made our introductions on an on-line bulletin board, which was the way that geeks could remotely communicate with each other at the staggering speed of 1200 baud. We sent posts to each other for quite some time before we actually met face to face. For reasons that are not entirely clear to any of us, we’ve become close friends with TJ and his family in the intervening years. This is despite the fact that we still have had relatively little face-to-face time.
Apparently, it will be at least six months before we’ll be able to get together with TJ. On Dec 20, he will launch from Baikonur, Kazakstan aboard a Soyuz spacecraft for a rendezvous 2 days later at the International Space Station, where he will take part in Expeditions 22 and 23 until mid-May. No, TJ is not a lab rat, he is a bona fide astronaut. He was admitted to the astronaut corps in 1998, and the sitting astronauts dubbed this class “The Penguins”—because the number of astronauts and the relative paucity of flights made it likely that his group, like the penguins, would never get off the ground. In fact, you can see that this moniker still follows them around, as the picture from the astronaut office indicating the upcoming ISS crew suggests.
TJ has been kind enough to include us among his family and friends cadre. One benefit is that he is able to carry a souvenir up to the ISS, so as a consequence he will be modeling a Newton North HIgh School Science Department T-shirt while floating around the station. Although we are unable to make it to Kazakhstan to see the launch in person, anyone can follow the mission at http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/expeditions/index.html. For family and friends, there is a private web site, for which I recently wrote the coordinator to get the URL and password. While I was at it, I asked her to send Anndy’s password as well. Here’s what I got back:
Hi Glenn and thank you for your participation. The link to TJ’s website is below. I have also sent this link to Anndy along w/his private username and password.
I guess there’s a price to pay to being from Massachusetts.
In any event, if you want to follow the mission, you can use the web site above, or follow TJ on Twitter (@Astro_TJ). Here’s to a great launch and successful mission.
Posted via email from jbsaywhat’s posterous