I am joining project Orion

November 21st, 2006

I’ve always loved my job at United Space Alliance. I get to work with great people, I get to work with new technology, and I get to write cool computer software. I’ve written flight computer emulator code for Shuttle simulators, I’ve written programs that handle telemetry in Mission Control, but I never thought I’d get the chance to write software that runs aboard an actual spacecraft. Until last week.

I have been invited to join USA’s Flight Software group as the lead of the team developing the Audio/Visual components of the Orion spacecraft’s flight software (USA is a subcontractor to Lockheed Martin for developing certain parts of the Orion’s onboard software). I jumped at the offer. Opportunities to help build a new spacecraft come along once in a lifetime. The best part of my work on Orion is that I won’t have to transfer out of my department; I’ll be able to work both jobs while I’m able. The new job will be part-time at first, but will become full-time next year.

We have a huge amount of work to do. My first task is to read a stack of documents a couple of feet high. Right now I’m the only one in the group, so my next task will be to assemble a team. The software is going to be developed using modeling techniques I’ve never worked with before. The biggest change for me is to write software that is flight critical; if we don’t do our job right, people could die. Flight software has to be certified, a process of inspections and testing that’s far more rigorous than anything my software has ever been through.

It’s an amazing challenge and I’m thoroughly excited about it. Wish me luck!

6 Responses to “I am joining project Orion”

  1. Leigh Ann Says:

    GOOD LUCK! I’m sure you will do great, as you always do!

  2. Chris HOleman Says:


  3. Kay Says:

    Good luck!!!!!

  4. Bobby Says:


  5. Gordon Says:

    Orion huh.You lucky bastard you,and handsome too!Plus you have had many other lucks in life, a beautiful wife,lovely and intelligent children,a wonderful house,love animals,good political sense,sports and software and technology lover,writing,literature,poetry and music lover,church goer and practicer thereof,plus a great handy man and the time to love and do as much as you do!I am impressed and wish I had just a little piece of your action.I am sure that I missed some of your lucks, but just remember that it was spoken by “head-wound Harry”. I recently had brain surgery and at some point saw Little Richard come out of the wall,saying “laudy miss Claudy,shut up!” My wife says he should have been saying “good golly Miss Molly, I am the king of rock n’roll,shut up”! Congrats!

  6. Ann Says:

    Wow!! That’s a great opportunity for you. I’m proud of you.