Post by Benjamin “Tracy” Minish
I have been married for over thirty-six years and have three wonderful sons. My wife is totally wonderful too – let’s just say I married above my pay grade! I’ve worked for NASA for over thirty years and plan to keep on this amazing rocket ride for at least five more. I have a BS in Computer Science from the University of Georgia (go Dawgs!) and I currently serve as the Chief of NASA’s Mission System Operations branch. Ouch, I had to pinch myself to see if it was true, and dang if it’s not. I am uno lucky man and I fall asleep each night counting my blessings.
And, oh yeah, I also only have about five degrees of my field of vision remaining, and those five degrees stink, but I believe my vision loss has made me stronger.
It does lead to some interesting situations, though. One day I told my division chief I was stinkin’ tired of running the ISS Recon branch and was in need of a change. He came back a few days later and asked if I was interested in traveling the world as the ISS Ground Segment Control Board Chair. He knew I was legally blind, but still provided me the opportunity. I strongly believe this is the way the world should spin: give people with physical challenges the opportunity to make their own decisions. I went home and prayed it over with my wife, and took him up on his offer.
No, no, that ain’t the story – that’s just the intro, so fasten yourself in for warp speed: I arrive in Moscow after a very long trip – about 18 hours between stepping out of my house and arriving at our hotel. The hotel is like a maze and has step-ups and step-downs in every room. A nightmare for the “walking dead” – and I’m dead tired!
I wake up several times, trying to adjust to “rocket lag,” and at one point I stumble to the bathroom, half asleep. I see myself in the mirror and step closer. Strangely, my image in the mirror turns and briskly walks away. I do that pinch thing again, and nope, I am not sleeping. I look around and notice my bathroom is incredibly large, so large it could be… A HALLWAY. Yikes! Continue reading