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Lots of excitement, Lots of calm!

by Susan Lee

March 5, 1999

This week began with a flurry of excitement. Members of the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics began to arrive. The final instrumentation was installed and then calibrated. The model was installed on the balance. The balance was check loaded one more time and the roll stop was set.

To get all that done the engineers and technicians had to be calm and efficient. The wind tunnel crew is very experienced, and their to do list disappeared rapidly. The two computer systems even began to talk to one another. Now they are waiting to collect the data.

Wednesday, March 3 was "Media Day". That meant the press was invited and to see the flyer and to take pictures and interview the engineers. All the preparation was very exciting. But getting up for the early morning television interviews left people tired by the end of the day. I think most people would have rather finished preparing for the test but it's important to share the excitement of the 1903 Wright Flyer test with the public.

After all the cameras, microwave relays, reporters and NASA TV folks left, it was back to business. Friday was quiet because most of the techs work a compressed work week. I walked up to the test area after four days of steady commotion and there was no one there. It's all calm and quiet until next week.


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