Saturday, August 28, 2010

Register by Sept. 12 to hear NASA's Byerly '99 in Bryan

The Voice of Mission Control, Josh Byerly '99, will speak Sept. 16 at the IABC Brazos Valley meeting, and if there's anybody who should know about business communication, it's him. I'd say communication's pretty critical when you're talking to folks flying a ship 300 miles above the earth going 17,500 mph.

Register here by Sept. 12 for the speech. You can get a glimpse of Byerly on the job here, and he also makes a quick cameo near the start of the latest "NASA: Behind the Scenes" video (on a somewhat yucky but highly necessary topic).

The KBTX alum will speak about his experience and his NASA role during the 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. meeting at Christopher's World Grille in Bryan (full details here).

"I'm excited about it because it's the first time I've returned to B/CS for about two years... we've been so busy with shuttle missions and I've been going to Russia and Kazakhstan a few times per year," he said.

"Russia and Kazakhstan?" I said.

"There are four Russian Soyuz launches and landings each year, and we send American and international partner crewmembers up on them," Byerly said. "My colleague and I rotate going over there throughout the year any time we have a crewmember on the flight. For launch, we are in Kazakhstan at the Baikonur Cosmodrome (same launch site that Sputnik and Yuri Gagarin launched from), and for landing we are a little more north in Kazakhstan.

"We climb aboard Russian military helicopters and fly out to the landing site, pick up the crew, head back to Moscow and then ultimately back to the U.S. It's always an interesting trip.

"Also, as you know, we have two shuttle missions left, one in November and one in February... The one in November will be space shuttle Discovery's final flight, and I'll be calling the launch and landing on TV from Mission Control. It's an honor for me to be able to do it, because Discovery is our oldest and most historic shuttle. "