It is hard to believe it has really been nearly 5 years since I witnessed CAPE-2 soar into space aboard a Minotaur I rocket from the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Looking back at the last five years makes me realize just how much I’ve grown and matured both personally, but also professionally as a software developer. I’ve gone on to graduate with my Bachelor’s in Computer Science, I began working towards my Master’s Degree in Computer Science focusing in on Cyber Security. I remained working with the CAPE Program as the Project Manager of the Experimental Smartphone Groundstation Grid to expand my work on CAPE-2 Ground Station Software development, and am also now the Program Manager of the entirety of CAPE. I began working with the Idaho National Laboratory on a Cyber Security Project to assess the security risks associated with Electric Vehicles, their Charging Stations and Environment to provide a basis to create a Diagnostic Security Module for vehicles in the future.
However if you’re to ask me, which of these events above, or otherwise I’ve experienced in my life has been the most significant, I’d say without a doubt in my mind, that it would be on November 19th, 2013, seeing CAPE-2 launch. To see something you’ve spent the better part of 2-3 years working on, and much longer before being around be blasted into space and find out hours later that it has indeed survived, and is now orbiting the globe, and transmitting data back to a software you designed and implemented is truly otherworldly. Even now years later, I can’t describe that feeling. It is just something that needs to be experienced.
Below is a video taken by one of the people working as part of our Launch Integration Team, Justin Foley, of our launch. The video does not do the experience justice in my opinion, despite how awesome the video is!