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  • Writer's pictureJohn Garcia

My Recent Journey, "Back to Flight!"

It has been quit a long time since I have been outside viewing the night sky and updating this website. I want to say "I'm and Back"!

After my last blog post on June 23, I ventured outside to view the night sky one more time on evening of June 25. The next day I became very ill and eventually ended up in the hospital. I was diagnosed with COVID-19 and Pneumonia. The recovery was slow and long taking more than two months before was able feel myself again. Many other changes had also taken place. The week I went into the hospital I lost a family member to an illness, and my job as a result of the airline industry troubles. In mid summer, I decided to return to continuing my education enrolled in a Master's program for Network and Communications Management. In October I started full-time online classes which was like having a regular full-time job.

With a desire to learn more about space and astronomy, I continue to work toward a career that keeps me looking into the sky. Last month, I accepted a position which brings me back into a space program working as a Systems Engineer Technical Advisor (SETA) on satellite communications systems for the U.S. Space Force and NASA. I say "Back to Flight!" because this marks my third time working with a space program and involved with launching space vehicles carrying a space payload for communications or observations. I have held a position on the Sea-Launch program as External Communications Engineer, and in operations for the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) as a Systems Engineer at Telemetry Receiving Stations in Guam and Kiritimati Island.

It's a very exciting time for space exploration today as the Mars Perseverance is exploring the surface of Mars. As I was on-boarding on the Space Force Newcomers Orientation, I was also viewing the Perseverance enter the Martian atmosphere. Participating in a virtual orientation to the upcoming missions that Space Force is transitioning into (formerly Air Force programs) I was also watching history being made on NASA TV as touch-down was announced by mission control at JPL.

I am very excited to head back out to the backyard and start peering into the night sky again. I will be reporting my observations and continue to acquire new equipment for my hobby. My goal is to capture my own images and learn the art of astrophotography.

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