A little lite reading before meeting Xaero...

That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for… Masten Space’s astronauts! Wait a minute. What? Masten Space has an astronaut corps now? Let’s back up a little…

Shortly after the first launch attempt of STS-133 in November, I sent Dave Masten my Lego astronaut keychain and told him that he wanted to go into space. (Side note: for those that don’t already know, Dave and I are dating.) Naturally, the little astronaut only wanted to fly on a MSS rocket. When I recently visited Dave, we decided that MSS needed an astronaut office. From that moment, creative goofiness was born…

Training Day One:

The entire office was all about the Stoken Donuts!

It was a historic day at Masten Space; a Lego sized one that is. MSS was welcoming its first class of astronauts into the office. Commander Judith A Redbrick, Pilot “Buzz” Brickson, and Mission Specialist K. Megan McBricker were welcomed to the office by lots of paperwork and Stoken Donuts (the only thing that makes piles of paperwork better). Like any rational person visiting Mojave and MSS for the first time, they really just wanted to see the rockets. Seriously, who wouldn’t want to meet the Northrup Grumman Lunar Lander X Prize Challenge winning Xombie and Xoie (parts now make up Xaero – for the CRuSR program)?

Say hello to Xombie. She won us $150,000 in the NGLLXPC!

After a few standard meetings and lunch at Voyager, it was finally time for the new crew to meet the rockets. Not onlydid they get to meet Xombie and Xaero, but they also got an inside look at the payload canister they would be flying in and were able to see some work being done on Xaero. After a day full of learning about Masten Space, their ride into space (Xaero) and paperwork, the crew was even more excited about the training ahead of them!

Training Day Two:

The Masten Space crew is setting up for some hot flamey stuff at the test site.


Shortly after arriving at the office, the crew was informed they were going to out to the test site for a trailer test. The engineers needed to do some engine testing, so they invited the rookies along to see the processes involved and some hot flamey stuff. The MSS crew was really great at showing them how the trailer test worked and all the procedures involved. The rookies were very focused on safety and making sure they understood all that was going on. With goose bumps still on their arms from the awesomeness of the experience, they headed back to the office for an afternoon of helping analyzing the data.

Meet Xaero. She's our rocket for the CRuSR program.

After spending the afternoon looking at data and figuring out what it meant, it was time to end day two by checking out the capsule that they would be riding into space in. Dave wanted to make sure they would have everything they needed for the journey they would embark on aboard Xaero. They really liked the capsule and were now even more excited for the journey ahead of them.

Training is to be continued…

Note: for more information on Masten Space, including Xombie, Xoie and Xaero, visit masten-space.com.

Teamwork is essential in collecting data... or lifting a pencil.
This is where we don't want to stand during a trailer test. While we love hot flamey stuff, we don't want to be this close to it.
Are we on the lunar surface or one of Dave's coffee tables?!?
Dave and the Masten Space astronaut capsule. I'll give him credit for building it...