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The best part of my time spent at NASA was having the opportunity to fly on the KC-135, better known as the Vomit Comet (here's the official site). I logged about 5 total hours of zero-G over the course of 15 flights. I had to complete physiological training before I could fly.

Each flight consisted of about 40 30-second periods of weightlessness, in which we tested out equipment that the astronauts would use either on the Shuttle or the future International Space Station. Imagine the adrenaline rush of a roller coaster, the physical rush of whitewater rafting, and just a touch of euphoria, and you might have an idea what it was like to be weightless...

I also had other adventures that other space geeks out there would appreciate. I got to go into one of the back rooms of Mission Control at about 4:00 AM one morning to monitor a small study I worked on that flew aboard STS-73. I got to plug into the "comm loops" and speak to one of the Mission Specialists via CAPCOM and a few other links in the chain. It was just too perfect that a full moon shone down on me as I walked from the parking lot to the main security desk of Mission Control. I couldn't help but think of all the people who made that same walk back in the Apollo days, when we sent people to the moon... I have more stories, if you're interested!

Andrea H. Berman (