Australia Recap + Deleted Scenes

These past two weeks have been the first of many things: first flight on American & Australian airlines (previously, I had only traveled on a Mexican airline) and the first time on a different continent.  We took one of the longest flights available and traveled to one of the most remote areas on Earth – which was precisely the point of this trip!

One would think that this trip would show the vast differences between the U.S. and the ‘Land Down Under’.  Yet, I only noticed strong similarities throughout my stay.  Our flight over to Perth was akin to traversing the southern California countryside – plenty of discernible ranches with rambling roads along the way.  Other than the ‘Australian’ accent, which is not the same in all parts of the country, there aren’t too many disparities in the language.  I found the enunciation – with all its diversity – to be pretty awesome.  In contrast, it took me quite a while to get used to riding in the left lane – it’s like driving in a mirror image of the road!  Throughout the trip, I felt thoroughly welcomed and thrilled to be in a new land – scarcely feeling like a foreigner.  America and Australia are indeed siblings in the international spectrum.

Another aspect of this trip that I enjoyed quite a lot was the fieldwork.  I have found going about the Australian outback, inspecting and mending instrumentation, to be incredibly fun.  It’s like playing in a giant sandbox that’s hundreds of square kilometers in size!  Yet, whether in the lab or a remote radio quiet zone, once you’re focused on what you’re doing, you quickly lose track of the setting.  In the field of astronomy, the entire world – nay, the entire universe – is our lab.

Throughout the trip, I have observed the problem solving tactics of the other team members. With three PhD’s and a highly experienced technician constantly nearby, there’s always something to be learned.  I have noted their pedagogical tips and hope to apply what I’ve learned to tackle new problems.

(One of my favorite quotes: “Don’t be a ‘guess-and-check’ engineer.  Be a scientist and solve this problem.”)

From one west coast to another; a symphony of domestic and international flights, it has been a privilege and a pleasure to be your liaison throughout this trip.  Until next time, I hope you may again choose LoCo Airlines to reach your destination.

Cheers!

-Jose

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Deleted scenes:

Foggy LAX

Foggy LAX

The behemoth that got us to Sydney - Boeing 747.

The behemoth that got us to Sydney – Boeing 747.

Our onsite LoCo engineer, Mr. Lizard.

Our onsite LoCo engineer, Mr. Lizard.

ASKAP radio telescopes aka giant mushrooms

ASKAP radio telescopes aka giant mushrooms

Always have a notebook handy - whether at the MRO or Mars.

Always have a notebook handy – whether at the MRO or Mars.

The team's glamour shot.  We come in peace.

The team’s glamour shot. We come in peace!

Giant sandbox

Giant sandbox

Caught me off guard

Caught me off guard

Like a kid in a candy store.

Like a kid in a candy store.

Representing the Sun Devils

Representing the Sun Devils

No gang signs please.

No gang signs please.

MWA core

MWA core

'roos on the run

‘roos on the run

Go Devils! (I'm starting to sound like cheerleader aren't I?)

Go Devils! (I’m starting to sound like cheerleader aren’t I?)

On top of things.

On top of things.

This guy is a 24/7 explorer!  He creatively tied his camera to the end of a shoelace and fished a few shots inside a small cave.

Hamdi is a 24/7 explorer! He creatively MacGyvered his camera to the end of a shoelace and fished a few shots inside a small cave.

Don't get alarmed, it's just a flying camera riding on a kite.  No big deal.

Don’t get alarmed, it’s just a flying camera riding on a kite. No big deal.

Shh...

Shh…

Can you spot the emu/s?

Can you spot the emu/s?

Windy coast at Geraldton.

Windy coast at Geraldton.

Oh hey, there's the Opera House!

Oh hey, there’s the Opera House!

Until next time, Sydney!

Until next time, Sydney!

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