One day, soon after completing my PMP, I listened to an episode of Radiolab (“The Dark Side of the Earth”). The show struck a vibe with me. Perhaps it was that I had recently taken and passed the PMP exam I had been preparing for well over a year to take. The experience left me elated and wondering, “what’s next?” Perhaps it was a mid-life crisis. Perhaps it’s because my career involves building the intangible (you can’t touch software). For whatever reason, the show left me feeling bummed that I will most likely not live to see humans living in space. Then I thought, “Hey, why not learn about the space program that we have? And, hey, what about that massive International Space Station?”
I decided to learn all about it. That interest transformed into the desire to build a model. I combed the internet for plastic models and learned they are largely expensive, out-of-print collector’s items. While reading a blog post about ISS models, I came across a post with the typical summary of available models, but this one wrapped up differently. It closed with “Or, if you are so inclined, you can build the whole thing practically free from paper. Just check out this website“.
So I did. 6 months and 400 hours later, I had a complete, up-to-date paper model of the ISS hanging in my office. Thanks Alfonso.
If you would like to browse through hundreds of photos documenting the build process, please check out my public Facebook Album.
Building off that experience, I became a Planetary Society member and have been absorbing all the news on planetary science. It’s amazing how much is going on that isn’t deemed interesting enough to make the news. Thanks goodness for the Planetary Society, Reddit, and all the other ways of making the extremely exciting and endlessly fascinating planetary exploration news accessible.