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A secretary in the jungle

11 Dec 2013, 10:41 UTC
A secretary in the jungle
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If you are anticipating a technical blog – stop reading this now, as I am surely the least technical person in the Gaia Project Team. Let me introduce myself, I am Helma, the Gaia project secretary. I’ve been on the project since day one, which is about ten years ago, so I sometimes joke about Gaia being my first baby (I’ve had two actual babies in the meantime).
When people ask me why I have to go French Guiana for months I tell them ‘to support our Launch Campaign’. Then I get ‘Yes but what do you actually do?’ Besides the normal work like documentation, handling timesheets, leave requests, and a million other things, here goes:
Obviously organising all the business travels was a bit of a logistical nightmare challenge. My colleagues have to travel to Kourou and back, which involves trains, overnights in Paris, rental cars, different local hotels etc. I have in total organised about 45 trips to Kourou (which have all changed about three times so far). Besides all this travelling to Kourou, let’s not forget about 40 business trips to ESOC, Darmstadt, where my colleagues go almost every week for the spacecraft control simulations. Whilst in ...

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