I have trouble understanding the following in red.
"To pull this off under these impossible constraints, we had to do everything differently,..... Even the NASA administrator, Daniel Golden, nearly flipped out when he received his initial mission briefing---he couldn't get past how many new things we were trying out."
Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.
Great explanation and visual!
I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.