Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Other NASM II

But first off:

1) Who are these people who are able to answer their phones and do text messaging and emailing on the Metro?  Every time I check, I have no reception.  Must just be my crappy phone. 

2) It was so warm today (62F/17C) that I took off my jacket.  After the winter-long heating has removed all the moisture out of the fabric of the house, suddenly on the first mild and humid day you smell the carpets and the curtains until you get acclimatized to it. But not for long, a front is blowing in tonight and there will be a wintry mix by Sunday.

3) I gave a homeless man a quarter today.

4) Landlady's younger brother (who is an actor or something and was in last week's episode of Law & Order) is staying here this weekend.  You know who he looks like?  Billy Bob Thornton.  Maybe tomorrow I should ask him how many people have said that...

5) I bought turkey bacon yesterday and fried it up this morning.  It is AWESOME!  I may never go back to pork bacon, ever again!

Now, where was I with this second NASM series?

Oh yes, Enterprise.


Original development mock-up of the Space Shuttle.  In deference to eager Trekkies who demanded it, NASA named the model the Enterprise.  It was tested in wind tunnels for aerodynamic integrity and even dropped from a piggyback to glide back to earth with a test pilot aboard.  But it is made of some composite material.

This looks like it just floated out of the payload bay.

See those little men beside it?  That is how big this is.

Rocket booster ring...?

ANDROID.  It was developed in the 1960s to perform functions that would be repetitive and harmful to a human subject, such as testing space suits.

(Let me know if you can't read the label.)  
Remember when laptops looked like this?

Note the Velcro tabs for sticking pens and useful objects onto the computer.  There are Velcro patches all over the place, on every surface, all over NASA equipment.  

I quipped that after astronauts retire they probably don't ever want to see another piece of Velcro.  Either that, or they use it for everything and drive their spouses round the bend.

(Again, let me know if you can't read the label.)  
Although this looks like a relic from the 1970s, the plate (which in this view is obscured by the label) states it was manufactured in 1989.

Space diapers - these ones have Sally Ride's name tag on the back.  Developed for female crewmembers to wear during launch or EVAs.  Men used to wear urine collection hoses and bags.  Now both male and female astronauts prefer the commercially available disposable diapers.  (Which is why the former astronaut driving from Texas to Florida in diapers without stopping was not unusual in the space flight community, although her reason for doing so was wrong.)

Apparently (according to Chris, who used to be a tour guide at Space Center Houston) Apollo astronauts liked peeing and releasing it into space because they enjoyed seeing their "tinkle twinkle".  The yellow briefs probably belonged to Alan Bean.

Important part of the Apollo survival rucksack.  I suppose in case the capsule on reentry seriously overshot the rescue crews or if prevailing conditions delayed rescue.  Every eventuality has to be prepared for when it comes to space exploration.
Contains: Flashlight, compass, mirror, four fishing hooks, needles, knife blade.  Made of grey-painted steel with brass fittings.

A Mobile Quarantine Facility.  Probably from back when NASA thought alien microbes (as in, unknown, not little green man germs) would return with the astronauts.  It is a modified Airstream and there are six lovely plush olive green velour seats inside.

There will be a third installment of this series.  Teaser word:  


steve on the slow train said...

I kind of liked "Olivia's Something or Other," but I understand your reasons for changing it. If I were young, single, and moving into a new city, I might name my blog something similar.

There was an episode of "Star Trek: Enterprise," which had the Vulcans crash-landing in the Pennsylvania coal country in the 1950s. To get some ready cash, they get a patent on Velcro. One of the Vulcans has the same name of the Swiss gentleman who really invented the stuff.

P.S. The "It's free, and I'm nice" is a great addition.

Olivia said...

Steve - I guess you didn't know I called it "something or other" as a sort of holding title, or merely out of frustration for not being able to settle on a title as easy as the last two...

I think I saw that episode! One of them went to the movies with a girl and the other (T'pol?) told him not to associated with the humans. It was funny seeing her in a dress.

nikkipolani said...

1. You're the very first person I know who's ever tried about turkey bacon and raves about it.

2. LOVE that new header shot -- so sleek and silvery. Gorgeous.

3. The Enterprise -- *sigh* oh, to see it in person!

Flighty said...

You won't be at all surprised that I love the new title and header!
This is another terrific feature length post full of interest, with some great photos.
I must admit that when I hear the word 'Enterprise' I tend to think of the aircraft carrier rather than the shuttle!
Take care! xx

Olivia said...

Nikki - ooh I get to have some with breakfast today too :)


Flighty - Yes, the aircraft carrier is more in the public eye because it has had more of a real history than that mere mock-up of a shuttle tucked away in one museum.

panda_eyed said...

Ooh, I did a module of aviation medicine when I was studying for my degree, and I loved this post :) Aviation physiolopgy fascinates me. Didn't know that nappies were worn though! Funny, using them on long drives - eww!

The Moody Minstrel said...


(That pretty much sums it up.)