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Monday, December 23, 2013

Mr. Williamson Goes On His First Mission After 31 Years. Space and Science News. The Imaginarium.

The Future of the Federation Was In Our Hands.
Yes, you can sleep soundly knowing we are on the front lines keeping you and yours safe this holiday season from the Borg Grinches  and the Romulan Party Poopers.

Hello Troops,
     I've been running space mission simulations for 31 years and never, not even once, did I ever take the role of captain and go on a mission - the only person in Space Center history to have done so.  My reasons for avoiding the captain's chair are many - most of the pretty lame.
     Last Saturday I ran out of excuses and was pressured to end my missionless streak and go on a mission.  My tormentor, whose initials are BF and whose name rhymes with Slacken Bunk, rudely poo hooed every objection I voiced.  He disregarded every excuses I  concocted by calling me a liar (in a most respectful way mind you).   My defensive shield collapsed late last week leaving me defenseless and vulnerable. And, being a responsible ex Space Center director, I showed up at the Space Center on time last Saturday for the event.
     Slacken Bunk wrote a new mission called Snow Fox, or maybe it was Snow Dagger.  There was a reason for using the word 'Snow' but I can't remember.  The story in a nutshell was:  1. A Federation Senator was the first name on a very short list of people to assassinate.  2. A paramilitary group wrote up the list and therefore were the ones targeting the fine upstanding senator.   3.  The senator was scheduled to make a campaign stop at a planet of less than enthusiastic citizens.  4.  One of the paramilitary's ships was seen near the planet.  5.  The brave crew of the Galileo had to find said missing ship and, by carefully connecting various points of logic, discovery who was going to carry out the assassination and when.  6. And of course it goes without saying, that we would be responsible to stop the assassination so all Federation citizen could sleep safely and soundly in their own beds at night.

     Aleta Clegg, Lorraine Houston and myself enjoyed the mission briefing with Slacken Bunk.  I'm pictured with my doctor prescribed caffeine, formulated to keep me awake during the mission.  I chaperoned the DSC's overnight camp and was feeling the effects of sleep deprivation.

     My crew consisted of myself playing the captain, the easily bored Lorraine Houston (inside crew joke), the highly logical and multitasking Aleta Clegg, and Farpoint Cadet Brayden D., our young engineering brought on to play the part of the expendable Red Shirt in case a mission sacrifice was required.
     I manned the sensor station as well as captained the ship.  I felt it proper to do so to show the younger crews that us old timers still have what it takes to multitask a mission to victory.  The mission started at 1:00 P.M. and ended with a draw at 2:30 P.M.  Slacken Bunk said we made it 1/4 of the way through the mission because I was over thinking everything.  I agreed with his assessment of my command style.  I wasn't about to let him trick me into a trap and then have plenty of ammo to embarrass me with around the Space Center's water cooler for the next year or two.
     We are going to try to find a time to finish the mission before Slacken has to return to school and that sport he plays involving a bouncing ball and two net draped hoops on opposite sides of a gym.
     I enjoyed the mission very much.  Slacken did a great job with the story and putting up with my overly cautious command of his favorite ship - the Galileo.

Mr. W.

Space and Science News      

Link Index
➤ Printed Eye Cells:
➤ Artificial Heart Transplant:
➤ Anti-Aging Compound:
➤ Robotic Muscle:
➤ Gaia Space Telescope:
➤ Liquid Water on Mars:
➤ Artificial Kidney:
➤ Pale Blue Dot Video :

Keeping Their Cool: ISS EVA removes Pump

by Mark Daymont
Farpoint Educator

Astronaut Rick Mastracchio works to remove the Ammonia Pump. Credit NASA TV.

This is not the first time that the ISS has had a problem with the coolant system. And this time, NASA has been prepared. A spare ammonia coolant pump was previously placed in storage outside the station just for this type of situation. On Saturday Dec. 21, astronauts Rick Mastracchio and Mike Hopkins donned their american-designed spacewalk suits and exited the station through the Quest airlock. Both astronauts are veterans of the space program, and both have made EVAs before. For Mastracchio this was his 7th spacewalk and the 2nd for Hopkins. The EVA was the 175th spacewalk for ISS maintenance and assembly. 

Astronaut Mastracchio and the ammonia pump are moved at the end of the robotic arm.

The astronauts quickly moved ahead of schedule and after detaching the hoses and wires from the defective unit, reconnected the station coolant system hoses so that the coolant in the system could remain liquid. WIth time to spare, they moved on to the first task scheduled for the next EVA, and while attached to the robotic arm and guided by astronaut Koichi Wakata, Mastrachio attached the defective pump to a storage location on the Truss segment.

Since the recent suit malfunction in which astronaut Parmitano experienced a water leak in his EVA helmet, NASA has been concerned that the same event coould occur again. In preparation for the EVA, astronauts on the station "McGuyvered" an extra breathing tube in the helmet for the two spacewalkers. In this spacewalk, however, both suits remained dry and the astronauts returned to the station on time. Two more EVA's are planned to complete the repair to the station coolant system.

You can read an excellent detailed account of the EEVA at NASA

The Imaginarium
You want to see extraordinary.  Well I've got Extraordinary.

An honest family Christmas portrait

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