Thursday, August 04, 2005

It really DOES hold the world together, Part II

Fifteen points and a Tootsie Pop to anyone who can identify the aerospace engineer's version of Turn It Off and Turn It Back On Again in Figure 1 below:

Yes, here we have the four major stars of Discovery's mission: A woman, her crew, and their duct tape. As earlier discussed, duct tape is the balm of choice within the aviation industry, with great wads of it addressing such ills as falling-off landing gear and coming up short a few chicken entrees in coach. Duct tape is also highly decorative, as seen in this image of a makeshift hacksaw spacewalker Steve Robinson was to use yesterday if the filler material he planned to remove from Discovery's underbelly proved bratty:

I presented this picture to my students as a magnificent manifestation of teamwork, and American ingenuity, and the triumph of duct tape over the eternal span of time and space, and all, but... seriously. This looks like something I would do if somebody left me alone too long with the Christmas gift wrap and a taco shell.

Allow me to further applaud the aesthetic sensibilities of whichever crewmember who took this picture, as he clearly felt that in order to capture the purest essence of Excalibur here, he needed to do so within the context of Discovery's toilet. I suspect MTV will replace their Buzz Aldrin-on-the-Moon icon with this. Less aurora borealis from orbit as the sun slices over the horizion! More hacksaws silhouetted against astro-loos!

It was quite the extravehicular moment. Through NASA TV I heard most of the chatter between the crew and Houston, in which controllers issued such vital commands to Robinson as yelling at him to keep his big fat arms down because he was spoiling their pretty view from his helmet cam. Crack your head against the tiles, that's fine. Just don't ruin the sight of Liechtenstein and all its many wonders spinning towards us below. For my part, I assisted the repair by running around my apartment in small circles while flapping my hands around.

Because I am pathetic, I cried through the whole thing, and then I went to class, and one of the students asked me how mass is measured in space, and I had no idea, so I cried again, and gave him an F.

ladies and gentlemen, the ASTRO-LOOS!! at:

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