Tuesday, March 11, 2008

3-2-1 Liftoff!

I'm still on the No-Britney-News wagon, which is good, and easy because there is so much real news to read: NY Gov. Spitzer is a complete idiot, all our drinking water is tainted with pharmaceuticals, another outbreak of violence in Iraq...on second thought, maybe I will go back to Britney. The world seems a lot safer when you're just reading about one person's personal spiral into hell.

Actually, a piece of good news today: space shuttle Endeavour launched early this morning. I continue, to this day, to be awed and amazed by the idea of humans venturing into space. There's a part of that dream from my childhood of wanting to be an astronaut that never went away.

M and I are watching a DVD series given him by his folks for Christmas called "From the Earth To the Moon." It's a Tom Hanks/HBO production that dramatizes the U.S.'s efforts to land a man on the moon in the tight timeline set forth by JFK. Knowing nothing about it, we popped in a DVD for the first time the other night. Now we're absolutely hooked.

If NASA called M some day and said, "Hey, we'd like to launch your butt into space. Wanna go?" he'd jump at the chance. I tell him I wouldn't let him go, because of the inherent dangers and all that. But, truth be told, I'd not only push him to go, I'd try to get a seat next to him. And if they didn't have a seat for me, I'd tell them about his penchant for motion sickness (he couldn't handle the Top Gun ride at King's Island, for Pete's sake) and reassure them that my stomach of steel is up for the flight.

Because, really, who wants to be strapped into a small space next to a guy who starts wretching? It's not fun. Trust me, I've been there (see Top Gun reference above). All you want to do is get as far away from Barfy as possible. I can't imagine how much worse it would be in a weightless environment. His "clean hurl" record would be demolished.

The boy claims he would load up on Dramamine, of course, but still. I think NASA would probably be better off sticking with someone who doesn't require little pills to get through the entire mission.

Besides, I have far more training than he does. I have a week's worth of SpaceCamp under my belt, after all, where I was Mission Specialist I for my flight and CapCom for my mission control stint. We only died about three or four times on my flight (turns out it's not so good re-entering the earth's atmosphere with your cargo bay doors open, and it's even worse to leave your payload specialist out there at the same time...hey, he was at least tethered). I learned from my mistakes, though, so feel I'm pretty ready for a real flight. I even ate me some french fries shaped like space shuttles in the SpaceCamp cafeteria.

I also have an understanding of space shuttle design that only one other person in the world has: Papa. I'm pretty sure that there isn't a single other person in the world who has put together an intricate model of the space shuttle with a hot glue gun. Papa didn't want me working with toxic model glue, so he got out his trusty glue gun and went to town. My space shuttle model had, let's call them "reinforcements," in the way of strings of glue that stretched from the wings to the fuselage.

I wonder if NASA still performs all the health checks on their astronaut candidates that they used to. If so, I'd say I'm still the better candidate. I've had my eyes fixed now, so that's no longer an issue (M still requires correction for his peepers, plus he's got that whole pars plinitis thing). I still have my appendix (M doesn't, having had his removed since it was in danger of, you know, bursting and all). I don't know that an appendix is required for space flight, but just for the sake of argument, let's say it is. He's had some issues with his ticker, and had to have his bum shoulder repaired. Right now he's nursing a sore neck, and God help the space program if he got a head cold up there. He'd have to take an entire wing of the international space station and create his weightless germ nest.

So all this adds up to the fact that I would be a better candidate for NASA to send to space. You know, if they ever decide to randomly call civilians and offer free rides. It's a good thing I have all my calls coming through my cell now. The NASA call isn't one I'd want to miss.


Blogger csango said...

Aim, If you do go into space, don't forget your retainer(s) and be VERY careful NOT to throw it it the trash by mistake.

3:56 PM  

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