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Thread: Pilot Dating

  1. #1

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    Pilot Dating

    Some ladies like to fly and some don't and some are open to a new adventure. I don't think I have ever had a passenger who didn't enjoy it. So it' s good idea for a date.
    This one is a little more, definitely not, "It's just lunch." There is a man in Japan, described as a billionaire who is looking for the right companion for a flight. This one is a little different, not just a short hop, rather its a trip in Space X for a flight around the moon and back. I'm not going with any guy, not even to space if its with Margot Robbie, but one thing I'd definitely want to know is what are the restroom options on board? Also the movie selection, etc. Is there real food or just pretzels? Who is going to do the cooking enroute, who has to wash the dishes?
    Last edited by Bill Greenwood; 01-12-2020 at 09:59 AM.

  2. #2
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Greenwood View Post
    Some ladies like to fly and some don't and some are open to a new adventure. I don't think I have ever had a passenger who didn't enjoy it. So it' s good idea for a date.
    This one is a little more, definitely not, "It's just lunch." There is a man in Japan, described as a billionaire who is looking for the right companion for a flight. This one is a little different, not just a short hop, rather its a trip in Space X for a flight around the moon and back. I'm not going with any guy, not even to space if its with Margot Robbie, but one thing I'd definitely want to know is what are the restroom options on board?
    Darn. I thought Bill was going to ask, "How can you tell how old a pilot is?" To which I would have answered, "Cut him in half and count the wings....."

    Thank you, thank you, don't forget to tip your waitress.

    Anyway, back in the '80s, I was on Boeing's development team for what eventually became the International Space Station. Gerald Carr and Bill Pogue, two of the Skylab astronauts, were consultants to the Boeing team, and gave us a lot of information on zero-G life. Still have a copy of Pogue's paper on life in orbit, "The Astronaut Primer."

    The toilet details aren't for the fastidious.

    Doing #1 isn't so bad... at least for males. Just takes a hose with a bit of suction (and a recurring joke in the astronaut corps was, "if it takes more then thirty seconds, you're enjoying it too much"). There was a custom end piece for each astronaut, for obvious hygene reasons. It was, basically, a sized condom. In Mike Mullane's book "Riding Rockets" he described where he had to describe what size he needed to a female nurse. There was the (of course) wish to exaggerate, but the consequences of a too-large end piece were pretty wet.

    (the question here is: Will the automatic naughty-word checker on the EAA forums catch "condom," or will it change it to something like "A famous test pilot"?)

    Ladies? A bit tougher; harder to get a seal. Kind of a funnel for onboard use. NASA had the devil of a time coming up with a system compatible with spacesuit use. Catheterization was considered, but it was deemed too medically risky to be regularly doing that, especially in zero G. In the spacesuits, they finally settled on adult diapers.

    The wee-wee is kept in tanks, and occasionally vented overboard, where it instantly freezes. They once asked an astronaut what the most beautiful sight in space was, and he said, "A urine dump at sunrise." The sun catches the crystalized pee and turns it into a glittering golden cloud.

    Doing #2 was the real horror. Our bodily systems have evolved to (mostly) use gravity...which, of course, isn't there. Stuff doesn't want to separate from you.

    NASA did a ton of research on the shuttle toilet, which of course was adapted to the station. My understanding is that it still doesn't work really well. It uses airflow to attempt to substitute for gravity, which which is really a ***** substitute, if you catch my drift. Or non-drift, if the airflow is too low. The, ummm, human outlet port had to be carefully positioned relative to the toilet exit.

    A lot of people claim that the toilets had a camera in them, pointed up to help you "aim". My understanding is that was only on a ground training toilet, to help you get accustomed to the position you needed to be in to aim properly. After the stuff gets clear, it gets automatically chopped up and freeze dried.

    There was a legendary exchange between two science fiction writers, after the design for the Shuttle toilet came out. I think it was Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven. Pournelle wrote, "As near as I can tell, the **** is SUPPOSED to hit the fan...."

    Mullane's book covers the dread alternative: Apollo Bags. They're not named for the Battlestar Galactica character; rather, they're leftover "technology" from the Apollo program.

    How do they work? Simplicity itself. Ever seen somebody walking their dog, and the dog leaves a "present"? The owner will often take a plastic bag, slide it over their hand, and manually scoop up the poo. And THAT'S how Apollo bags work. Except you do it yourself, ON yourself. And of course, it's sticky, and doesn't really want to leave your warm carcass.

    Ah, the glamor of space travel.

    Mullane says there were some non-NASA payload specialists that refused to use the onboard toilet for #2, and tried to "hold it" for a one-week mission.

    However, I really doubt that systems have improved that much. Design is difficult; you need test subjects who can pee or poo during the ~30 seconds of microgravity that a "Vomit Comet" gives you. ISTR an article in an magazine, several years back, about the young lieutenant who was assigned to this. The plane and crew were basically on standby until his bladder or colon was ready.

    Ron "Hey, *I* didn't bring it up" Wanttaja
    Last edited by rwanttaja; 01-12-2020 at 07:18 PM.

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    Ron, that's just way too funny. I wonder if Buck Rogers had those problems?

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    Quote Originally Posted by HAPPYDAN View Post
    Ron, that's just way too funny. I wonder if Buck Rogers had those problems?
    Rumor has it that Ming the Merciless got his name because he went with the low bidder for the space toilets. :-)

    Speaking of Buck, on my last couple spacecraft projects, I ended up designing the mission patch. They both incorporated a Buck Rogers spacecraft. The last one even stole Chuck Sluszaryk's motto:


    [EDIT]= By the way, the wavy line at the front of the spaceship isn't a smile. It's a crack, commemorating us breaking the spacecraft structure during vibration testing....

    Ron "Of the 24th and one half century!" Wanttaja
    Last edited by rwanttaja; 01-13-2020 at 01:11 PM.

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    Ron, that's awful, I didint think anyone could take away the romantic feeling of a full moon, but you have. I'll never shake hands with Frank Borman the same way again.

    Now, to be serious for a moment, and I realize you may be the wrong guy to ask since you are/were committed to the program and on its payroll, but as of now, modern times, not 1962, what it the real point of all this going to space? A guy goes up to the capsule, floats around the earth for 6 motnths or a year and comes back to earth. He doesn't bring anything with him, not "peace in our time' or a new way to stop the Patriots or even a dozen fresh donuts. What the h did he do up there? Why spend all that money to do it over and over again? Does anyone really believe that a bunch of people are going to go and live on Mars? its just like Vegas but no topless bars.
    Sure, sure I know its all for science. Course curing cancer is science too, what if we spent the same amount on medical research? Or a non polluting car engine that burned junk mail?
    I have heard about NASA for a half century and it was cool the first time or first many times , but dios mios, it just seems to go on and on. My one connection is that it was family friends who owned some worthless swamp prairie land outside Houston that they sold to NASA to build the base.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Greenwood View Post
    Ron, that's awful, I didint think anyone could take away the romantic feeling of a full moon, but you have. I'll never shake hands with Frank Borman the same way again.

    Now, to be serious for a moment, and I realize you may be the wrong guy to ask since you are/were committed to the program and on its payroll, but as of now, modern times, not 1962, what it the real point of all this going to space? A guy goes up to the capsule, floats around the earth for 6 motnths or a year and comes back to earth. He doesn't bring anything with him, not "peace in our time' or a new way to stop the Patriots or even a dozen fresh donuts. What the h did he do up there? Why spend all that money to do it over and over again? Does anyone really believe that a bunch of people are going to go and live on Mars? its just like Vegas but no topless bars.
    Sure, sure I know its all for science. Course curing cancer is science too, what if we spent the same amount on medical research? Or a non polluting car engine that burned junk mail?
    I have heard about NASA for a half century and it was cool the first time or first many times , but dios mios, it just seems to go on and on. My one connection is that it was family friends who owned some worthless swamp prairie land outside Houston that they sold to NASA to build the base.
    You ask good questions, Bill, and have valid points. There's a continued debate on the value of manned space travel. I worked on the initial Space Station proposal, but everything since then has been "robots"...unmanned satellites.

    The problem is of long standing. The value of exploration comes from looking back, because too often, not enough benefit can be discerned looking forward. Unless you have one heck of a lot of imagination.

    Back in the 1960s, practical people saw little benefit in space. But today, global, even regional, communications are space based. Limited weather information was obtained by a few observation ships off the west coast, and from brave men flying airplanes through hearts of hurricanes. Now we've got live multispectral imaging from orbit.

    All of that is done with unmanned vehicles. But the major impetus to space technology was the moon race of the '60s; the rush to get men into space. "Spin Off" is the standard phrase, benefits that we get that are outside range of what was actually being accomplished.

    What's out there? We don't know. The problem is, robots aren't curious. Once you get outside the Earth-Moon system, it's difficult to indulge the curiosity of a man monitoring a Mars exploration mission remotely from Earth Earth. A man standing on the surface can turn his head, spot something new, and go there and instantly check it out. Five seconds later, he can do it again. Look at this history of the Martian rovers; most of their time was sitting waiting for the Earth-bound observers to debate and make up their minds.

    This is one of my favorite illustrations that show this. About 35 years ago, I was working in a pre-space-station space studies group with a marvelous man named Jack Olson. Jack was not only one heck of a design engineer, he was an artist....not in the "really good engineer" point of view, but in the illustrations of space concepts.

    Here's one painting Jack did, showing a Mars base. There are some "Easter Eggs" in here...the "Welcome" mat at the end of the ladder, for instance. But the best is on top of the rock, underneath Jack's name.


    Hieroglyphics. Writing by a non-human race. Going to take a person to find it...a person on site, mobile, with a lot of curiosity. Is it out there? We don't know. And will never know, if we don't go look.

    (BTW, Jack did airplane paintings too, including this one of a B-17: http://www.vbader.com/clandcobyjao.html)

    We honor the explorers of the past...and tend to forget they they often didn't reap any benefit from exploration other than their own deaths. Magellan butchered in the Phillipines, Drake buried at sea off Central America, Hudson cast adrift with his son by mutinous crew in the bay that bears his name, Columbus raving about how he found "India", imprisoned.

    Which leads me to my favorite "Why we go to space" story: Robert Heinlein's "Columbus Was a Dope."

    The story is set in a bar, with men discussing a rocket ship that is about to blast off for trip to the nearest star, one that'll take dozens of years. The men are all skeptical, talking of the fate of previous explorers, and how exploration, too often ended with nothing to show for it.

    By the end, the men agree: manned exploration is worthless.

    The bartender agrees. Besides, he LIKES living on the moon....

    Ron Wanttaja
    Last edited by rwanttaja; 01-13-2020 at 04:25 PM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by rwanttaja View Post
    We honor the explorers of the past...and tend to forget they they often didn't reap any benefit from exploration other than their own deaths. Magellan butchered in the Phillipines, Drake buried at sea off Central America, Hudson cast adrift with his son by mutinous crew in the bay that bears his name, Columbus raving about how he found "India", imprisoned.
    I was in a rush to get off to meeting when I wrote this, but after thinking on it a bit more, I realized there were a LOT more examples of famous explorers who came to a bad end, and never benefited from their exploits.

    Captain Cook, slaughtered and (partially) eaten in Hawaii. Franklin, attempting to find the Northwest Passage, and nearly starving to death on the return from his first trip (He became famous as "the man who ate his shoes). Franklin later disappeared on a subsequent attempt at the Northwest passage, along with the crews of his two ships. The entire community of the first Europeans to settle in America, the Roanoke colony. Sir Walter Raleigh, executed in 1618. Robert Scott, dying after reaching the South Pole only to discover Amundsen had beat him there. Amundsen himself, disappearing while searching for a lost Italian dirigible over the arctic. Shackleton, whose expedition failed, but produced an amazing but mostly-ignored (at the time) self-rescue. The Greely expedition; death and cannibalism among US Army soldiers in the far North.

    Yet...humans continue to explore. It's in our nature.

    There are, basically, two problems with space exploration.

    The first is the lack of a financial motivation. Most terrestrial exploration was sparked by greed. Looking for short cuts to the markets of the Orient, finding gold, enslaving free labor, rare resources to exploit. We haven't (yet) found anything along those lines in space. We need a new "Gold Rush," except Gold will probably not be sufficient.

    Nationalism, in the past, has been a driver. Not likely to see it that much, these days. Man's been into space and to the moon. Mars is neat, but so costly most countries aren't likely to spend the coin just for the sake of brag.

    The other problem with space exploration is the technology: The chemical rocket is a dead-end. They're not only dangerous, but it's impossible to carry enough fuel to shorten trips to reasonable distances.

    We need an alternative. Ideally, it's something that can thrust ALL THE TIME. Accelerate until you're halfway to your destination, then turn around and slow down for the arrival.

    It's amazing how much this can shorten trips. Assume you have a propulsion system that can provide a quarter-G of acceleration or deceleration all the way.

    A conventional rocket would take 160 days (minimum) to arrive at Mars.

    Our constant acceleration drive? Four days. Plus, you can use a conventional toilet! :-)

    Now, we just have to invent it. And build the technology to match.

    Ron Wanttaja

  8. #8
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    Read Harry Stine's The Third Industrial Revolution, then you will no longer question why we should, no, need to be in space. It's a bit dated (written 1979), but we haven't progressed that far in space since then...

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    You guys write a lot of complicated technical stuff. but I tho i haven't read it I am unlikley to be convinced by fiction from 1979. My question is really pretty simple. I know about com satellties and weather ones and spy ones. but otherwise why do we keep sending people up to orbit around the earth for a year. like the man who is the husband of the lady who was shot in Az. cant recall her name. What would you do for a year? What do you bring back? Cook and Columbus found vibrant and welcoming new worlds to settle with tons of natural resources and favorable to people. Not so the moon or Mars, basically hostile barren places. And you can go up over and over and they dont get any different.
    You know you might be curious to see Gary Ind once, but there is no reason to keep going back. Not much that I can see by sending manned or unmanned trips up is going to improve the life of the average person in most of the world, dont mean someone whose on the payroll of Lockheed or whoever. just other people.

    There are places in the bottom of the sea. maybe 25.000 feet or more deep and we sent cameras down to them. Not much going on there. kind of barren. But we dont send the same exploration back to the same spot over and over.
    Last edited by Bill Greenwood; 01-13-2020 at 06:27 PM.

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    There is a very funny skit on Sat nite live, of Sir Walter Raliegh phoning back to tell his sponsor the Queen of his discovery of tobacco in the new world. "yes, that's right maam, its a plant and you roll it up and put it in your mouth and then set it on fire" It's going to be a big hit"

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