Tearing Up the Road Behind Pad 39B

NASA EDGE puts the M113 through its paces.

The M113.  Credit: Don Morrison, NASA EDGE

Chris and Blair become temporary pit crewmembers for NASA’s emergency egress vehicle down at Kennedy Space Center.  Load up into the M113 with NASA EDGE and Ken Miller (Space Gateway Support – SGS) as they talk about egress fashion etiquette, driver intelligence, and height requirements.  0-45 in 6.6 seconds never felt faster.  It’s a good thing the M113 has treads; otherwise Blair would cause the wheels to come off.  You can download this segment from the NASA EDGE website the first week in December.  We have to wait until NASA 5.0 comes on-line.

The M113 flying by Pad 39B.
The M113 flying by Pad 39B. Credit: Don Morrison, NASA EDGE

Host note:

What an experience to ride in the M113 behind Pad 39B at NASA Kennedy Space Center. What started out as a tour ended up becoming an NE@ segment.  NASA EDGE would like to thank Sam Gutierrez, SGS Public Affairs and Government Relations Manager, Ken Miller, Battalion Chief for Cape Canaveral Spaceport, and Manny Virata, Public Affairs Officer – NASA Kennedy Space Center for making this experience happen.

Co-Host note:

Ditto to what the host said!  And to the Kennedy leadership…  If one of these cruisers ever goes into liquidation, NASA EDGE would like first dibs on the bidding.  Out and out buying one may be the only way I ever get to drive the M113.

Hello,You have reached the Orion Hotline…

I have to tell you that my “outsider” status is in serious jeopardy.  I’m going to meetings, hobnobbing with engineers and researchers, and basically becoming an Orion expert.

Chris actually slipped up the other day and asked me a direct question about NASA’s return to the Moon.  The times, they are a changing.

So, here are a few select shots from my daily Orion briefing that I thought you might enjoy.

(Viewer note: I find these pictures even MORE interesting if you hum the theme from the “The Right Stuff” while viewing)

Engineers put the outer skin on the Pad Abort Version of the Orion. Credit: NASA

It takes a very steady hand.  Credit: NASA

The folks working on Orion are NASA EDGE Fans.  Credit: NASA

I wouldn’t believe if I didn’t see it with my own eyes.  Credit: NASA, Photoshop retouching: anonymous.

More “Inside” information soon.

The Co-Host


The Space Shuttle Lands in Virginia Beach

The NASA EDGE Crew (Chris, Blair, Ron, Don, and Jack”y”) are at NASA Johnson Space Center this week shooting some NE@ segments.  We had a chance to check out the Shuttle Engineering Simulator in building 16N.  According to a few unverified sources, this is not the real simulator (motion simulator), but rather the engineering simulator where engineers look at Guidance Navigation and Control issues.  Jennifer Madsen, JSC engineer, gave us the complete tour of the simulator.

Jennifer Madsen instructing Chris and Blair on how to fly the space shuttle. Credit: Ron Beard, NASA EDGE

After a crash course of learning the cockpit displays, it was my turn to try and land the shuttle safely.  Jennifer set the simulation to an ascent abort scenario with one or two main engines failing.  We couldn’t land at Kennedy Space Center, so I had to try and land at NAS Oceana in Virginia Beach, VA.  This happens to be my home town.   I performed a 270 degree left turn to line up with the runway.  After my co-pilot, Commander Blair “Spritzer Spray” Allen dropped the landing gear at 300 feet, I landed the shuttle on the runway.

The simulation makes you appreciate all the hard work and training the astronaut pilots go through in flying the shuttle.  It’s a brick with wings.  The co-pilot didn’t get a chance to land the shuttle this time because he was to busy revitalizing his face with the vitamin C spritzer spray.  I have complete confidence in him that he can land the shuttle just as good if not better than myself.  His Commodore 64 days of playing F-15 Strike Eagle would come back to him.

I want to personally thank Jennifer, Jeremy, Tanya, and Sydney for all their hard work and dedication in allowing us cover the Shuttle Engineering Simulator.   A job well done!