Once upon a time, lo these many years ago, xiadyn
, and I were sitting in a bar. At the time I was having severe financial difficulties, and was attending college only because NASA liked me. Not only did they employ me as a research programmer and gratuitously overpay me, but they also just kicked in half to all my tuition, no-strings, because they felt like it.gfish
turned to me and said, "Hey, can't you use your 'NASA connections' to get us into zero-gravity?"
(I somehow entirely missed the DOOM that hovered around the question like moths at a searchlight)
"Sure, we just have to come up with some research they want to support us with."
(Doom, doom, doom! Danger! Danger!)
"What could we do?"
(Incoming! Alas, by the time gfish
had said this, it was too late)
"How about something with robots? Everybody loves robots."
(I think the coup de grace goes to xmurf
, though I think his first suggestion was something about zero-gravity wombats, and the comment that everybody loves wombats. Especially radioactive ones.)
We have just spent the past two weeks putting together the GYRE robotics project's 2005 zero-gravity proposal. We finished an entire day
aheads of schedule, which is remarkable. In 2003, the last year we went into zero-g, we finished, oh, about half an hour before the proposal needed to be at UPS, and that's after we'd already looked up which UPS station was open latest in Seattle (Boeing Field, in case you ever need to know). Not that there weren't many overnighters and pulling of hair and the like this year, but it's the best damn proposal we've written yet, and it does seem likely we'll make it back Up. Woohoo! It's DONE it's DONE!
Wish us luck conning NASA into another round of zero-g geekery, and hypobaric training, and the hell that is Houston, and crazy road trips to New Orleans, and oh oh oh, so much else!
(We = gfish