Sunday, May 24, 2009

Final Exam

Day 6 of the bedrest phase. This evening they split my meal around the plasma volume test. At my 5:15pm dinner time, I got probably the funniest meal tray EVER:

NASA ward menu
So, yeah. That took about 9 seconds to eat. An hour later, three people from Johnson Space Center's Vascular Laboratory showed up. Since I cannot move from the tilted bed to go down to the main testing room, they brought all their equipment into mine: oxygen tank, re-breather, rock cylinder, IV pole, etc. After the blood draw, they put the hoses and apparatus on my head for the plasma volume testing, which went fine... and in fact seemed shorter this time. Everything seems shorter and more "normal" the second time around, somehow. (Well, except being in a bed and having a snorkel on your face, I guess that will never feel normal.)

Upon completion, I got the second meal portion, which was actually one of my favorite dinner menus: salmon, rice & veggies.

NASA study
And now I'm in the last phase of the tilt! I'm "on the moon" for about 15 more minutes, and then the bed will be lowered to a horizontal position for the last time. After sleeping and morning vitals, I'll begin the process of rising.

In far more relevant news:
Congratulations to the STS-125 Shuttle Atlantis crew, who landed safely today at Edwards Airforce Base in southern California! Another great NASA success story :)


Mike said...

I've always wondered why they put the shuttle landing/departure facility in Florida? It seems like 3/4 of the time, they have weather worries for the landing.

Sach said...

Well, since you love it SO much, I hope you get to do it over and over and over again. And maybe get to do the real thing too - once moon tourism starts off! Its going to start off. Just a matter of how soon. I heard the Head of the Apollo program say in 2004 as to how had we kept on going back to the moon after '72 - we'd be doing it already! But you're helping us get back there again! So Good Work!!

RE: Mike's question. Not to take over your blog answering duties Heather, but here's a resource you might find helpful. It is a media file link to NASA.

PillowNaut said...

Thanks!! I do wonder if moon tourism will be a reality in my lifetime. And no worries about replies... anyone can answer anything. Tho' if some folks cannot open video files or want history of the "why"... Go to: and check out Chapter 1 of the MOONPORT history:
- A Saturn Launch Site
- The Making of "the Cape"
- Building a Launch Complex

There are some great details there. Says NASA of the 1959 decision to use Canaveral: "Three factors largely determined the choice of sites for the launch complexes: explosive hazards, the dangers of overflight, and lines of sight.”

Any launch site is built far from populated areas, of course, but must also be near large bodies of water, so that no components are shed over developed land or endanger humans (or damage the launch complex itself). Launching from near the equator in an easterly direction is preferred -- this maximizes use of the Earth's rotational speed and a good orientation for arriving at a geostationary orbit.

Mike said...

Thanks to both of you. I've flagged this to read on an upcoming vacation.

Norman Copeland said...

I see you've done the NASA plasma test, but, I was curious and wondered if it calculated for space sickness that cause consumption [Tuberculosis] from Sagittarian dark matter...

I know... what a load of codswallop...