Thursday, December 3, 2009

Scott Saslow's Journal


Two distinctly wonderful things happened while I was on vacation in November.

The new Star Trek DVD went on sale at Best Buy for $12.79 (woo-hooo), and a new NASA test subject set fire to Facebook with detailed, ongoing journal entries!

Scott Saslow (and I try to take it easy on the "beam me up" jokes) of Boca Raton, Florida is a fellow trekkie, NASA space enthusiast... and well, he has a quote by Carl Sagan on his Facebook page, so he pretty much had me at "hello." He contacted me when he began screening for the Flight Sim program earlier in the year, and I was overjoyed that he was eventually invited into a 30-day study – AND that he was interested in sharing his experiences!

We can really get "back to basics" now, in terms why I originally started this blog: to give insights into the flight analog experience, and examine the value of simulations in general. Of course, most of the notes during studies has been from the point of view of a female subject; Devin was a great sport about guest-posting and we always enjoyed doing "Q&A" together, and now this is the first time another writer has granted me permission to use their narrative material!

New Pillownaut Scotty at Cape Canaveral

So we will have a real treat all through December, as Scott is chronicling his study journey, from meals to tests to how he spends his time in bed... and he also describes many additional procedures that I didn’t go through in my studies last year, such as the new "Smart Pill."

He’s taught a lot of people about how the studies work, and is generating some fascinating discussions on his wall. I think he’s given a very balanced view thus far of how the study works, in terms of how excited he was to be part of a program at NASA, but also being candid about the challenges. Case in point, one of the first comments he drew from a female reader on FB said, “Thanks for not skipping the embarrassing stuff. Though, to be honest, its not all that embarrassing compared to post-delivery of a human child. All I can picture while reading this is the room from Flight of the Navigator where the nurse had pink hair...”

So, there’s an idea for the nurses at UTMB ;)

Click here to read the first two parts of the ongoing journal, and I’ll be adding more throughout the month as he continues to write. When he returns home and gets his film developed, we’ll also feature some photos of his experiences down at the study facility on Galveston Island.


Diane D said...

Hey, yay! New study stuff! This is very cool. So Scott, what made you do this crazy study??

Scott Saslow said...

Diane -

Heather and I might write up a FAQ list after the study and this question will be there.

I can safely say I had two reasons:

1. It was a good opportunity to do something important, and...

2. Financially, it will get me out of my parents' house (again) and on with my life... but that's another story. :-)

I wouldn't participate in just any research study but, having an interest in space (not as hardcore as Heather!) and being a big geek, this one seemed like a good one to try.

Mike said...

Welcome, Scott. I've read the first part and will catch on the other part this weekend. Good luck!

Mimi and Tilly said...

Fab! I was listening to a news story here in the Uk a couple of nights ago about the results of a bed rest study for NASA, and here I am getting the inside scoop!

ONE of THE GUYS said...

This is really interesting. I read some of Scott's journal too. And yes, the "human" stuff is the best part!

Anonymous said...

Where can I get my hands on some smart pills? I've been told I could use some...

Norman Copeland said...

What is a female menstruation cycle like away from our moon?

I've been wondering what the answer is for years...