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.