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Preflight Interview: Stan Love, Mission Specialist
JSC2007-E-48354: Astronaut Stanley Love Q: There are hundreds of thousands of pilots and scientists out there in the world, but there are only about 100 American astronauts. Why did you want to be one of them and be one of these people who flies in space?

Image to right: Astronaut Stanley G. Love, STS-122 mission specialist. Image credit: NASA

A: Well, I’ve always been interested in space. I devoured science fiction novels as a kid. My make-believe games were like “Star Wars” and “Star Trek,” and I’ve always loved exploring, whether it was hiking in the mountains or poking around in the woods near my house. I guess I just never outgrew those interests.

Was your interest, well, you say science fiction, as opposed to science fact?

I think they’re both cool. I mean, I did read a lot of science fiction, but I do have a Ph.D. in astronomy and a fair amount of science work under my belt. It’s all interesting.

Let me let you fill in the, the blanks on how you got there. Start with Eugene, Oregon.


Tell me about your hometown.

Eugene, Oregon, is sort of a hippy college town on the West Coast. It’s very green and very clean and has a lot of biking trails and jogging paths. It’s home to the University of Oregon, the big state university, and not much else.

Was it a nice place to grow up?

I think so … but you have a hard time finding anybody who hates their hometown.

Do you have a good sense of how it and the people who are there contributed to you becoming the person you are?

We don’t have too many astronauts from Eugene. I think we do have one other, which is surprising, given the smallness of the place. The “Eugene values” that I seem to carry the most are respect for education and a love of the outdoors.

Give me the thumbnail sketch of Stan Love, education and professional background. What happened between Eugene, Oregon, and astronaut?

OK. From Eugene, Oregon, I went to college at Harvey Mudd College, and no, that’s not the guy on “Star Trek” with the androids, that’s Harry Mudd. Harvey Mudd College, I went there because they had a sense of humor, and when I got there I discovered about 70 hours of schoolwork a week and no time for social life, and they worked us very, very hard down there. But I got an excellent education out of there. From there I wasn’t sure what I wanted to be when I grew up, came back to Eugene, looked for work and ended up in the corn cannery. A couple of weeks of that and hey, send me to grad school -- where’s the library, where the bookstore, I’m ready to go back to school. So I went to grad school in Seattle, at the University of Washington, in astronomy, I spent about six years earning a master’s and Ph.D. there. After that, I looked for work. At that time, it was very hard to find a job in astronomy. People were graduating and going into these what’s called post-doctoral, post-doc, positions, which is kind of a holding pattern while you wait for a professorship to open up. I saw that coming, and so I said, aha, I will have a backup career in case my primary career fails. So I went over [to] the Aerospace Engineering Department and said, "Hi. I have a B.S. in physics, I’m studying astronomy right now, but what of your classes can I take?" So I took a bunch of, space systems design course; I took their fluid mechanics course, you know, just to have a little backup here. So I finished my Ph.D., and lo and behold, there are no jobs in astronomy, and of course, the Berlin Wall had come down two years earlier and there were no jobs in aerospace either -- so much for the backup plan. But eventually, after six months or so of searching, I found two post-docs: one in Hawaii, where they needed somebody immediately but could only guarantee funding for a year, and one at Caltech where they wanted me to come but couldn’t start me for a year, which is like the best of all possible worlds. So I went to Hawaii and worked for a year, which didn’t suck one bit, and the science was good, too, then came to Caltech and worked for two years as a post-doc there. By that time, I was married and we had a child, and I was tired of being a post-doc in forced, temporary positions, so I looked for other things, did all the, personality tests and all the little things to decide what you should be when you grow up, and the answer came back I should be a planetary scientist, which was no help because I already was one. But an opportunity opened up at Jet Propulsion Laboratory, up the road from Caltech. I went up there and started learning how to be an engineer and was having a great time and just learning what to do when my application to the Astronaut Office, which I had been sending in every year for seven years, finally came through, and they wanted to hire me.

After all that, I’ve got to think that you certainly look like you’re pretty excited as you get closer and closer to your first flight.

Well, yes. Who wouldn’t be?

You got a good story about how you were given the news?

It’s not very good, but I’ll tell you anyway.

All right.

My day job at the time, astronauts who are not currently assigned to a flight will have a day job in the office, I was working with Constellation, sort of contributing to the concept design, and the operations concept for the new Orion vehicle. At that time it didn’t even have a name, it was just CEV, crew exploration vehicle. And I’m sitting in one of these meetings, and a fellow from my office comes over, knocks on the door, and calls me out in the hall. He says, "Hi, I’m Steve Frick. I’m going to be the commander of STS-122, and you’re going to be one of my mission specialists. Congratulations and welcome aboard, now you may go back to your meeting." So I went back to my meeting. I had this big, huge grin on my face; everybody was, "What happened? What happened?" I just got a flight assignment, so I didn’t pay much attention to the meeting after that.

You’ve been busy since.


The part of the astronaut’s job that involves flying in space can be dangerous. What is it that you think that we get as a result of flying people in space that makes it worth the risk you’re going to take?

Well, I see two things. First of all, exploration, as I’ve said, I think it’s important, and I think it’s one of the best things that people do, that people invest a lot of resources in. If you look at a lot of other things that we spend a lot of resources, a lot of it has to do with selfishness or violence. Exploration, I think, is a more noble thing to spend our time on than a lot of what we do. As I mentioned before, when we explore we find things, and it can be dangerous, and what we find may be strange and useless at the time, but as time runs it always becomes very valuable. So I think that what we really get is the future. And I think that’s worthwhile.

You’re Mission Specialist 4 on this trip to the International Space Station. Stan, give me a summary of the goals of assembly mission 1E and what your jobs are going to be.

OK. The goal of the mission is to install the European Space Agency’s Columbus laboratory module on the space station. In a nutshell, we’ll launch out of Florida at the moment the space station’s orbit passes over Florida, we’ll spend about two days catching up with the International Space Station, we’ll dock, and then the day after docking we’ll reach into the shuttle’s payload bay with the station’s robot arm, pull out Columbus, and stick it on the side of Node 2. We’ll spend a few more days docked to the space station running three spacewalks, we’ll transfer supplies back and forth, we’re going to drop off a crew member and then pick up a crew member who had been staying on station for a few months. We’ll undock from station, spend a couple of days in free flight, and then return to Florida for a landing.

JSC2007-E-21208: Astronaut Stanley Love And your jobs in all of this?

It’s easy as 1, 2, 3, I like to say. I am R1 -- that is, I am in charge of the shuttle’s robot arm; I’m M2 -- that means I’m second in charge of the space station robot arm; and I’m EV3, I’m the third of three spacewalkers.

Image to left: Attired in a training version of his shuttle launch and entry suit, STS-122 Mission Specialist Stanley Love awaits the start of an emergency egress training session in the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility at Johnson Space Center, Houston. Image credit: NASA

Let me get you to talk [in] a little more detail about, well, we’ll talk about all of it in more detail … let’s start with the primary payload, a laboratory module from the European Space Agency named Columbus. What is it, what does it do, what is it going to add to the International Space Station?

Columbus adds three main things to the space station. First of all, it’s the European Space Agency’s major hardware contribution to the International Space Station. They’re very proud of it. It’s going to be their flagship module on the station. What that also means, per the international agreements that space station is run under, is that once Columbus is on board European astronauts can start staying on station for long stays, so it’s sort of their key to having their astronauts on board. And then finally, Columbus is a lot of laboratory space. Space station up until now has been a construction project. There has been some science done on board, but as hard as science is to do, it’s even tougher in a construction zone, and Columbus will add some much-needed lab space that’s dedicated to research and not having to do double duty as, operating the main station and being a, a transfer corridor for lots and lots of people and things.

Bringing up Columbus and Node 2 and their new solar arrays -- what’s it like to be involved in being in the middle of a period of pretty dramatic change on board the station?

To be honest, I’ve not known anything different. Space station has been a big project that’s under way with lots of activity, basically since the day I walked in the door here. So I guess I don’t have the longer view of this being an especially busy time in space station. When space station first went up, it was busy: It was small, it was kind of exciting to send people up there, we were adding new systems all the time, and to me that’s just a continuation of the same stuff.

Let’s talk about some of those 1-2-3s that you do. On Flight Day 2, you are going to spend a good portion of the day working on surveying the shuttle orbiter for damage. Talk about the task of using the Orbiter Boom Sensor System and how doing that task has given the experience that crews have gained in doing it since Return to Flight.

The inspection that we do on Flight Day 2, which we will then repeat on Flight Day 10, just before we return, is to inspect the most sensitive areas of the shuttle’s heat shield for damage. And this came right out of the Columbia accident investigation. We realized that that, heat armor, which is not good for physical armor -- if something hits it, it can break -- we’re very sensitive to damage in those areas. So in the aftermath of Columbia we added to the shuttle about a 50-foot pole with a bunch of cameras and laser scanners on the end of it. We grab one end of that with the shuttle’s robot arm and then scan the sensor package all along the leading edges of the wings and along the nose cap right on the front of the orbiter looking for very small damage areas. It takes about six hours to do. It’s a long day. We’ll rotate four of our crew members through it, so just about everybody gets a shot. So how that has improved since it first started? It used to take about eight to ten hours; they have made the process more efficient, but at the end of the day you still have to scan all those surfaces very slowly with very sensitive instruments and take a lot of data so that you can see very small damage areas.

Is it still a lot of manual flying of the arm?

It’s almost no manual flying of the arm. Just about all of it is automatic sequences, but you still have to load those into the computer’s limited memory, punch the Go button, and then make sure that everything is running as planned. Of course, you’ve got a total of about a hundred feet of articulated robotic machinery working out there, and it’s fairly close to your sensitive heat shield, and you don’t want to actually run into it while you’re trying to look at it. So it takes a lot of constant vigilance from the crew members to run the surveys.

Shortly after Steve Frick docks the shuttle to the space station there’s an additional OBSS operation to unberth it and leave it hanging out on the shuttle’s robot arm. Tell me about that job and the reason for it.

Oh, boy. There’s a lot of reasons for it; it’s a long story. Once upon a time they designed Columbus to have a grapple fixture on its side where the station arm could grab it and pull it out of the payload bay. Then we added the boom after the Columbia accident. So now we have a, observation boom right in the way of that grapple fixture on Columbus, and in fact it’s so close that they had to pull the grapple fixture off of Columbus. So the first thing our spacewalkers do on EVA 1 is to put the grapple fixture back on Columbus. Now, for them to do that work and for the station arm later to grab Columbus, we have to move the boom out of the way. The boom was designed to be used mainly by the shuttle’s robot arm, but when we’re docked to station the space station stack, which docks to the shuttle right behind the crew compartment, gets in the way -- the shuttle robot arm can’t grab the boom. So we have to pick up the boom with the station arm, move it out [to] a place where the shuttle arm can grab it, then the shuttle arm grabs it, station arm lets go and moves away, and the shuttle arm maneuvers the boom to a place where we can use the cameras on both the shuttle arm and on the boom itself -- those cameras can operate when it’s grappled to the shuttle’s arm -- to provide useful camera views for our EVAs, and also, actually, for our later robotics operations. So, if you see in the pictures the boom hanging out in some crazy angle over there by the tail, there’s a reason for it being there.

And is it going to stay there throughout the docked operations?

No, we’re going to move it, after EVA 1, we’re going to move it to a different viewing position for EVA 2, and then at the end of EVA 2, we’ll move it back to the original position. And we are fortunate that we don’t have to reverse that process and put the boom back on the shuttle payload bay sill for undocking. We’re allowed to undock from station with the boom out there on the shuttle’s robot arm.

Which will be something new.

That will be new, and it saves us a lot of work, so we like it.

Let’s talk about the delivery of Columbus, that’ll get started with the first spacewalk of the mission. Overall, when it comes to the spacewalks, what is your job going to be?

Overall, I’m conflicted; it’s been difficult. The EVA community is very strong and close-knit, and the robotic arm community is very strong and close-knit. So when you go to an EVA class, and if you’re going to be working with the arm operators -- say you’re going to be riding on the robot arm -- they’ll always say, you know, you’re going to be trying to do your work here, and oh, you know those arm guys, they’re always going to want you to do this. And then you go to your robotic arm class, and if you’re going to be flying an EVA guy on the end of the arm, they’ll always say, oh, you know those EVA guys, they’re like this. I’m doing both. So for EVAs 1 and 2, I’m going to be helping MS1, Leland Melvin, operate the station robotic arm. We’ll take turns with the flying, so I’ll be doing some of that. And then on EVA 3 I’m on the other end of the arm, I’ll be riding the arm while Leland and Leo [Eyharts] fly it.

Do you get a lot of advice about what it’s going to be like to be out there flying as your own little spacecraft?

Piles [laughs]…it would take hours to recite it all. It’s all been very helpful, but like any other physical task I have a feeling that, when I actually do it myself there will be a lot of surprises. You know, you can’t, you can’t tell somebody how to play hockey; you have to sort of have to do it to know what it’s like.

All right, let’s go through it in order. Start with EVA 1, if you could, talk us through what happens during that first spacewalk.

OK. EVA 1, Rex [Walheim] and Hans [Schlegel] will come out of the airlock, they’ll set up some tools, and then they’ll come into the shuttle’s payload bay and they have to install the grapple fixture that we talked about, so that the station arm can grab Columbus. Again, that’s the whole structural interface between the station’s robotic arm and 30,000 pounds, and €1 billion worth, of ESA’s hardware, so they have to make sure that’s on there really good. They also have some meteorite orbital debris panels that they have to move in order to hook up the electrical connections for that grapple fixture. Those electrical connections are important because they provide heater power to keep Columbus warm and its avionics all nice and happy while it’s parked overnight, before we’ve had a chance to hook up the main power feeds from the space station. Those power feeds run through the station’s robot arm and keep Columbus happy. At that point, once they’ve got the grapple fixture installed and the debris panels are in place, I have no idea what they’re doing, because then I go and do my main job with Leland which is to unberth Columbus from the shuttle payload bay and stick it on the side of the station. I’m sure Rex and Hans are doing something important out there, but I couldn’t tell you what it is.

But let’s stay with Columbus.


Now, you and Leland are going to deliver it.

That’s right. We’ll be pulling it out of the payload bay; we’ll grapple, grapple it with the station’s robotic arm. From inside the shuttle they’ll release the latches that have held it in the payload bay, we will very gently pick it straight up out of the payload bay, bring it off to the side of the orbiter, and then we’ll run an autosequence which brings it around to the side of Node 2, which is going to be very close to the shuttle’s windows. We’ll have a great view out the side windows, where Dex [Alan Poindexter] sits. Then using a camera that’s boresighted out the window of the hatch in Node 2, where Columbus will be located, we will bring Columbus in, line it up exactly. Meanwhile, right behind us, the station crew, who will be operating the Common Berthing Mechanism, CBM -- you are nothing at NASA without an acronym -- which is the set of power bolts and sensors that grab Columbus, bring it into the station, and then bolt it on and make a strong structural connection. We’ll be working with them. As soon as they see that the latches are ready, we’ll allow the station arm to go limp, they’ll grab Columbus with the Common Berthing Mechanism, bring it in, drive a set of power bolts. Once there’s a sort of a basic capture, they’ll turn that job over to the ground who will be spending the next half an hour or so, torqueing these bolts down to their final settings, and then we’ll have a good structural connection on Columbus, and that will be our first big step toward getting it installed and activated.

But the crew members don’t get to go inside of Columbus until the following day.

That’s correct.

And the European Space Agency astronauts on the crew are going to be in charge of getting you all in that door. What has to be done before you can throw open the hatch?

Well, the European agency astronauts are in charge of that, so I don’t know. I know some of the basics. Most importantly, before we can open hatches we have to make sure that the volume in between the sealed Columbus hatch and the sealed ISS hatch is able to hold an atmosphere. We’ve just made a brand-new structural connection there, and we can’t do any welding -- it’s all power bolts that squeeze two metal surfaces together with some rubber gaskets to prevent air leaks. We really hope there are no air leaks, so we need to first introduce some air into what’s called the vestibule, that area between the two sealed hatches, and then watch it and make sure it doesn’t leak out. That’s called leak-checking the vestibule; once that is complete, we can open up the hatches and go in.

And that ought to be pretty exciting to be among the first people to, to go inside Columbus in orbit.

Yeah, it’ll be fun.

The day after that takes place is the second spacewalk of the mission; that involves Nitrogen Tank Assembly change out. The robotic arm is involved in that, too.

It is. And since the arm is involved for the whole EVA, I actually know what’s going on. We start the day with the nitrogen tank up on the P1 Truss segment, up above the lab. That will have been prepared already on EVA 1, by having its connections pulled off the back -- that’s the nitrogen, gas lines -- and also the bolts which held it in place for launch many years ago and had to withstand three g’s of launch plus all the vibration that it gets in the payload bay, those bolts are torqued way down, so they’re very tight. Once you’re on orbit, you don’t need that. So on EVA 1, Rex and Hans will have broken torque on those bolts. They won’t have unbolted it, but just done that preliminary task. So we’ll start the day with Rex and Hans in the payload bay; Rex will be riding the arm, Hans will be free-floating. We will go to the new nitrogen tank waiting in the payload bay, break torque on its bolts, unbolt it, and Rex will pick it up on the arm. We will fly him up to the P1 Truss where they will put it, what we call in NASA jargon, temp-stow -- temporarily stow it, stick it somewhere because we have to let go of it for a minute -- stick it onto the truss, go over to the old tank, finish unbolting it, pull it out, stick it on the truss next to the new one, go up and grab the new one, pick it up, take it to the, socket where we pulled the old one out, stick that in, and bolt it down. At that point, Rex and Hans split off: Hans goes around the back of the truss to hook up the nitrogen lines on the new tank. Rex takes the old one down to the payload bay. By the time he gets there -- the arm does not move real quickly -- Hans should have finished and be down there in the payload bay to help him, and we will slide the old tank into the slot where the new one came up. So we’re putting the old one back in the payload bay. We’re going to bring it down with us, and they’re going to refurbish it on the ground so we can fly it again. We do not yet have a way to recharge these tanks on orbit, so the only way to refill them is to bring them all the way back to Earth. They are working on a way that we can recharge these tanks on orbit, because that would be a lot easier. Once all the tanks are in their places, bolted down with their little thermal covers back over them, Rex and Hans should have a little bit more time, and they’re going to use that to hook up what’s called the SSPTS cables, that’s the Station to Shuttle Power Transfer System, and that is a set of cables, and also some power converters and equipment, on board the shuttle, that allow the shuttle to take electrical energy off the space station’s solar arrays while it’s docked to station. Shuttle gets all its electrical power from hydrogen-oxygen fuel cells, and it carries the hydrogen and oxygen for those fuel cells on board, but it’s a limited gas tank. And that’s really what limits how long the shuttle can stay in space. When we run out of hydrogen and oxygen, it’s time to come home because the shuttle’s not much good without electrical power. On station, though, they get energy from the sun constantly, and so if we can feed some of that power to shuttle we can turn the fuel cells down to their lowest setting and run the shuttle for extra days. Now sadly, our vehicle, Atlantis, does not have the modification that allows us to use SSPTS, but the other ones do. So this is a favor we are doing for the others. Rex and Hans will stretch out these SSPTS cables, which have already been used, but not used since Node 2 arrived. So they’ll stretch them across Node 2, plug them into their sockets on the mating adapter between station and shuttle, so that when the shuttle docks, the electrical connections are automatically made, and the next orbiter to visit station can get an extra three docked days.

That’s a busy spacewalk.


There is a third spacewalk that you will also be involved in, this time as, as one of the spacewalkers -- you and Rex going outside to move more heavy equipment around on the outside.

That’s right.

JSC2007-E-27723: Astronaut Stanley G. Love Image to left: STS-122 Mission Specialist Stanley Love attired in a training version of the Extravehicular Mobility Unit spacesuit, awaits the start of a training session in the waters of the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory near the Johnson Space Center, Houston. Image credit: NASA

Tell us about what’s going to happen on EVA 3.

OK. Just to define some technical terms here, the end effector is the little set of grabbers on the end of the robot arms -- the shuttle and station both have them, although they are different in design -- that allows us to grab things. So for EVA 3, I like to joke, I am the “meat end effector:” I am the thing on the arm that grabs things. Rex and I will start at the airlock, we will make our way to the shuttle’s payload bay, where the arm will be waiting for us, and it’ll already have on it what we call the APFR -- again, you are nothing at NASA without an acronym, Articulating Portable Foot Restraint -- toe clip. It allows a person to stand and have a solid basis for their feet somewhere, and there’s a spot on the arm where you can put one of these things. That will be in place, I’ll hop in there, and then we will start removing refrigerators, or refrigerator-sized objects. First will be SOLAR, which is a solar telescope that mounts on the outside of Columbus. It’s like a little satellite. If you look at it -- take a picture of it -- it looks like a satellite, but it gets its altitude control, its power, and its data feed all through the space station, so it’s a little satellite that mounts on the outside of space station. We will pick it up from the payload bay, there’s one bolt that holds it in place, then riding the arm I will carry it up to Columbus and we’ll put it in place on what’s called an EPF, External Payload Facility, there we go … we start forgetting what the acronyms mean, it’s terrible … put that in place. Once it’s bolted in place and driving that bolt connects all its power and data connections all at the same time and a structural connection as well, so it’s a good deal for us; we’ll back away. Then I will go down underneath Columbus and install a keel pin cover. To hold Columbus in the shuttle’s payload bay it has these gigantic steel pins that are about this big in diameter [uses his hands to make a circle about three inches in diameter] and about that long [holds his hands about six inches apart] that latches on the shuttle to hold that payload in place, 30,000 pounds of Columbus under three g’s plus all that vibration at launch, it needs a good, solid structural connection. But once in orbit you don’t need those pins anymore, and in fact they become a hazard because they radiate to space really well and they make it real cold, and the cold can seep into the inside of the laboratory and they don’t want that. So we’ll be Velcroing a little cloth cover over this keel pin so that it doesn’t make the inside of Columbus cold. Once that’s complete, the arm will take me back over toward the station airlock where will be waiting for us a Control Moment Gyro[scope]. The space station holds its altitude in space, using big, heavy gyroscopes, and over the history of station we’ve had two of these fail. The STS-118 crew removed the CMG 3, the CMG of interest here, and put it on a platform for us; we’re bringing it home. So we’ll go over by the airlock, grab that CMG, unbolt it, the arm will swing me over to the shuttle payload bay, and we’ll plunk it down in the exact same slot that we pulled SOLAR out of, because it’s the same structural interface there, which is also very convenient for us. Once the CMG is in place, we’ll move over to EuTEF [European Technology Exposure Facility] which is an external exposure facility, basically, looking at how materials respond to being exposed to space for a long period of time; another little satellite that mounts on the outside of Columbus. I’ll pick it up, we’ll unbolt it, we’ll drag it up, riding the arm, up to Columbus and stick it on another External Payload Facility, bolt it in place, and then our EVA is done, basically. We have some cleanup work -- we have to move the toe clip off the arm, we’re not allowed to leave it there; we have some safety tethers that we had strung on previous EVAs, we have to clean all that up since it’s the last EVA of the flight. If there’s any extra time we may do extra tasks. If there was anything left undone from previous EVAs, we’ll try to clean that up and make sure we’ve left everything shipshape for the next set of spacewalks.

In the space of about six hours, though, you’re going to get a, you’re going to get a good view from a lot of different spots on the station.

I will be carrying a camera for much of it and taking a lot of pictures.

The International Space Station is the biggest thing that we’ve ever built in space, so far. How do you feel about the part that you’re going to get to play in this historic work?

Well, I’m excited about it. Like all astronauts, I hope I don’t mess up. But you know, taking the long view, there will come a day when space stations are commonplace, and, and people won’t believe how hard we had to work to do these small early steps in space.

Maybe we’ll find better ways to do it.

I’m sure we will. Every time we fly we learn more.

The Vision for Space Exploration sees way beyond the space station that we’re building right now, though. Stan, what’s your philosophy about the future of human exploration into space?

Well, it’s hard to know what the future is going to hold, but you can get a hint, I think, from looking at the past. If you look at the history of exploration on Earth, high mountains or the Arctic or the deep sea, you know, places like Antarctica a hundred years ago, it was worth your life just to look at it. I mean, it was really dangerous and people went down there, and they died like flies; it was terrible. Antarctica was mainly a place where nations proved how studly they were. You know, we sent guys to the South Pole! And it was a big deal. And one might note certain parallels of space exploration, particularly in the ’60s and ’70s. Now, if you look at Antarctica, it’s a teeming research environment. There are 10,000 people down there every summer, there are about 200 people who winter over every winter, and the place is an amazing laboratory for biology and geophysics and atmospheric science -- lots of stuff going on down there. They’re even doing a lot of astronomy down at the South Pole. Antarctica is now really valuable to us, and many countries go down there and it’s not to prove how studly they are, it’s to learn stuff. Someday, the moon and the planets will probably be like that, and someday they may even be home to us. So I look at this as just space exploration, this is our early stages; space is hard to get to, it’s dangerous and people question the value. Fifty years from now or a hundred years from now, it’ll be commonplace, it’ll be incredibly valuable -- we don’t necessarily know how right now -- but every time we explore we find new things, and eventually we find them to be impossible to live without.