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NASA EDGE: 2009 NASA Mission Madness Vodcast
03.09.09
 
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NASA EDGE
2009 NASA Mission Madness Vodcast
Transcript


Featuring:
NASA EDGE Announces Field of 64 Competition Missions
NASA EDGE Special Guests
Miles O’Brien
Keith Cowing
Melvin Ferebee
NASA EDGE Facebook Friends
Don
Becky
NASA EDGE Predictions

NASA EDGE Presents the 2009 NASA Mission Madness Vodcast
Chris, Blair and Franklin officially announce the field of 64 NASA missions participating in the very first head to head, single elimination, public opinion tournament to determine the greatest NASA mission of all time. Special guests Miles O’Brien (former CNN Reporter), Keith Cowing (NASA Watch) and Melvin Ferebee (NASA Langley) discuss their take on key matchups throughout the competition. Check out the incredible insight and analysis by downloading the selection show. Then visit the Mission Madness site to develop your own ideas about which mission will become the 2009 NASA Mission Madness Champion. Water Coolers may never be the same.



SEGMENT 1

CHRIS: Welcome to the Selection Show for 2009 Mission Madness presented by NASA EDGE.

BLAIR: What we’ve done here is put together a competition based on March Madness but instead using NASA missions in competition.

CHRIS: That’s right Blair. We have actually sixty-four missions past, present and future, broken up into four regions to see who is the greatest mission of all time.

FRANKLIN: And those four regions, or in this case themes, are Exploration, Space Ops, Aeronautics and Science.

BLAIR: Voting will begin March 19th thru the 20th. Beginning with the Nebula division, the high altitude, air-borne science aircraft, ER2 versus Apollo 11. Mars Phoenix versus XV-15 where tilt rotor technology was developed. The Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer versus the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. Terra versus the Hubble Space Telescope. Freedom-7 versus STS-114, the 2005 Return to Flight mission. The STS-26 Return to Flight in 1988 against the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe. Friendship 7 versus SR-71, and the Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory or STEREO versus the Mars Pathfinder. What do you guys see in terms of match ups for this first division?

CHRIS: This region is stacked compared to the other three regions. Where I see potential in the 2nd round is the Apollo 11, Phoenix match up with a heavy hitter going into the sweet sixteen between Apollo 11 and Hubble.

FRANKLIN: I’m looking at the Mars Phoenix and the XV-15, tilt rotor technology, and Friendship 7 against the SR-71. I think they’re going to be key match ups.

BLAIR: I will say that this is going to be based on people’s votes. It’s not what we feel. It’s what the public will think. I think what’s interesting about this first round is you have two significant Mars missions going up against other missions. It’s really going to determine how Mars is going to fare in the whole tournament.

CHRIS: That’s true. In the Stellar region starting off, we have the Superpressure Balloon going up against the Mars Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity. We have the F-8 Digital Fly-By-Wire technology going up against the Mars Odyssey. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter or MRO going up against Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite, LCROSS. We have the KC-135A looking at winglet technology going up against Expedition I, the first resident crew station. X-29 going up against Clementine. AD-1 or the Oblique Wing going up against STS-8, the first African-American in space, Guion Bluford, who’s a fellow Penn State graduate. Orion going up against STS-88, where we had unity in Zarya connected in low Earth orbit. And finally Apollo 13, made a movie out of it, going up against the X-48, which is the blended wing body.

FRANKLIN: A lot of good match ups here. Something that is special there is Apollo 13 because of the mission itself and what took place to get the crew back here to Earth, going up against the untested X-48. We have people out here looking into the future. They might look at X-48 as something that NASA needs for the future. We’ll have some old and new going up against one another there. That’s my number one, key match up in the Stellar region.

BLAIR: I think it’s interesting. I think STS-8, my goal for them is to do better than Penn State does in the basketball tournament.

CHRIS: Wow.

BLAIR: I think that’s a key match up too.

CHRIS: I see a couple of key features. A potential Orion and Apollo 13 match up in the second round where you could have the new spacecraft of Orion competing against the old Apollo spacecraft. Does old school beat new school? That’s something you have to look at. And finally at the very top we have the Mars Rovers potentially going up against the Mars Odyssey in the second round. Two classic Mars missions going up against each other head to head.

BLAIR: I think very early on we’re going to find out where people fall on this and whether they’re big history buffs, whether they like the tradition or whether really excited about some of these things that are untested.

FRANKLIN: In the Galaxy region, we’ll have Galaxy Evolution Explorer going up against the Viking 1 & 2. The F-8 Supercritical Wing going up against the Ares I Launch Vehicle. Pioneer 10 will square off against BARREL or the Balloon Array for Radiation-belt Relativistic Electron Losses.

BLAIR: It gets points just for complexity of name.

FRANKLIN: The Bell X-1 against THEMUS or Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms. Aqua, the water satellite, against Apollo 8, the first man to orbit to the moon. STS-7, the first American woman in space against SOHO, Solar and Heliospheric Observatory. Rounding out, we have Surveyor 1 against STS-93, the first female space shuttle commander. And Helios, the environmental research aircraft in sensor technology against the original Skylab.

BLAIR: I like the ring to that. “The original Skylab.”

FRANKLIN: Well.

BLAIR: The original ISS. ISS before it was a mission.

CHRIS: What kind of match ups do you see in this particular region?

BLAIR: One of the most interesting or intriguing to me is the Belly Flop contest between Helios and Skylab. Both came down in interesting ways.

CHRIS: I think Bell X-1, Themus match up… Bell X-1 will take it. What’s going to be interesting is in the second round I see a potential Pioneer 10, Bell X-1 match up where you have the plane that broke the speed of sound against Pioneer 10, that’s leaving the solar system. You’ll be looking at an aeronautics/space theme.

FRANKLIN: I agree.

CHRIS: Also, Viking 1 & 2 with a potential Ares I match up. We’re going to find out how much support that Ares I is going to get versus Viking 1 & 2, which is the first landers on Mars.

BLAIR: It’s hard to go against Vikings because they’re so tough.

CHRIS: Leif Erikson was a pretty good Viking, wasn’t he?

FRANKLIN: Yeah.

BLAIR: And they pillage.

FRANKLIN: And Minnesota is a halfway decent team.

BLAIR: Cross sports.

CHRIS: Just to talk about STS-93, which people might learn about as they’re studying the mission. It was the first female commander in space, however, this was the mission where they tested high-definition TV to be used later in the technology we use today. They were testing it up in shuttle during that mission.

BLAIR: One thing we haven’t mentioned so far but will play out is how spin-offs work in terms of these mission and in terms of how people vote.

CHRIS: Here’s the match ups for Horizon. First we have STS-95, which was the 2nd John Glenn mission going up against Hyper X, the X-43, which broke the Guinness Book of World Records for the fastest vehicle. We have TRACE going up against Expedition 16, the first female commander to command an Expedition mission on ISS. We have F-15B, which is a fighter jet for the Air Force but NASA has used it as one of the most versatile…

BLAIR: Test beds.

CHRIS: … test beds around, versus the JWST, which is going to be the James Webb Space Telescope, which has not flown yet. We have NB-52, the B-52, going against Lunar Prospector 1. The X-15, which back in the 60’s reached altitudes of 67 miles and broke several altitude records going up against Cassini Huygens, the satellite that’s exploring Saturn. We have the Aura. The mission dedicated to the health of the earth’s atmosphere going up against Voyager 1 & 2. STS-1, the first shuttle flight going up against the Lifting Bodies. There were a number of Lifting Bodies aircrafts. Finally, New Horizons, the mission to Pluto, planet or no planet versus Gemini IV, which is the first American spacewalk.

BLAIR: That should be an interesting line up. One of the things that jumps out to me is some of the crossovers of these mission. It’s interesting… B-52s dropped Lifting Bodies.

CHRIS: Right, instead of bombs.

BLAIR: Yes, instead of bombs. They may actually go up in head to head competition.

FRANKLIN: One thing I noticed about the brackets is there are a lot of retrofits, the F-15, the B-2 bomber…

CHRIS: B-52.

FRANKLIN: B-52. I’m curious to see how the people are going to see whether or not the vehicle is relevant.

CHRIS: Right. Looking at some of the key match ups here. Going back to your aeronautic theme, I think in the second round you’re going to see the F-15B going up against the NB-52. I’d like to see what the match up is going to be like.

FRANKLIN: It won’t be.

CHRIS: Okay. Also, I think a classic second round match up which will be difficult to determine is Cassini going up against Voyager 1 & 2. That’s going to be a classic match up.

BLAIR: You’re very presumptuous with some of your picks but enough of what we think how these missions are going to play out. We’re going to go to a break and come back to hear from some special guests.

CHRIS: In fact, after listening to the special guests, I might change my bracket. They know a lot more than we do when it comes to these missions.

BLAIR: I guess there are not sheets of integrity in this group.

FRANKLIN: Make a pick and stick to it.

CHRIS: I’ll give my picks at the end of the show.

BLAIR: You’re watching the 2009 Mission Madness Selection Show.

CHRIS: Presented by NASA EDGE.

BLAIR: An inside and outside look at all thing tournamental.

CHRIS: That was cheesy.




SEGMENT 2

CHRIS: We’re back with 2009 Mission Madness presented by NASA EDGE. We have three special guests with us today.

BLAIR: It should be fun.

CHRIS: First off, we have Miles O’Brien, formerly of CNN and world traveler. We have Keith Cowing who is the manager of NASA Watch. And finally, we have Melvin Ferebee who is the project manager for Lunar Surface Systems here at NASA Langley Research Center. We’ve announced the field of 64. Franklin, Blair and I had a chance to talk about some key match ups. You three have been at NASA much longer than we have. And Miles, you’ve been covering NASA for a long time. We’ll start with you Keith. What do you see as match ups from the four regions?

KEITH: One that got me interested is the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter versus LCROSS. Of course MRO is circling around Mars looking at all kinds of stuff close up. But LCROSS is about to slam into the moon. While they’re two different spacecrafts, LCROSS is going to have one heck of an incoming pan shot as it slams into the lunar surface. I think there’s some great potential for the “wow” factor if nothing else. New Horizons versus Gemini IV; that may sound like pitting a baseball team and a basketball team together but Gemini IV, I remember watching the spacewalk back in the old days when Miles and I were young. New Horizons is interesting because it’s moving exceptionally fast through the solar system headed for Pluto, which is still a planet by the way. Those are the two that really get my attention.

BLAIR: I thought when that happened you were babysitting Miles.

[Keith laughing]

KEITH: Neil Tyson on three for you, Mr. Cowing.

[all laughing]

CHRIS: Let’s go to you Melvin. What do you think are some key match ups in the 1st and 2nd round?

MELVIN: First, in the whole slate of sixty-four, I can sum this all up in one word, Nebula. The winner of the tournament is going to come out of Nebula. Six out of my top eight are all in Nebula.

CHRIS: Wow.

MELVIN: There are great match ups all through this particular region. I think it is a travesty to see Apollo 11 against Hubble in the round of 16, even Friendship 7 versus Mars Pathfinder. You look at the first American in space who’s on the cover of Life magazine versus a little rover that’s on the cover of Time.

BLAIR: Do they publish Life magazine anymore?

MELVIN: No they don’t. I’m just kicking at old school here.

CHRIS: So we have three old school people here.

BLAIR: Interesting.

CHRIS: Miles, what do you think?

MILES: Will the Nebula matches be played in Madison Square Gardens because I want to see that? I think those are the good ones. It is a little stacked. I’ve got to say that’s a tough one. But I look down at Horizon, STS-1 is one of my personal all time favorites given the fact that those two guys strapped themselves into a craft that had never been tested before.

CHRIS: John Young and Robert Crippen.

MILES: In many ways one of the gutsiest missions ever when you think about that. Sure they had crew escapes if you believe those ejection systems would have not put them right into the rocket plume. You couple that with the Voyager missions. That’s an interesting one. My eyes still go back to Nebula. I look at Hubble versus Apollo 11. That’s a tough bracket to beat. I suspect the winner, certainly the final four, will be very strong coming out of there. The final two that come out of there are going to be very interesting.

BLAIR: I’m sensing a trend from you guys. It seems all the human missions seem to bubble to the top, to be strongest by far over any of the rovers, orbiters, things like that.

MILES: Rovers can’t throw touchdowns. Come on. How many schools have been named after rovers? You know what they say? No Buck Rodgers, no bucks.

CHRIS: When I look at my bracket, this is interesting. I had the Mars rovers going pretty far in this tournament. Look what Spirit and Opportunity have done over the past several years. It was only suppose to last three months and it’s still going strong.

KEITH: Yes, but Steve Squyres could have done what both of those Rovers did in an afternoon. I like Mars Rovers in that bracket a lot. Apollo 13 is a tough one on the human side of things, but certainly that wins on the robotic side of things in that bracket.

FRANKLIN: There are a lot of aeronautic missions in here that you guys haven’t even spoken about. Think about the SR-71, X-15, X-43. Those are pretty impressive feats over the last forty years.

MILES: X-15 versus Cassini. That’s an interesting one. Talk about apples and oranges in many respects. Think of all the science Cassini has generated and then think of all the aeronautical design and the envelopes that were pushed with the X-15. That’s an interesting one there.

KEITH: X-15 and Cassini have something else going for them. X-15 pushed altitude records and if you recall Cassini buzzed Enceladus recently, that was within a hundred miles. You’ve got one spacecraft going super high and another one going super low over a moon that’s hundreds of millions of miles away. There is actually some sort of strange relationship there.

CHRIS: What are some missions that didn’t make the field that should have made this field of 64.

MELVIN: I am really surprised that Apollo Soyuz didn’t make the cut. That was the official end of the space race. Why it’s not here, I have no idea. I don’t understand why LCROSS is in this field when it’s still in a box on the interstate on its way to the Cape.

[all laughing]

BLAIR: Can we confirm that it’s in a box on its way to the Cape?

KEITH: It’s being pulled by a monster truck.

MILES: I sure hope it has a GPS transponder so we know where it is.

CHRIS: Keith, do you have any surprises in the field?

KEITH: The one I’m really looking at here is X-29 versus Clementine. You may say, “huh?” X-29 was interesting. It had forward swept wings which was something that emerged from WW II. And although you don’t see forward swept wings yet, the way it’s paired against Clementine… Clementine is a mission that everyone seems to have forgotten but this was the original MacGyver spacecraft. So I think Clementine is the precursor for a lot of the ways NASA is going to go back and do stuff. I don’t want to say faster, better, cheaper. Oops! I just did.

BLAIR: One thing about that, they say X-29 was flown computer because of the way it was built. I say it would have been more successful if it were flown with a Mac operating system as opposed to a Windows operating system.

KEITH: I absolutely agree.

[laughter]

CHRIS: Wow, no comment from you there.

MELVIN: I would like the X-43 to go deep into the tournament, maybe even make the final four.

BLAIR: Wow.

MILES: It will certainly knock off John Glenn.

MELVIN: No, I think that’s correct.

MILES: No, I want to see Buzz Aldrin knock off John Glenn.

[laughter]

CHRIS: Let’s get to our final four selections. Melvin, let’s start with you. Who do you have in your final four?

MELVIN: Coming out of Nebula, Apollo 11. Coming out of the Galaxy, Apollo 8. Coming out of the Stellar, Apollo 13. Let’s not forget, “failure is not an option.” And out of the Horizon, the X-43.

CHRIS &

BLAIR: Wow.

BLAIR: Awesome.

MILES: Heavily weighted in the Apollo years.

CHRIS: All right Miles, who do you think?

MILES: I’m going to pick Hubble just to be different on Nebula, although Apollo 11 certainly would be a strong choice. Coming out of Galaxy, Apollo 8 was the gutsiest of the Apollo missions. I’m going to put that one there for Galaxy. Going into Stellar, I’m a huge fan of those Mars Rovers. I’d like to see them win. I think that’s been a remarkable mission because they’re still going. Horizon, I’m going to go out there so I’m not accused of favoring the man side of things, Voyager 1 & 2.

CHRIS: Very interesting.

BLAIR: Very nice.

CHRIS: Good call. Keith, what about you?

KEITH: I’m going to go with my gut and how people will vote. I think it’s going to be Apollo 11. I think a lot more people know what Bell X-1 was, that beautiful orange rocket plane. It’s got a shot. I think Expedition 1 to the International Space Station is going to give a run for its money to Apollo 13. But I think Apollo 13 is going to come out in Stellar. Uh, Horizon is a real hard one. I would say Cassini is probably going to edge that out because it’s done some cool stuff of late.

CHRIS: And as you said the public is going to be voting for this. It’s going to be left up to them. For the viewers out there, please take their suggestions to heart. These are three experts. Melvin, Miles, and Keith, thank you very much. We look forward to seeing who the winner is going to be.

BLAIR: Yes, absolutely.

MILES: And remember, no wagering, please.

[laughter]

BLAIR: Absolutely fabulous. We’re getting some good feedback from everybody but we’re going to go to a break. When we come back, we’re going to get some fan reaction to the brackets as well. See how they respond to the line up of 64 teams.

CHRIS: And at the end of the selection show, we’re going to announce our final four.

BLAIR: Absolutely, with some surprises.

FRANKLIN: We’ll see who has their finger on the pulse on what’s happening at NASA.

CHRIS: You’re watching the Selection Show for 2009 Mission Madness.

BLAIR: Brought to you by NASA EDGE.




SEGMENT 3

CHRIS: Welcome back to the selection show for 2009 Mission Madness.

BLAIR: Now we want to take a look and see what our Facebook friends have to say about this lineup.

CHRIS: On the line we have Don and Becky. Hello?

BECKY: Hello.

DON: Hello.

CHRIS: We want to hear what you think in terms of the brackets. Don, let’s start with you. What are some key match ups you see in this tournament?

DON: It’s kind of interesting. If you look in the Stellar bracket, you have the Mars Exploration program in a mini elimination tournament starting out. You have MRO & Odyssey and the Rovers going at it in the early round. That’s going to be interesting to see who makes it to the elite eight. Over in the Nebula bracket it’s interesting too. You have Apollo 11 potentially if they can make it through some early match ups against Hubble.

BLAIR: It’s interesting you mentioned the Mars mini-round over in Stellar because there’s actually one forming in Nebula too. You have the Phoenix versus the Pathfinder.

DON: Ah, true.

CHRIS: Becky, what about you?

BECKY: I am a Mars fan. I think Mars is exciting and the public enjoys it. I’ve got to stick with the Phoenix and Pathfinder. If I go down to Galaxy, Viking, you can’t argue with Viking. It’s history. It’s huge.

BLAIR: Actually, you can argue with Viking.

BECKY: You cannot argue with Viking.

BLAIR: I stand corrected.

BECKY: Apollo 8, what more do I need to say? But I still think Viking will overtake the Apollo 8 crowd.

CHRIS: Wow.

BECKY: If I go over to Stellar, I am a Rover fan. We got our moneys worth out of the Rovers but I think it’s going to be a huge competition in the Stellar region between Rover and Orion because Orion is our next generation spaceship.

BLAIR: That’s a good point.

BECKY: If I go down to Horizon, here I am picking an underdog. I would love to see Pluto put back into the planetary system.

CHRIS: Agreed.

BLAIR: Yeah.

BECKY: I think New Horizon will go up against NB-52, which is cool in its own right but I have to give it to the New Horizon. I’d love to see the underdog come out.

CHRIS: She has Orion beating Apollo 13, which won an Academy Award, I believe, starring Tom Hanks.

CHRIS: Don, what do you think about that?

DON: That’s going to be a real interesting angle. Apollo 13 is clearly going to be a sentimental favorite but ultimately the mission was a failure. Orion is in that class of mission, which we have a few here, that haven’t actually flown yet, so, how those are treated by the fans when they’re looking at who moves on is not clear. I think Apollo 13 is going to be a tough one. She’s a big fan of New Horizons but I think there’s a really good match up in the second round between Cassini and Voyager.

CHRIS: Yeah, we talked about that in the last segment.

DON: Yes. The Grand Tour against the current Saturn mission. The winner of that one is going to be tough to beat. New Horizons is an exciting mission but it will be interesting how that shakes out through the sweet sixteen.

BLAIR: How did you figure on the Battle of the Belly Flops, Helios and Skylab?

DON: Well, one was intended and the other one wasn’t. There’s a little bit of an advantage there.

BLAIR: You still have to rate the entry.

FRANKLIN: You don’t see anything in these brackets for the aeronautics side of the house?

BECKY: I did go with the NB-52.

CHRIS: Yeah, the B-52. Yeah.

DON: Yeah, the B-52 out of Dryden. The other one I like is the SR-71. I think the Blackbird may go far.

BECKY: Yeah.

DON: It has some tough Apollo competition and some Mercury competition. I think they have a good shot.

BECKY: Right, I agree.

CHRIS: Let’s get a winner. Becky, let’s start with you. Who’s going to take this tournament?

BECKY: Chris, I think we need new, forward looking exploration and missions and I’m going to have to stick with Orion.

CHRIS: Wow.

BLAIR: Oh, thank goodness. She went with a manned mission.

CHRIS: That’s true. Don, what about you?

DON: It’s a coin flip in the final. I have the Rovers up against Hubble and I really don’t know which way to go on that one. I’ll probably go with the Rovers sentimentally.

BLAIR: Interesting. Very good.

CHRIS: It’s interesting. I was going to wait until the final segment to talk about our final four. I actually have Mars Rover and Hubble as the final two in my bracket.

BLAIR: Wow. That’s interesting.

CHRIS: Yeah. It looks like we’re right on there. Guys, thank you so much. Make sure you get to the website. You can vote as many times as you like. We’ll talk more about that when we come back from break.

BLAIR: Again, we’re getting a lot of interesting feedback from folks. When we come back from the break we’re going to announce our final four. And Franklin, you’ve mentioned aero.

FRANKLIN: I think aero is the sleeper here. I think it’s not been getting a lot of love but I grew up on airplanes; “the right stuff,” the Bell X-1, then you have the Apollo missions but look for aeronautics coming through.

CHRIS: You’re going to be surprised when we mention our final four when we come back from break. I’m right there with you, buddy.

BLAIR: I might have some aero love to share ‘cause I’m a sharing kind of guy. You’re watching the 2009 Mission Madness Selection Show.

FRANKLIN: Presented to you by NASA EDGE.

BLAIR: I’m telling you it could be interesting.

CHRIS: It could be very interesting.

FRANKLIN: Aero all the way?

BLAIR: Good.




SEGMENT 4

FRANKLIN: Welcome back to the 2009 Mission Madness selection show.

BLAIR: Brought to you by NASA EDGE.

FRANKLIN: Real quick before we get into our final four picks, I honestly believe that Chandra and Spitzer are two missions that were left out of the field of 64 that should have been in there.

CHRIS: Great observatories.

FRANKLIN: Great observatories. We’ve talked about them on past shows so maybe in 2010 they’ll get back in.

BLAIR: Chandra gets a little nod in STS-93 but…

CHRIS: There are tons of missions out there. It was a difficult for the selection committee to come up with the field of 64. Like you said, there’s always next year. Maybe they’ll make the cut.

FRANKLIN: Coming down to my final four was pretty hard.

CHRIS: Yes.

FRANKLIN: Coming out of the Nebular Region, I picked Apollo 11.

CHRIS: Good choice.

FRANKLIN: Going up against Ares I. You have some of the old and some of the brand new going against each other.

BLAIR: Classic match up.

FRANKLIN: Out of the Stellar Region, I have the Rovers. And out of Horizon, I have the Hyper X, X-43.

BLAIR: Nice. Aero.

CHRIS: That’s a darn good selection, sir. I have Hubble coming out of Nebula.

BLAIR: Yes.

CHRIS: Hubble, Apollo 11, it’s a toss up at that point. Galaxy, I have Bell X-1. I think Bell X-1 started off in aeronautics for supersonic flight.

BLAIR: The right stuff.

FRANKLIN: I like that.

CHRIS: Chuck Yager. Stellar Region, I have Mars Rovers. I have to agree with Miles. I have always loved the Mars Rover missions. I think they’ve done a great job over the last 5 years.

FRANKLIN: And still kicking.

CHRIS: And still kicking, that’s right. And finally out of the Horizon Region, this was probably my toughest region but I selected the Cassini Huygens mission due to the fact that it was a double combo where you had the Cassini satellite and also the Huygens probe that landed on Titan.

BLAIR: For my final four, I also had from the Stellar region Mars Rovers.

CHRIS: Good choice.

BLAIR: For Horizon, I had a unique pick to everyone, STS-1, as a sentimental favorite of mine and very important obviously.

CHRIS: It’s a good pick. I’ll buy that.

BLAIR: And I agreed with you, Franklin, with Ares I. It was a toss up between Bell X but Ares I, I think is important. Out of Nebula…

CHRIS: Tough region.

BLAIR: Yes. My aero pick, which has spawned the greatest NASA spin-off ever, the U2 and the ER-2. The ER-2 mission is my pick.

CHRIS: That’s crazy talk man.

BLAIR: No, no, no…

FRANKLIN: What’s the spin-off?

BLAIR: The Irish rock band, U2. NASA’s responsible for some of the greatest music we’ve had of the past twenty years. And I’ll go further, if ER-2 wins, U2 is going to play on NASA EDGE.

CHRIS &

FRANKLIN: Yeah, right!

BLAIR: The Edge of U2 will play on NASA EDGE. This is perfect.

CHRIS: Wow!

FRANKLIN: Yeah. How far did you dig for that?

BLAIR: Common knowledge.

CHRIS: Who did you have for the winner?

FRANKLIN: Apollo 11.

CHRIS: That’s a safe choice. That’s a very good choice.

FRANKLIN: Wow. That’s a solid choice.

CHRIS: It is. I had Mars Rovers.

BLAIR: Neither one sang at the inauguration.

CHRIS: You’ve got the field of 64 announced. You’ve heard it from the experts and from some Facebook friends. Now it’s your time to vote. Voting starts March 19th. You can go to the website now, download the brackets in pdf format or look at it online. We’ve got placards that give the summaries and some fun facts and photos of each of the missions. You can learn all about the 64 different missions that are out there. We look forward to seeing the greatest mission of 2009.

BLAIR: For folks out there like Michael at ATK when he’s in the cafeteria watching NASA EDGE, it will be a good reminder to go and vote.

CHRIS: You’re watching the 2009 Mission Madness selection show.

FRANKLIN: Brought to you by NASA EDGE.

BLAIR: And sponsored by rock group U2.

[Franklin laughing]

BLAIR: I guarantee I can get him here.

FRANKLIN: Crazy talk.

BLAIR: I can get him here.

FRANKLIN: No.

BLAIR: If they’ll vote, they’ll be here. Me and Bono.


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