NASA EDGE: Daytona 500

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NASA EDGE: Daytona 500
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NASA EDGE – Daytona 500

Featuring: ESA from the Daytona 500, Interviews with NASCAR Driver Kurt Busch and Astronauts Drew Feustel and Mike Good, and a modest proposal by the Co-Host.

NASA EDGE celebrates dual 50th’s: NASA & and the Daytona 500. And we have interviews with NASCAR Driver Kurt Busch and NASA Astronauts Drew Feustel and Mike Good.

It’s dueling 50ths on NASA EDGE. Both NASA and Daytona are celebrating 50th anniversaries this year, and NASA EDGE joins in with their take on the big events. Chris interviews NASCAR Driver Kurt Busch and Astronaut Drew Feustel (STS-125 Hubble SM4) and even the Co-Host joins in during the interview with Astronaut Mike Good (STS-125 Hubble SM4.) It’s a veritable space and sportsfest with the Daytona 500, NASA EDGE’s appearance on ESPN’s Mike and Mike, the NASCAR Fantasy Draft, and Blair’s new proposal to solidify his insider status.


MALE VOICE: Gentlemen, start your engines.

CHRIS: Welcome to NASA Edge.

FRANKLIN: An inside and outside look at all things NASA.

BLAIR: Welcome to our very special show today. We’re going to be looking at the Daytona 500; the 50th running and NASA’s 50th anniversary.

CHRIS: All things NASA; all things NASCAR.

BLAIR: It’s a nice combination. Franklin, you weren’t there but we’re going to show you some of the things we did when we were down there. Not only did we get to see an incredible race, we also got our hands dirty. We got in the pit with some astronauts that came down.

CHRIS: Yeah, we worked with two Hubble astronauts, Drew Feustel and Mike Good. Also we had a big NASA exhibit showing the relationship between NASCAR and NASA.

BLAIR: You’ll be happy to know Franklin, based on your tutelage; I’ve taken the ESA to a whole new level, along with Chris, of course. Not only did we ask questions about NASA, we also asked questions about NASCAR.

CHRIS: He took it to a new level because once you see the ESA the tide turned on him. You’ll get to see how he reacted.

BLAIR: That’s enough disinformation.

FRANKLIN: Whenever Blair jumps out in the forefront and starts explaining something to a T, I want to get to Chris and find out what really happened.

CHRIS: Let’s go check the ESA out. You let us know what your comments are afterward.

BLAIR: I’m surprised at your lack of confidence. This is disturbing.

CHRIS: All right, wonder boy.

CHRIS: What to you think is faster in the 0 to 60 timeframe? Do you think it would be Aries I rocket or a stockcar.

WOMAN: I read over there 0 to 1,000 in 60 seconds.

MAN: This must be a trick question. Stockcar.

CHRIS: Your husband is right, stockcar.

MAN: Space Shuttle. No, no, stockcar.

CHRIS: Stockcar is good.

WOMAN: Stockcar.

CHRIS: What do you think?

MAN: All right, stockcar.

CHRIS: Would you be shocked if I told you a stockcar could beat a shuttle in a 0 to 60 time?

BOY: Wow.

BOY: It can?

CHRIS: Because when a rocket takes off it takes awhile to get it up to speed.

BOY: Yeah.

CHRIS: A NASCAR can take right off.

MAN: Definitely an Aries I.

BLAIR: Au contraire.

CHRIS: How long does it typically take for a NASCAR driver to finish a 500 mile race with no cautions.

WOMAN: Three hours.

CHRIS: Three hours is a long time. How long do you think the Aries I rocket, which is the new rocket going back to the moon, would take to complete 500 miles?

WOMAN: An hour.

CHRIS: An hour?

MAN: 30 minutes.

CHRIS: Try 104 seconds.

WOMAN: 4 or 5 hours?

CHRIS: Four or five hours? Would you like to go to the moon?



WOMAN: No, I don’t like to fly.

BLAIR: In 1969, Daytona 500 was won by LeeRoy Yarbrough. What did NASA do in 1969 that was so significant?

MAN: They landed on the moon.

BLAIR: Landed on the moon.

MAN: 1969.

BLAIR: 1969.

MAN: Landed on the moon.

BLAIR: That’s exactly right.

MAN: Landed a man on the moon.

CHRIS: Landed a man on the moon, very good. Who won the 500?

MAN: Mario Andretti.

WOMAN: Richard Petty.

MAN: Cale Yarborough.

CHRIS: It’s not Cale. Cale lost out. It’s a guy by the name of LeeRoy Yarbrough.

MIKE: 1969, on July 20th, they landed on the moon.


CHRIS: 1976, NASA first landed a lander on Mars called Viking I. Who won the 500 in 1976?

MAN: David Pearson.

MAN: Rovers on the moon.

BLAIR: Okay.

MAN: Oh! Not the moon, Mars.

BLAIR: Yeah. Do you remember the name?

MAN: Viking.

BLAIR: Yes, very good.

CHRIS: In 1998, Dale Earnhardt won his first Daytona 500. Dale Earnhardt Senior. What significant event took place in 1998 for NASA?

MIKE: Any hints?

CHRIS: A foundation was laid out… up in space.

MIKE: Foundation was laid out, hmm. Was it the first mission to the International Space Station? No, let’s see. ’98, that would be the first element was launched.


CHRIS: Very good.

BLAIR: In 2003, a guy by the name of Michael Waltrip wins the Daytona 500 in dramatic fashion. What did NASA do?

MIKE: In 2003… Was it the Mars Rover?


BLAIR: Very good.

MIKE: Spirit and Opportunity.

CHRIS: Yeah, absolutely.

ROCKY: Don’t you want to be part of NASA? I think I should be asking the questions to you.

BLAIR: This is more small time gimmicks by a tall guy. Give me that back.

ROCKY: So what does STS stand for?

BLAIR: What does STS stand for? As in STS-118?

ROCKY: Exactly.

BLAIR: Oh. Uh, you…

ROCKY: Just are there yet, are you buddy?

BLAIR: No, no, I’ll get this. It’s a little bit of a role reversal but I’ll get it. That’s Space Transportation Shuttle.

ROCKY: Oh, so close! You were there.

BLAIR: Space Transportation is right?

ROCKY: The first two parts were right.

BLAIR: Service, is that right?

ROCKY: It’s okay. Better luck next time.

BLAIR: Come on. It’s Space Transportation…

ROCKY: Systems.

BLAIR: Systems, yes! Of course.

ROCKY: You got it.

MIKE: Jerry Ross. My hero, Jerry Ross, spacewalker extraordinaire. And I believe the other one was Franklin Chang-Diaz.

CHRIS: Very good. He’s a good friend of ours. What are the chances of going 8 times and breaking the record? Do you think you’re astronaut worthy?

MIKE: Zero.

CHRIS: Zero?

MIKE: Probably not. Not going to happen. It was a different time and a different place. We’re going to start going to the longer duration missions and going to the Space Station. Hopefully when I get back from Hubble, I’ll be able to transition and get into the International Space Station and get to visit that.

CHRIS: That’s great. Or he could be an eight-time guest on NASA Edge.

MIKE: Now that I would do. I’m up for that.

BLAIR: Great. Awesome.

CHRIS: You’re watching NASA Edge.

BLAIR: An inside and outside look at all things NASA.


CHRIS: Hey, welcome back to NASA Edge.

FRANKLIN: An inside and outside look at all things NASA.

BLAIR: Oh, why do you got to take a dig like that.


CHRIS: What did you think?

FRANKLIN: That was unbelievable. I forgot about the whole first part of the ESA.

CHRIS: It took it to the next level, didn’t it?


CHRIS: That’s pretty sad.

BLAIR: What can I say?

FRANKLIN: What does NASA stand for?

BLAIR: Why are you going to do that?

[Franklin laughing]

CHRIS: I want to hear this. What does NASA stand for?

[Blair stammering]

CHRIS: No, go ahead. What does NASA stand for?

BLAIR: The National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

CHRIS: Okay, not bad.

BLAIR: At least the interview with Kurt went better because he’s a great guy. Let’s not focus…

CHRIS: You know why the interview went better? You weren’t even involved in the interview.


CHRIS: It was Drew Feustel and me.

FRANKLIN: Can I ask you one question?

BLAIR: Yes. Please, go ahead.

FRANKLIN: On your desk, what is that?

BLAIR: It’s a model.

FRANKLIN: A model of what?

BLAIR: The Space Shuttle.

CHRIS: That’s incorrect.

FRANKLIN: That’s the Orbiter.

CHRIS: The Space Shuttle is the entire system.

BLAIR: Come on.

FRANKLIN: Look, system is the key word.

BLAIR: You know what that is, old school.

CHRIS: We had a great interview with Kurt Busch. Let’s get back on the game plan here.

[Franklin laughing]

BLAIR: Franklin, let’s switch seats while we watch this.

CHRIS: Let’s check out interview. We had Kurt Busch, Drew Feustel and myself.

[engine sounds of NASCAR]

CHRIS: We have two highly trained individuals here from different professions but yet they have some common characteristics. I know, Drew, you’re a big racing fan. I think you have a question for Kurt.

DREW: I do. What differences do you see in this car, the car of tomorrow, versus those you would race in years previous; handling, or acceleration, what’s really changed for you?

KURT: NASCAR wanted to go to a bigger, boxier car with this; the main reason for aerodynamics. It would create more side by side racing and nose to tail racing then what you use to see in the past. It takes longer to get up to speed because of the aerodynamics. It’s not as slick through the air and the way it handles in the corners; the way the front end steers. You’re really trying to fight the car more now because it wants to drive like an older school car.

DREW: Right.

KURT: It’s a blast from the past, so to speak.

CHRIS: Of course, you’re wearing the outfit you wear in your car. A lot of the technology is very similar to what you’re going to be wearing up in space with your EVA Suit. How does your suit protect you, keep you cool and protect you in case of a fire?

KURT: The suit is primarily made for fire protection. There’s three layers to the suit. And I wear another layer with underwear all the way, full body. There are four layers total. You wear protective gloves, as well, and shoes. It’s suppose to buy you a minute to a minute and a half of time, when the car’s on fire to help pull the pin to get out of the car. When you pull the pin, that will extinguish the fire extinguisher and the rayon that’s in there. It buys you time. It’s not fireproof. It’s fire resistant.

CHRIS: How does that compare to what you’re going to be wearing up in space?

DREW: I have a question. Is that a Nomex suit or are you wearing Nomex undergarments?

KURT: Nomex and Nomex, three layers.

DREW: This is a Nomex flight suit but we wear these when we’re flying in the jets. In space we don’t have fire protective systems but we have cooling systems. I don’t know if you guys wear a cooling undergarment or not during the races.

KURT: Some drivers do and some just muscle their way through it.

DREW: Okay. We have temperature extremes in space. The vacuum of space is +250 degrees Fahrenheit in the sun and -250 degrees in the shade. So from one side of your hand to the other is a huge temperature difference. We wear an undergarment that’s a cooling garment. It has little tubes of water that runs through it. We circulate cool water to keep us cool or to keep us warm depending on what we’re feeling.

KURT: Very similar to cool suits which are used for us.

CHRIS: How hot can it get in one of those NASCARS?

KURT: It’s usually thirty degrees warmer than whatever it is outside.

DREW: How long are you out on the track for a given race? How many hours?

KURT: Usually it’s four hours. You bank on four. Some races are a little shorter.

CHRIS: There are similarities in the G forces. I know you’re pulling some G’s going around that turn. And you’re also going to be pulling some G’s when you’re up on that Shuttle taking off. What’s the max G-load that you encounter on this track?

KURT: On a stockcar, you usually see about 3G’s, three times your weight.

CHRIS: Right.

KURT: You do it for a longer duration at the bigger tracks. The short tracks you don’t feel it as much or as long. Four hours worth of it, it’s quite a ride. It’s very intense. You’re very fatigued afterwards, just because of the pressure that it exerts on the body.

DREW: Is it 4G’s through the seat of your pants or through your side? How do you mostly experience that load?

KURT: There’s lateral and vertical. We get a share of both. At banked tracks you’re getting pushed downward. At flat tracks when you’re cruising around the corner, you’re getting pushed out to the side. It’s a great question. There’s both lateral and vertical.

DREW: That’s similar in the jets. We get that same G-load from our head down to our rear ends. In the shuttle, it’s all going through your chest as you’re launching. So, you never feel those other loads.

KURT: Because you sit straight back.

DREW: Yeah, you’re sitting back and the velocity is straight out through your eyeballs. The G load is back the other way. We only pull about 3 G’s on launch. That’s our maximum G-load that the Shuttle’s designed to handle.

CHRIS: Do you experience anything on landing?

DREW: Landing, it really only gets up to two-ish, 1.6, which is a lot when you’re coming from 0 G’s in space for twelve days with no load. Suddenly you come back into a gravity environment. It feels like everything has bricks hanging off of your hands, head; the whole thing.

CHRIS: I’m looking over and I see my co-host in the background. What he’s trying to do right now is get you to fly in the shuttle. I think Drew wants to get a chance to drive one of the cars.

DREW: That’s right.

CHRIS: You could swap uniforms.

KURT: We’re so close in shape and size we could.

DREW: I could wear your suit, man. No one would know.

KURT: I’ve been known to be in outer space on my own some days.

CHRIS: Maybe on the day of the race you can get into his suit and drive the car.

DREW: I don’t think I want to do it on the day of the race. I think the team needs to win that day, probably not a good idea to have me in there.

CHRIS: Kurt, thanks a lot. You’re watching NASA Edge, an inside and outside look at all things NASA.


FRANKLIN: Welcome back to NASA Edge.

CHRIS: An inside and outside look at all things NASA.

FRANKLIN: Chris, you did a good job. That was a good interview.

CHRIS: Thank you, sir. They were great to work with. Kurt is a stand up guy.

BLAIR: And Drew, obviously, very knowledgeable…

CHRIS: I hope he is.

BLAIR: I meant about NASCAR.

CHRIS: Oh, okay. Right.

BLAIR: He found out some stuff about the comparisons between the two.

CHRIS: That was a cool thing to see how similar they are.

FRANKLIN: It was cool to see that both of them take a good amount of G’s in the shuttle, STS, and in the NASCAR on the turns.

BLAIR: Thank you. I’m glad you brought that up. Just for the record the base of the model does say Shuttle not Orbiter.

[Franklin laughing]

CHRIS: Are you still on this?

BLAIR: It says Space Shuttle. It doesn’t say Orbiter, even though I know that you’re correct. I do not doubt you.

CHRIS: You always have to verify information when you…

BLAIR: I agree and I’m embarrassed that this is on our set but it’s staying for today and I’ll get it corrected for later. My bad.

CHRIS: That’s your task.

BLAIR: Yes. I’m just happy to be here, so there you go.

CHRIS: One of the things we also had a chance to do with Drew was actually change a tire on Tony Stewart’s car at the Daytona Experience, which was fun.

BLAIR: Yes. We did quite well actually. I spent quite a bit of time rehearsing and using some of the tools. That was really neat; quite an experience.

CHRIS: It was pretty challenging. I had the jack. You had the tire and Drew was using the air wrench. It’s not as easy as you think. Those guys on TV that change all four tires during a race are incredible.

BLAIR: Yes, and the speed with which they operate. I think we got our time down to fifteen seconds.

CHRIS: Something like that.

BLAIR: They do it in like 9 seconds.

FRANKLIN: That would be cool. When you think about the cars we have today and how long it takes for us to change a tire, they’re doing it in a fraction of the time.

CHRIS: Oh yeah.

BLAIR: I’m in shock for about 30 seconds when I have to change a tire out in my car.

FRANKLIN: It takes you 30 seconds just to get into your trunk.

BLAIR: Right, just to convince myself to get out of the car.

FRANKLIN: Speaking of cars, NASA has a lot of technology that is transferring over into the cars that are made today. It’s going to help the cars we drive to become better down the road.

CHRIS: Even the racecars too.

FRANKLIN: Even the racecars.

BLAIR: I hate to be selfish but I want to know what’s going to help me in my car driving to and from work. You’re looking at me like I’m selfish. I think it’s important. You have that look like what am I doing.

FRANKLIN: That would be good to have one of those power tools on the side of I-95.

[Franklin’s power tool sounds]

BLAIR: Thank you.

CHRIS: Especially when you’re trying to get one of those space tools into the wrench and you couldn’t get it.

BLAIR: I knew that was going to happen. You were waiting to bring that up. I don’t appreciate that. Franklin, what kind of technology can we add to my car?

CHRIS: Wait a minute. Chris two; Blair zero.

BLAIR: Yeah, Chris two; Blair zero.

FRANKLIN: Number one. I’m going to talk to you about better brakes. NASA’s search for heat tolerant space materials lead to a composite materials for brake linings that stand up, under friction, temperatures up to 650 degrees. Wear longer and cost less.

BLAIR: You’ve said enough. That’s perfect.

CHRIS: What else do you have?

FRANKLIN: Another technology has to do with engine lubricants. A plasma spray coating eliminates the need for liquid lubricants in certain engines. The NASA technology may lead to a lighter, cheaper and more efficient compact cars.

CHRIS: That’s pretty cool.

FRANKLIN: Yeah, I actually need that right now because I’m driving an SUV.

BLAIR: Sell it today. You’ve got to get a lighter, cheaper car.

FRANKLIN: Dude, at gas prices I’m upside down.

CHRIS: I hear also that in some of these engines they have this heat resistant paint.

FRANKLIN: The heat resistant paint has to do with inorganic paint that protects the hot parts of automobiles, like exhaust systems, firewalls, break drums, and engine manifolds. The paint that was developed by NASA technology is going to be incorporated into the cars of the future.

CHRIS: Kurt talked about that when we had a chance to talk to him on the side about the engine paint.


CHRIS: He talked about how they spray that on certain parts of the block.

BLAIR: When we were down at the Daytona 500, we got to see that along with Mike Good and Drew Feustel. If you’ve never been to an event like that, it’s mind blowing. The competition is fierce. The energy is incredible. It’s just amazing to see these guys driving around the track at a gazillion miles an hour. Probably just as fast as the ISS is flying around the earth. These guys are flying at top speed and we got to see it first hand.

CHRIS: For someone not being a NASCAR fan, being at the event, the first 50 laps of the race was unbelievable.

BLAIR: Somebody hit the concession stand.

FRANKLIN: I was going to say, were you in the infield or were you at the concession stand?

CHRIS: We were right there above the pits.

BLAIR: It was quite impressive. Actually, we’ll take a look at that in a few minutes. I wanted to set the stage. It was quite an event. You’re watching NASA Edge.

CHRIS: An inside and outside look at all things NASA.


BLAIR: We are right on the track at the Daytona 500.

CHRIS: It’s like being on Pad 39A at the Kennedy.

CHRIS: Later today, we’re going to be watching the winner of the 500 come around turn four, down the straightaway and crossing the finish line.

CHRIS: You’re watching NASA Edge.

BLAIR: An inside and outside look at all things NASA. And remember, if you’re not first you’re last. I’m on fire! I’m on fire!

MAN: Gentlemen, start your engines!

ANNOUNCER: DW, In honor of 50 golden years of this great American Race, Reach up there and pull those belts tight one more time!

ANNOUNCER: Bugity, Bugity, Bugity! Let’s go racing boys!



ANNOUNCER: You’re gonna have to make it wide!


ANNOUNCER: It’s the “Boilermaker” Ryan Newman! Ryan Newman, Roger Penski…


ANNOUNCER: …win the Daytona 500!

ANNOUNCER: Way to go, guys! Way to go!

ANNOUNCER: Roger Penski’s first restrictor plate win, and his first one, two finish!

ANNOUNCER: And done it in style, man. One, Two!

FRANKLIN: Dude, that was nice.

CHRIS: It was pretty cool, wasn’t it?

BLAIR: Amazing, actually.

FRANKLIN: It looked like Sunday afternoon.

BLAIR: Yeah, into the evening. You could tell it lasted for quite a long time.

CHRIS: A long day, it sure was.

BLAIR: But it was awesome. It was worth every minute of it. I have a question.

CHRIS: Okay.

BLAIR: I noticed that when someone wins NASCAR they do this burnout circle. They do spinouts, right? Do we have anything like that for the Shuttle when it lands from a mission? Do they do a victory lap around the airstrip?

CHRIS: I don’t think it could handle that.

FRANKLIN: Lately, the shuttle has been doing a flip before it docks with the Space Station.

CHRIS: Good call. That’s not bad.

FRANKLIN: Not so bad. Back flips. And they’re also taking pictures while they’re doing it.

CHRIS: That’s true.

BLAIR: That’s bold.

CHRIS: He’s good.

BLAIR: Very good. Nice job, Franklin.

CHRIS: Wasn’t it cool that our boy, Kurt, actually helped his teammate, Ryan Newman, cross the checkered flag?

BLAIR: Yes, but I’m really sensitive about that.

CHRIS: Why is that?

BLAIR: The audience doesn’t realize this but we started a NASCAR fantasy draft…

CHRIS: Right, within our group.

BLAIR: Within our group, we drafted some drivers.

CHRIS: Just for fun.

BLAIR: I had Kyle Busch. No money involved at all because we can’t afford it and it’s illegal. But anyway, Kyle Busch was my driver and he led the majority of laps. I had several victory celebrations throughout the evening.

CHRIS: Right.

BLAIR: Only to be dashed at the last minute.

CHRIS: That’s okay. It’s a long season.

BLAIR: I know.

CHRIS: We’ll have to see what happens at the very end. I know you’re in the lead as it stands right now but that’s okay.

FRANKLIN: I’m in third. [Chris & Blair laughing] I’m going to remain silent.

BLAIR: That’s okay.

CHRIS: Do you even know your drivers?


CHRIS: Okay, cool.

BLAIR: We do have another sports related announcement…

CHRIS: What’s that?

BLAIR: …that we should share with the audience is our recent visit to Bristol, Connecticut.

CHRIS: That’s true. We we’re on the Mike and Mike Show on May 28th.

BLAIR: You might remember the little bobble head that showed up there. It’s still there apparently at last check.

CHRIS: In fact, we brought some space food on the set for Golic to try. We had a good time with it. It was a lot of fun.

BLAIR: Yeah. And he ate all of it, just about.

CHRIS: The fiesta chicken he loved.

BLAIR: That was great.

CHRIS: Yeah, it sure was.

BLAIR: It was very inspirational.

CHRIS: Was it?

BLAIR: Yes. In fact, I have something here that I’ve prepared in advance.

CHRIS: Oh, jeez.

BLAIR: I need to enlist your support. I’ve put together a proposal and I would like to enlist your support. Okay? Are you ready for this?


CHRIS: Okay. Go ahead.

BLAIR: As of today, I am officially putting my “medianaut” pursuits on hold. Instead, I’m offering my talents, my gifts and I am campaigning to become NASA’s first Commissioner of Astronautics. And my campaign to become Commissioner of Astronautics involves three platforms. I’m going to institute an annual astronaut draft where each directorate or division would receive a predetermined number of draft picks to fulfill their missions. Okay? So, an astronaut draft. Then number two, create a series of astronaut scouting combines to help various directorates and divisions gauge the NASA astronaut talent pool. These combines would occur prior to the draft at key training facilities, such as the NBL and Desert RATS. Then finally, merge the mission schedule with a solid playoff model. Maybe not playoffs because that might be too difficult, so I was looking at something like a bowl game system. Where each directorate, based on performance, gets a mission bid. Those mission bids become sponsors, like the Chick-Fil-A Hubble mission or The Home Depot ISS servicing mission. I have a whole marketing campaign that I have that I can outline for you. I need your support. At the end of this broadcast if go to our blog, my proposal will be on the blog, ready for comments. I think NASA’s astronaut selection process could use a retooling and I’m offering my services to do that.

CHRIS: Wow. I don’t know what to say.

BLAIR: What do you think? Can I make you my campaign manager, Franklin, since you’re not expressing doubt right away?

FRANKLIN: Well, um, I don’t know.

BLAIR: Astronaut draft. Astronaut draft, how cool is that?

FRANKLIN: Since we’re going with the bowl, you want to keep it like the bowl system. Instead of the BCS, we’ll call it the STS.

BLAIR: Okay, that’s not really a support. That’s a dig at the whole program.

[Chris & Franklin laughing]

CHRIS: You’re watching NASA Edge.

FRANKLIN: An inside and outside look at all things NASA.

BLAIR: And keep an eye out for the astronaut draft that’s coming next year.

MIKE: Here we are signing the wall at Daytona. Hopefully no one will mess this up. We’ll put something here for the Hubble crew.

OFFICER: You’re not allowed to do that. You’ll be in big trouble, mister.

MIKE: I’m very sorry.

OFFICER: All right.

MIKE: Very sorry.

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