NASA Podcasts

NASA EDGE: 2011 Recap
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NASA EDGE: 2011 Recap

NASA EDGE Footage and Clips from:
- NASA EDGE: CAFE Green Flight Challenge
- NE@Orion Drop Test
- NE Live@STS-135
- NE@X-Hab Competition
- NASA EDGE: Innovative Technologies
- NE Live@Lunabotics Mining Competition 2011
- NE Live@STS-134
- NE@Mission X
- NE Live@Sun Earth Day 2011
- NE@Space Life Sciences Lab

2011 was a great year for NASA and NASA EDGE. In addition to seeing a nostalgic and successful finish to the Space Shuttle Program, NASA continues to develop technology for their next big step. And despite a very sketchy performance with regard to last year's resolutions, NASA EDGE covered the development of new technologies, Orion and Exploration. As long as the Co-Host isn't in charge of the cameras, you should see more groundbreaking NASA accomplishments on NASA EDGE in 2012*!

*The Co-Host is NOT available in the event of a serious apocalyptic event in 2012.

[Intro Music]

CHRIS: Hey, welcome to NASA EDGE.

JACKY: An inside and outside look …

FRANKLIN: at all things NASA.

BLAIR: Oh, that’s going to leave a mark.


BLAIR: Fact, I don’t fish very often. Fact, this is very unconventional. Fact, you will be very impressed when you see me make this big catch.

CHRIS: Fact, you don’t have a hook on your pole.

FRANKLIN: Fact, nor do you have bait.

CHRIS: What are you doing?

BLAIR: I’m going to retrieve something very, very cool for you guys.

CHRIS: I’ll make you a hook, all right? I knew going in when I saw that you didn’t have a hook on there I said I’ll start making you a hook.

BLAIR: You do that but trust me in the end you’ll be very impressed.

CHRIS: Speaking of fact, guess what I got in the mail yesterday.


CHRIS: I forgot to tell you guys.

BLAIR: Sweepstakes?

CHRIS: Drew Feustel sent us the NASA EDGE pictures that he took up on shuttle and ISS during the 134 Mission.

BLAIR: Awesome!


CHRIS: Yeah. He signed the back of it. We’ll find a nice, little spot in the studio to put it.

BLAIR: You did send it to get it checked at Photoshop to make sure this wasn’t some kind of doctored job.

CHRIS: It’s authentic. Yes.

BLAIR: All right. Very good.

FRANKLIN: 134 was a good flight.

BLAIR: Oh, yeah.

CHRIS: It sure was, wasn’t it?

FRANKLIN: It was a first for me.

CHRIS: After 16 year at NASA?

FRANKLIN: After 16 years at NASA, it was my first live shuttle launch.

CHRIS: Your mom let you go, huh?


FRANKLIN: Yeah, Momma let me get out of the house but Mom didn’t let me out for 135.

BLAIR: You were launching your own family.

CHRIS: He’s on the phone. Is it time?

FRANKLIN: I need to roll out of here.

CHRIS: Oh, it’s time.

BLAIR: There you go.

CHRIS: Hey, have a good one.

BLAIR: Don’t smoke the cigars till you get home.

CHRIS: Let us know. Twins on the way; you heard it first on NASA EDGE; twins are on the way.

FRANKLIN: Honestly, I was sitting there watching it from the comfort of my home with a bottle in hand … [Laughing]

BLAIR: Baby bottle.

FRANKLIN: Baby bottle.

[All laughing]

CHRIS: Yeah, let’s clarify that.

BLAIR: Did you watch from the comfort of your own home?

FRANKLIN: Well, more like the comfort of the hospital but …

CHRIS: Speaking of 135, what did you think of our Elmo interview?

FRANKLIN: It was so dead on. He actually kept you guys on script.

CHRIS: He did. He knew a lot more about NASA then I thought he did.

BLAIR: What do you expect from a fellow redhead?

CHRIS: Obviously, you guys weren’t cousins or related.

BLAIR: Well, we’re both short and redheaded.

CHRIS: I think he said your hair wasn’t red enough.

BLAIR: Well …

ELMO: Hey, no arguing. Okay?


BLAIR: Elmo, do you do counseling?

ELMO: No, no.

FRANKLIN: Good gift of 135 show was Lori Garver.

CHRIS: I had a chance to go interview her. That was great.

FRANKLIN: That was good.

CHRIS: And she came to us too. We didn’t have to go to headquarters.

BLAIR: For some reason, they didn’t want me up at headquarters.

CHRIS: They saw that you don’t us a hook when you fish so they said we’re not going to invite you.

BLAIR: All right, that’s fine. I tell you what though she did have the NASA football there.

LORI: We are not allowed to talk about the NASA football.

CHRIS: Okay.

LORI: I know that my …

BLAIR: That confirms that there is a NASA football.

LORI: My executive officer does refer to my purse as his man bag slash football. You can look through the man bag/football and look for the codes …

CHRIS: Okay.

LORI: …and see if you think that rumor is true.

FRANKLIN: Did you finally get a chance to rummage through the football?

BLAIR: Security prevented me from actually getting too close to the NASA football.

CHRIS: She even told him to go ahead and find the code.

FRANKLIN: I saw that.

CHRIS: Yeah.

BLAIR: 134 was cool too because not only were these historic missions, but the great thing was they were actually sending some very important stuff up to the ISS. I talked to Trent Martin about the AMS, the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer. They’re already collecting data. They have a little counter right there on the website that tells you how many cosmic rays they’ve detected. They’ve detected more rays than people have watched “Double Dream Hands” on YouTube.


MAN: Point your head. Hitchhike. Double dream feet.


CHRIS: We also had a chance to talk to Tom Horvath and Ann Micklos on HYTHIRM.


CHRIS: That was a pretty cool project. It had a lot of successes over the last 4 or 5 years.

FRANKLIN: Another thing with 134, we actually had an opportunity to talk to the Diesch girls.

CHRIS: That’s right.

FRANKLIN: With the nutrition bars they sent up on shuttle. It was good seeing kids getting involved. Hopefully, with the future programs at NASA, we’ll see more involvement.

CHRIS: I tell you what I think if I have this thing right Blair, we’ve got about 20 minutes before this splash test. Whatever you’re trying to get at the bottom of the pool here, you’d better find it really fast.

BLAIR: I know I’m short on time but I’m telling you even though that’s impressive again you will be very, very pleased.

CHRIS: Use the hook.

BLAIR: I don’t need the hook. I’m using the “force.”

FRANKLIN: You are all thumbs.

BLAIR: No, I’m all natural fisherman. Look at that. I’m brilliant.

CHRIS: I’m just happy we covered this drop. One of the drop tests this past year.

FRANKLIN: Yeah, we sure did. And in addition to that, we covered the grand opening of the Hydro Impact Basin.

CHRIS: They’ve done a series of splash tests here with the Orion capsule to test how that capsule is going to land in the ocean.

BLAIR: I noticed in one of the drop tests the article actually flipped over. What does that mean? That’s not something you want to see.

CHRIS: That’s true. I think in that particular case, they were testing under the most severe conditions just to see what would happen. They knew there was a pretty good chance of that tipping over. What the engineers do is take that data, go back and analyze the data so they can refine, maybe improve the design of the capsule so it doesn’t tip over when it lands.

BLAIR: Even in the most extreme circumstance.

CHRIS: Absolutely.

BLAIR: Awesome.

FRANKLIN: Have you ever seen the time lapsed video of when they dredged this area and got all the dirt out?

CHRIS: Yes. It’s pretty cool.

FRANKLIN: It’s awesome.

CHRIS: This Hydro Impact Basin is one of a kind. It’s pretty cool. They can do all the splash testing for the Orion crew module right here.

BLAIR: It actually is cool to see the progress of Orion as it moves. Remember years ago we did the ground test, but now we’re doing water tests.

CHRIS: That’s right. This is pretty cool, and the fact that this is replacement for shuttle.

FRANKLIN: We also covered IRVE 3 & HIAD, slowing down in a different way.

BLAIR: Put a little space brakes on …

FRANKLIN: Put a little space brakes, yeah.

BLAIR: You coined that term.

FRANKLIN: Absolutely coined that term during that show. And found out from Marybeth there actually uses my terminology in their program now of space brakes.


CHRIS: They’re using your phrase?

FRANKLIN: Yes, they’re using my phrase, yeah.

FRANKLIN: When we get back, we’re going to talk a little bit about space brakes.

[Blair laughing]

CHRIS: Did he say space brakes?

FRANKLIN: Space brakes.

BLAIR: Space brakes.

BLAIR: Let’s see, the science community has adopted “magnetospherence.” The engineering community has adopted “space brakes.”

FRANKLIN: What’s your contribution to this?

BLAIR: Going to say, pressure’s on.


FRANKLIN: It was really, really awesome to talk to those guys and see how they’re going to go ahead and use it. Chris, they have a test coming up here soon for IRVE

CHRIS: Yeah, sometime in April. They’re going to have testing at Wallops again.


CHRIS: Looking forward to that. In fact, during that same show, Blair and I were down at JSC to cover the Caterpillar partnership with NASA. I actually had chance to drive one of the Caterpillars remotely; almost tipped it over but it was still fun to drive.

FRANKLIN: And from what I could see the E-stop worked pretty well.


BLAIR: Everybody’s at lunch, time for a little experimental joy ride.

CHRIS: What are you talking about?

BLAIR: Turn and burn.

[Computer buzz]

CHRIS: Oh, wow.

[Franklin laughing]

BLAIR: Yeah, well, I do my own stunts. What can I say? Unfortunately, people didn’t get to truly see my athletic prowess; nonetheless, we did have a good time with them. Interestingly enough, we talked with Caterpillar for our Innovative Technology show. But also, they were down at Lunabotics as a sponsor.

CHRIS: That’s right.

BLAIR: A little double dip for technology, that’s for sure. Oh, I forgot too, the X-Hab.

CHRIS: That’s right, X-Hab competition.

BLAIR: We actually covered another competition too. Maybe you can have a X-Hab related verbal contribution to the…

CHRIS: Isn’t that where you established Blair’s fun fact?

MAX: Actually, there’s a fun fact. When there was a discussion on safety exits…

CHRIS: That competition was really good too because you have universities teaming up & coming up with an inflatable hab for a potential outpost down the road.

BLAIR: Yeah. University of Wisconsin won.

CHRIS: That’s right.

BLAIR: They were at D-Rats this year with their second level loft. I heard it was a real party out in the desert with that. The other thing that’s cool is we talk about these other planetary bodies. I thought what was cool last year was going down to Kennedy to Space Life Sciences Laboratory, talking with Tracy Gill, Dr. Carlos Calle and the dust mitigation program down there. Dr. Calle actually wrote Einstein for Dummies.

CHRIS: Oh really.

BLAIR: What’s also cool is I asked him if he would do a Einstein for Co-Hosts edition. So, he’s going to work on that. Dr. Wheeler working with the plants, which as you know are a vital part of living long-term in space.

CHRIS: Yeah. How come I didn’t make that trip?

BLAIR: I don’t know… something about parole.


CHRIS: We’ve got about five minutes. Let’s hurry up.

BLAIR: Not very much longer.

CHRIS: This is a beat down.

FRANKLIN: The sun is right here.

CHRIS: By the time you catch whatever you’re catching, we’ll be down at Lunabotics this year.

BLAIR: Oh man, I love Lunabotics. I can’t wait.

CHRIS: This is the second time that we went to Lunabotics this past year.

BLAIR: And the new venue was awesome. Right there at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. It was lots more teams, more festive atmosphere.

CHRIS: And international.

FRANKLIN: Ground-breaking coverage.

BLAIR: Teams actually collected regolith.

FRANKLIN: Absolutely. Big difference from the first year we covered it.

BLAIR: Yeah.

CHRIS: Do you realize that the winner of the fist year if they would have collected the same amount the second year, they would have come in 14th place?

BLAIR: That’s a good sign.

CHRIS: It’s a huge improvement.

BLAIR: That’s what’s great about the competition. Teams are going out there taking what they’ve learned. They’re applying it to their robots and collecting regolith.

CHRIS: They went from 22 teams to 36 teams last year. I understand for 2012, they have 71 teams signed up.

FRANKLIN: That’s a lot.

CHRIS: Vegas is opening up the books this year.

FRANKLIN: If you know what I know, don’t bet against Vegas.

BLAIR: Never bet against the house. Franklin, you were talking earlier. You wanted to cover it a little bit differently this year.

FRANKLIN: We should give them a blow-by-blow daily as the competition is going on, because what we did during the 2011 coverage was awesome. I think if we carry that over to 2012 and make that the standard.

CHRIS: Helicopter cam, HD.

BLAIR: Ah. Getting a little ambitious.

CHRIS: Yeah.

BLAIR: If it’s small enough, I can fly it.

[remote airplane engine]


CHRIS: I hope you don’t have a hook on the bottom of that.

BLAIR: Nice.

CHRIS: And of course, with the new direction we’re going, we’ve got to be covering our new destinations, our flexible path we’re going to be launching to; if it’s an asteroid, or the moon, Mars or wherever. We’re going to talk about the Orion capsule, the Space Launch system, the technologies that are going to be needed to make those missions happen and also looking at it from the human perspective. Utilizing the ISS to its capacity, learning how to live in a reduced gravity environment. There are a lot of important issues that we need to focus on in 2012.

BLAIR: What about the commercial side? Because I know that’s a big part of it too.

CHRIS: Absolutely. That’s a good point.

BLAIR: How does that come into play?

CHRIS: The idea that you want to become a medianaut, right?

BLAIR: Absolutely.

CHRIS: If you can’t make the NASA end of it, you might be able to make the commercial side.

BLAIR: I can fail in two areas. Speaking of 2012, I hate to bring up an uncomfortable topic but last year we did make some New Year’s resolutions.

FRANKLIN: Ah yeah, we did.

CHRIS: Do we really want to go there?

BLAIR: Do you want to report on how well they did or didn’t do last year?

CHRIS: For me, failed.

BLAIR: You wanted to go international right?

CHRIS: I wanted to go international. We did not go international.

FRANKLIN: Fact. I failed. I wanted to drop a couple lbs but I’m wearing black today to conceal the … [Laughing]

FRANKLIN: put that on baby weight.

BLAIR: I don’t want to say anything. I don’t want to brag but even though I did not fail, I think I probably did the best at even coming close.

CHRIS: You’re looking pretty tall today.

BLAIR: Well, it is a new year. And as you know, I vowed to be taller this year. Ron, are we good? Good? We’re here with Dave Dooling at the Visitor’s Center at the National… Hey Zack, can you come over here for the interview? A little bit closer, need you to… yeah, right. That’s perfect. Yes. Okay. We’ll just ask you a few simple questions.

CHRIS: But don’t forget we have a high visibility event coming in 2012. We can’t forget about that.

BLAIR: That’s true.

FRANKLIN: Not quite international.

BLAIR: But close.

CHRIS: Not quite international where we’re going to be but it’s going to be international on a grand scale for the event.


CHRIS: Which is going to be the transit of Venus.

FRANKLIN: That’s true.

BLAIR: You won’t want to miss that.

CHRIS: That’s a phenomenon that’s not going to happen for another 110+ years. We’re looking forward to covering that on top of Mauna Kea in Hawaii.

FRANKLIN: Live show and bring your cool weather gear.

BLAIR: It may be June outside but it’s freezing.

FRANKLIN: Oh, it’s freezing.

CHRIS: And you’re oxygen mask.


BLAIR: That’s true because we’ll be at 14,000 feet.

CHRIS: If Blair’s talking and his lips are turning blue, it’s all over.

BLAIR: They will have oxygen?

CHRIS: Oh yeah.

BLAIR: Because my doctor said we must have oxygen.

CHRIS: I hope we do.

BLAIR: This is it. I’ve got significant tug.

FRANKLIN: Watch where you swing that stick.

BLAIR: I’ve got something here; real tension here.

CHRIS: I’ve heard this one before.

BLAIR: No, no, no. I’ve got a good feeling. Right weight, this is it. Yeah, there we go.

CHRIS: Oh wow.

BLAIR: Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about.

CHRIS: All this for this?

BLAIR: Yeah. Man, that’s the GoPro camera. That’s actually the only footage that exists underwater of an Orion drop test and I got it. It’s going to be brilliant. Guaranteed, 100% gold footage. If that footage is not golden, lunch is on me.

CHRIS: Snap. Okay.

FRANKLIN: Let’s go.

CHRIS: Let’s go check it out.

BLAIR: Check it out. Read it and weep or view it and weep, one of those.

MAN: 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 release.

[Loud noises and water rushing]

CASHIER: All right. Here’s your order, sir. How would you like to pay for that?

BLAIR: Um, let’s see.

MAN: Would you like to put it on Chris’s tab?

BLAIR: Yes, very good but first let’s add some extra chips, extra guacamole and definitely some extra salsa. It’s lunch for NASA EDGE.

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