NASA EDGE Show 9: X Games Los Angeles, CA

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NASA EDGE Show 9: X Games Los Angeles, CA
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Show 8: Shuttle Launch STS 118

Featuring: X Games in Los Angeles, CA


BLAIR: So, essentially what you’re saying is these athletes have a lot of the same qualities as astronauts.

MALE VOICE: Fifteen… fourteen, thirteen, twelve, eleven, ten, nine…. We have ignition sequence. Start, engines on, five, four, three, two… all engines running. The tower is clear.

CHRIS: If you take a look at the sport they are doing, they have to be at a certain level of performance. These are the best of the best.

BLAIR: Good point.

CHRIS: Exactly. Astronauts are the best of the best.

CHRIS: If you want to have a comparison, you have to have that mental capacity to do these jumps. Physically you have to be up to the task.

BLAIR: You have to be very creative.

CHRIS: You have to be creative. They’re all type A personalities. They’re all living on the edge, taking risks. If you were out there on the bike, you would probably be in the hospital in five minutes.

BLAIR: Right, if I made it that long. You’re not saying these guys are in the back with a chalkboard, and the physics manuals trying to figure all this stuff out? It’s intuitive.

CHRIS: It’s all intuitive.

BLAIR: One thing I’m noticing and I think we ought to bring this up and certainly in my efforts to be the first medianaut on the moon, why not take one of these bikes to the moon instead of the moon buggy? It’s smaller, lighter, efficient…

CHRIS: You could probably have it for recreational use but why would you want to have it on the moon when you have a rover that does everything for you?

BLAIR: I guarantee the tricks you could do on the moon, even I could probably do some of these tricks.

CHRIS: This guy, here, is pretty good.

BLAIR: He’s great. Oh, nice.

BLAIR: Now, you truly couldn’t say on the moon that you got air.

CHRIS: Yeah, because there is no air.

BLAIR: Right. So, what do you say?

CHRIS: You got moon?

CHRIS: We’re at the Summer X Games 13 in Los Angeles, California.

BLAIR: And what looks to be the proving grounds for all future medianauts. I have a big announcement.

CHRIS: Really, what’s that?

BLAIR: This week during Summer X Games, I’m beginning the application and training process to be the first medianaut on the moon.

CHRIS: Oh, really?

BLAIR: Absolutely. With the help of Jacky.

CHRIS: Jacky from Johnson Space Center?

BLAIR: Yeah, she’s great.

JACKY: Let’s start with your height.

CHRIS: She’s pretty tough.

JACKY: Blair, did you lie to me?

CHRIS: I’ll tell you what. For this show, to help you out since Jacky’s pretty tough. I’m going to give you host status, which means you have to get the interviews with the athletes. Remember the Winter X Games you were having trouble?


CHRIS: But now you have to be on your “A” game.

BLAIR: Okay.

CHRIS: I’ll go check out the athletes. They’re practicing right now. I think Shaun White is on the vert. I’ll see how he’s doing.

BLAIR: You do that. I’m here hosting NASA Edge…

CHRIS: … an inside and outside look at all things NASA.

BLAIR: Hey Jacky, what do you have for the NASA Edge host?

JACKY: Now that you want to be an astronaut, I got your application.

BLAIR: Great. Wow, this is really thick and complicated. Why don’t I work on a Power Point. People like pictures, graphs and charts. We’ll handle this later, maybe.

JACKY: The Power Point is a great idea but the application is going to be very important.

BLAIR: Okay. I’ll do the application but why don’t I do some training and you can help get some data for my Power Point presentation. And then we’ll take care of this. Okay?

JACKY: Okay. I’ll be happy to help.

BLAIR: Great. Let’s go to the NASA launch pad.


BLAIR: Blair Allen from NASA. Going to ask you a couple of uncharacteristic questions, if you don’t mind.

BLAIR: What role does technology play in your sport?

KEVIN: Technology plays a big part, especially the technology with helmets. Helmets have come so far now. Back in the day, you hit your head you were going to be unconscious. Now, you have to be hit pretty hard to be out. That’s probably the biggest technology advance we could have is helmets.

BLAIR: What is the highest number of G-force that you have pulled in an event?

SHAUN: After the plane ride and doing 6 G’s, I don’t think it was really that intense. I would say a couple. You’ll see guys loop out and get thrown. I think there’s a lot more G’s in snowboarding then skateboarding, for sure. Going down hill and the transitions.

BLAIR: What kind of preparation do you go through to prepare for an event physically?

KEVIN: I’m pretty health conscious. I spend a lot of time working out in the gym. I’m in the gym six days a week, usually about an hour and a half a day. I break down one body part per day. I try to keep my diet real clean and stay away from junk food.

TRAVIS: Rallies are mostly mental prep. You have to have a game plan. You know exactly your breaking points. You know what’s coming up. You have to know if your co-driver is in a good mood. As far as super cross, it’s more physical, running, bicycling, weight training and endurance stuff. That is your main thing. You don’t have to be the fastest to win the Super Cross. Free Style, you have to put in your homework way before you get here. You have to be creative. You have to think about how something is going to work. You have to think of something new that no one else has thought of. Believe it or not, it’s a really hard challenge. You can think of a lot of things. But then to make it work without killing yourself in the process, that’s the trouble on that one.

LYN-Z: Basically, I try to visualize. I try not to have too many things that are stressing me out. Having a pretty clear mind.

BLAIR: Have you ever quarantined yourself to stay healthy for a performance?

TRAVIS: Definitely. With free style it’s not such a big deal because really, two minutes, you can go out there sick. If your equilibrium is off, that’s bad. The biggest thing with racing is Christmas day. Our season begins the first weekend in January. Everybody is out at the tracks. We’re all riding. No one ventures to go home unless their family is in California or somewhere around. If it’s anywhere cold, we can’t afford to get on a plane and fly back.

BLAIR: Have you ever quarantined yourself to make sure you were healthy for an event?

LYN-Z: I don’t think I’ve ever quarantined myself. That’s a pretty interesting question.

KEVIN: When I’m at an event, I try to stay separated from the atmosphere. While I’m at this event, I’ve been staying in Hollywood, just to stay stepped out from everything. And not be surrounded by all the athletes that I’m around all the time anyway. It’s nice to be outside of the box a bit. When my family is with me, I try to hang out with my wife and kids. It keeps your mind set, and in a relaxed state.

BLAIR: Do you ever go into quarantine before an event?

SHAUN: I don’t know. I think before an event it’s not as intense as an astronaut. I always do the same thing before an event, listen to some music I like to get psyched up. I write down what I’m going to do on a piece of paper. It helps me. As you’re riding it, you connect it to your head and start visualizing it.

BLAIR: Awesome. Hopefully, if I’m successful in becoming an astronaut, I’ll make sure you’re there on the moon.

SHAUN: We’re going to stick together.


TRAVIS: You’re watching NASA Edge, an inside and outside look at all things NASA.

CHRIS: Whoa! See, controlled landing, they know how to fall.

BLAIR: That’s right and that’s important.

CHRIS: But on the moon, when you hit that rim…

BLAIR: Oh, nice.

CHRIS: Good move. There’s your buddy.

BLAIR: Wow, that’s great! Chris, I’ve noticed that they do most of the tricks at the point of zero gravity or freefall. If you’re an X Games athlete, like these guys, then you’re pretty comfortable in a freefall situation.

CHRIS: Absolutely. I could actually derive the equations and motion for this if you want.

BLAIR: I would love to see that. If you can do these impossible tricks and freefall, like our buddy Shaun here…

CHRIS: He’s getting ready for the Winter Olympics in 2020.

BLAIR: Oh. If you’re in the NBL…

CHRIS: You’ve got to be on your “A” game.

BLAIR: … doing some activity in the NBL, hitting on all cylinders. Everything’s going well; but I’m sure there’s that extra shot of adrenalin when you’re actually up in space. You’re at a much higher peak of performance, I think.

CHRIS: I’m hoping these athletes get butterflies and a little jitters. You would think you would get that before a big event.

BLAIR: Probably.

CHRIS: It psyches you up and get you motivated.

BLAIR: Wow, that’s beautiful. Nice.

CHRIS: This guy is pretty good.

BLAIR: Hey, Jacky.

JACKY: Hi, Blair.

BLAIR: Just wanted to let you know I sent my Power Point presentation off. Put some nice bells and whistles on it. They should be very impressed.

JACKY: Oh, wonderful. Well, actually I was talking to Chris earlier and he was wondering if you got you NASA 101 test results back?

BLAIR: He must not be very comfortable with me as host because he should know better. No, they’re in the mail. Everything should be square. I’ll put them with the application.

JACKY: Wonderful. And how did you do?

BLAIR: Um, they don’t really tell you or they didn’t tell me. When I get them, I’m sure they’ll be fine. I’ll put them together and we should be good. In fact, after we watch the event here, let’s go see Chris. See how he’s doing—the co-host is doing.

JACKY: Ok, great.

BLAIR: These guys are incredible. See. These are the test pilots. These are the guys that are going to go to space. Look at that. They’re freefalling right in front of us. It’s great. Would you do that?

JACKY: I don’t know. I think it takes a very special person to do something like that, just like being an astronaut.

BLAIR: Exactly. And I’m prepared. By the time we go to the moon, I’ll be perfectly qualified and the number one applicant.

BLAIR: Oh wow. That’s what’s interesting to me. You could do that on the moon. Are you kidding me? Where there’s one-sixth gravity. Chris was saying you could probably to three or four times the revolutions just because the difference in gravity. He’s a pretty smart guy.

JACKY: He is.

BLAIR: I don’t think that makes him a great host or anything but…

JACKY: But you work well together. He talks about you a great deal.

BLAIR: Well, that’s good.

JACKY: In a positive way.

BLAIR: Good. He’s a good guy. I appreciate him. I wonder if he’ll apply for the astronaut application? He’d be a great astronaut.

JACKY: You think?

BLAIR: Oh yeah.

JACKY: Maybe you two can continue working together after you make it.

BLAIR: Yeah, I could be the physical guy with all the athletic skill and he could be the brain guy.

JACKY: Is that really how it would go?

BLAIR: Um, I could be the brain and the brawn guy. But I’d have to make room for him.

CHRIS: I’d say the bike is made for him, not for tall people but for little people.

CHRIS: I have a feeling Blair’s host status is going to his head. Let’s have a little fun with him with a game I like to call “Stump the Host.”

CHRIS: Where we ask NASA staffers at the Launch Pad several questions about NASA. Blair can’t hear the questions ahead of time. So, let’s see how he does.

CHRIS: Kirk, can you name some famous astronauts?

KIRK: Yeah, how many do you want?

CHRIS: I don’t know… five or six.

KIRK: All right, let’s start with Alan Shepard, Guss Grissom, Ed White, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, Barbara Morgan.

CHRIS: Host, come on in.


CHRIS: Can you name some famous astronauts?

BLAIR: Oh, yes that’s simple. We’ve got Bruce Willis, Charlton Heston, Steve Buscemi, Robert Duvall, Vin Diesel, that’s questionable but Buzz Lightyear. Those are all…

CHRIS: Laura, what is the ISS?

LAURA: That’s got to be the easiest question I’ve been asked all day. International Space Station, of course.

CHRIS: All right host, come on in. Let’s see if you get this one, okay?

BLAIR: Okay.

CHRIS: What is the ISS?

BLAIR: Don’t you mean, “who is Isis?” That would be the Egyptian mythological goddess or super hero, Isis.

CHRIS: Unbelievable.

CHRIS: Derek, what is the LRO?

DEREK: Very good question, Chris. The LRO is the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.

BLAIR: That’s an easy one. That’s the low rider option for the Mars Rover. They fix it up nice, get all the pictures. Perfect.

CHRIS: Tom, when we go back to the moon where do we plan to land and why?

TOM: We’re looking at the south polar region because we think there might be water ice down there.

CHRIS: Blair’s 0 for 3 but I think he can get the answer to this question. Host, come on in. Are you ready? Pretty confident on this one?

BLAIR: Oh yeah, feel good.

CHRIS: By the end of next decade, we’re going back to the moon.


CHRIS: Where does NASA plan on landing this time and why?

BLAIR: Okay good, that’s easy. We’re going to land right where we landed the first time. There’s already a rover there, flags. All we need to take are batteries.

CHRIS: Go put the headphones back on.

BLAIR: Okay.

CHRIS: Obviously, I have to rethink about his host status. Let’s take a break and we’ll get back to you.


JACKY: Hi Blair.

BLAIR: Hey, what’s up?

JACKY: How are you?

BLAIR: Doin’ great.

JACKY: How’s your training?

BLAIR: Um, very good. I’ve done a lot of training over at the exhibit area. And it’s going well. Really good.

JACKY: I have to be honest with you. I took a peak at everything you did out there and you’re doing a great job.

BLAIR: Thank you. I appreciate that.

JACKY: But I am a little concerned.

BLAIR: What about?

JACKY: This application. I don’t think you’re taking it seriously.

BLAIR: No, I’m taking it seriously. I’m doing the power point first, then I’ll deal with the application.

JACKY: This is really important. There are a lot of questions you’re not answering with the Power Point.

BLAIR: Like what?

JACKY: Well, let’s start with your height. How tall are you?

BLAIR: Um, I don’t know how that’s important but 65 inches.

JACKY: 65… You know you started that statement very negative.

BLAIR: I’m sorry. I apologize. I’m 65 inches.

JACKY: Wonderful. You meet the requirement for being both a pilot and a missions specialist.

BLAIR: Actually, I’m 64 and a half.

JACKY: Blair, did you lie to me?

BLAIR: It wasn’t really a lie. That’s without shoes.

JACKY: Don’t lie to me, Blair.

BLAIR: I won’t lie to you but I didn’t know whether you meant shoes or no shoes.

JACKY: Let’s take it seriously, so no shoes. Okay?

BLAIR: 64 ½

JACKY: Great. Let’s go to the second question. What about your technical degree? Do you have one?

BLAIR: Yes, I do in fact. I have a technical degree in English Literature. Communications? I have a degree in Communications. Is that not…?

JACKY: No. I’m sure they’re very technical but you do need a degree in Engineering, Mathematics, Physical Sciences, those type of degrees.

BLAIR: I can enroll in college locally, take some classes and get a degree. I can do that before we continue.

JACKY: Wonderful. I have no doubt. Great.

JACKY: What about flight experience?

BLAIR: I fly all the time. All the time commercially. In fact, when I fly, I always go up and talk with the pilot. They show me the cockpit and all the instrumentation. I’m very familiar with that. I feel good about that.

JACKY: Have you flown before as in, you in the pilot seat?

BLAIR: Oh no, no, no, no. I don’t do that. I just know what’s happening.

JACKY: You know that you need that experience though, right?

BLAIR: Yes, but you can learn that, right?

JACKY: Absolutely.

BLAIR: Okay, I’ll sign up for those classes as well.

JACKY: Okay, great! You have several of the questions that are very similar…

BLAIR: And I will fill those out. The problem is I have to go interview some athletes. Talk to the guys that are really the test pilots of today. Talk to them. Get their insight. I promise I’ll tackle the application, get it all taken care of, sign up to the appropriate classes and then we’ll be good.

JACKY: Wonderful.

BLAIR: Right after I talk to the athletes.

JACKY: Good.

BLAIR: Okay, great.

BLAIR: I’m about to apply to become an astronaut, to become the first non-astronaut to land on the moon. They say they need an athlete’s body. Does this look like it qualifies? Just gut reaction.

LYN-Z: Sure, it depends. I mean, look at all the athletes. Everyone varies in sizes. Look at him compared to me.

BLAIR: You mentioned the longer, more endurance competition. Astronauts, when they go out on an EVA, they wear this huge diaper. Have you guys looked into wearing diapers with unfortunate bathroom situations?

TRAVIS: Yeah, there are definitely times that I would say you “shart” yourself if you’re coming down a little weird, you’re a little nervous at times. When you’re exerting so much, sweating, and so physical, you could drink five gallons of water and you’d sweat it out before anything…. Sorry.

BLAIR: That’s a nice precaution.

BLAIR: You’re on the moon. You’re no longer an x-tranaut. You’re now an astronaut and you’ve got your bike. What’s the biggest trick you’re going to try to pull right there on the moon in the one-sixth gravity?

KEVIN: One-sixth gravity, I’d probably try to do a quadruple, no-handed back flip. That would do it for me.

LYN-Z: Wow. There are so many things. I’m working on my twist right now. It would be fun to make one and come down here and do it. But I’d probably do something bigger than that. Something no one’s ever done before.

BLAIR: If you had one chance to take that moon buggy and you had one run that you could pull off in one-sixth gravity, what kind of trick would you try to take?

TRAVIS: Definitely dude. I’ve always dreamed about the moon buggy. That thing looks awesome. If you had a motorcycle up there, maybe you could do ten, twelve flips. I don’t even know. The landing probably wouldn’t be so bad even if you messed up. What I would do personally is go to the edge of a grand canyon type craters. At the very edge you put a ramp that’s only for half the car so it starts rolling like a spiral.

BLAIR: The corkscrew.

TRAVIS: The corkscrew. It would be a little hard to judge the first time especially with the gravity. You might expect to land there but you might miss it, in which case I’m sure that might hurt.

SHAUN: What would I try?

BLAIR: Yeah.

SHAUN: Oh, man. That’s funny ‘cause I was actually thinking about standing on the moon. I’d probably do the biggest Superman kind of flying squirrel. I don’t know.

BLAIR: You could go for distance.

SHAUN: I probably would need your help.

BLAIR: Okay. Put it on the record that I would go with him. I would be willing to go and work with you on…

SHAUN: We’re going to have that tether so I don’t just drift off.

BLAIR: Perfect. I’m a great anchor. Just reign him in. It’d be perfect.

LYN-Z: I think he’d make a great astronaut.

TRAVIS: I have to say if NASA is ever looking for someone to go test any of these theories, send me up. I’ll guinea pig it.

BLAIR: Yes, this is the host… co-host of NASA Edge. I’m calling about my NASA 101 scores. Yeah, I’ve been waiting for them. I also sent you a Power Point today. You didn’t? Did you check your drop mail folder? Oh, you do have the scores. Did I pass? But I can take it again, right?

JACKY: Welcome back to NASA Edge.

CHRIS: Because Blair didn’t do so hot in “Stump the Host,” I’m resuming my host status. In fact, why don’t you be acting co-host for the show?

JACKY: Oh wow, what an honor.

CHRIS: By the way, how did he do on the medianaut application?

JACKY: The application is still pending but he’s working really hard. I have no doubt he’ll be the first medianaut selected.

CHRIS: We’re here at Summer X Games 13, right here on NASA Edge.

JACKY: [speaking in Spanish] An inside and outside look at all things NASA.

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

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