NASA EDGE Show 10: Lunar Architecture

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NASA EDGE Show 10: Lunar Architecture
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Show 10: Lunar Architecture & D-RATS

Featuring: Lunar Blueprints and the Desert RATS


BLAIR: Oh look. They’ve started. They’re going to be laying some cable just like they would on the moon for all the power requirements. And I think, you don’t see anybody driving it, so that’s entirely robotic.


BLAIR: So, we might get to talk to those folks. Of course, out over in that direction is where the old Apollo stuff was done. They used to actually have a lunar habitat. And just beyond that ridge is where they’re doing all the spacesuit testing. Hopefully, we’ll get to talk to some people about that. It should be pretty cool.

FRANKLIN: I think I heard they’re going to be able to control the instructions, the movement & power, going through the power cable, from Johnson Space Center.

BLAIR: That’s what I heard. I think you might be right. It’s interesting because obviously you don’t think about that now…

BLAIR: Franklin is making a good point. There was actually some tele-operating done…

FRANKLIN: Welcome to NASA Edge.

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

BLAIR: Yes. We’re going to do a special show today on the lunar architecture. Which is great because Franklin and I went out on assignment. And now I’m an insider. I’ve logged…

CHRIS: Who let you go out on the assignment?

BLAIR: Well, that’s immaterial. The fact is I’ve logged more hours on the simulated lunar surface than you have. And so has Franklin.

FRANKLIN: Not only did he log the hours, he logged them inside a simulated spacesuit.

CHRIS: That’s cool.

BLAIR: It was a very serious suit.

FRANKLIN: It was a very serious suit.

BLAIR: The boots.

CHRIS: Who gave you the opportunity to do that?

BLAIR: Thank you for the opportunity but I am now closely approaching “mega” insider status.

CHRIS: Approaching? We’ll have to see.

BLAIR: Let’s get to where we’re going because before that we have two really important guests about lunar architecture in studio, today. IS. We have

GEOFF: Yoder.

CHRIS: From NASA Headquarters.

BLAIR: He’s going to give us…

CHRIS: The big picture.

BLAIR: The big picture. And then we have Pat Troutman.

CHRIS: Who’s the cool engineer from NASA Langley.

BLAIR: And who’s going to give us the nuts and bolts.

CHRIS: They’re actually going to break it down and look at the details of the lunar architecture.

BLAIR: And then we’ll go see how Franklin and I did out in the desert in Arizona with the Desert RATS.

FRANKLIN: Yeah. A great time.

CHRIS: And I’ll critique you on how well you guys did on your own.

BLAIR: I look forward to it.

CHRIS: Hopefully Franklin, you kept him in line while you were out there?

FRANKLIN: Blair took control and did his own thing. You’ll see.

CHRIS: Okay, good. Let’s take a break.

BLAIR: You’re watching NASA Edge.

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

BLAIR: It’s going to work. You’re going to be very impressed.

FRANKLIN: You’ve got to see the segment. It’s going to be great.

CHRIS: Cool.


CHRIS: Welcome back to NASA Edge.

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

CHRIS: We’re here with Geoff Yoder, from NASA Headquarters, who is the Director of Integration for the Exploration Directorate. How are you doing?

GEOFF:: I’m doing great. It’s great to be here.

BLAIR: It’s great to have him IS.

CHRIS: In studio.

BLAIR: In studio. Yeah.

CHRIS: I’m learning.

BLAIR: I gave you a hint.

CHRIS: We’re here today to talk about the lunar architecture. We’d like to share with our viewers what it’s going to be like when we go back to the Moon by the end of the next decade.

BLAIR: Franklin and I get this all the time when we’re out talking to the public. Why are we going back to the Moon? They want to know. They’re very excited but they want to know.

CHRIS: And why not just go onto Mars since we’ve been to the Moon six times? So why not just bypass it and go straight to Mars?

GEOFF:: Those are excellent questions. And we’ve been asked those questions almost every time that we go out. The United States NASA and thirteen other space agencies got together to come up with objectives, global objectives.

CHRIS: Hall of Justice. Lunar Hall of Justice.

GEOFF:: Yes, Lunar Hall of Justice. It’s why we’re going back to the moon. It started with over a thousand objectives and they worked it down to about a hundred and eighty objectives. We then put those into six different themes, one being public engagement. We need to keep the public engaged through all this.

BLAIR: Welcome to NASA Edge.


CHRIS: We’re on top of it.

BLAIR: Doing our part for the return to the Moon.

GEOFF:: I did my homework. Usually I say science first but scientific knowledge is one of the themes. There is a tremendous amount of information to be gained on the lunar surface. Things like human civilization; how to live off another body. Can we create our own oxygen on the lunar surface? What about water? There’s a lot of information to be gained.

CHRIS: It’s like Lewis & Clark going across the states.

BLAIR: Yes, historical explorers.

GEOFF:: Exactly. You mention Lewis & Clark. If you can trace that back to our Apollo era, Lewis and Clark really did the moving out fast with the exploration but looking at the high risk, quick knowledge gaining. We’re going back now for the more sustained portion of exploration, to really now capitalize on what happened in the Apollo era; To build things like economic expansion, to have partnerships rather it’s international partnerships or commercial partnerships to help us with this great endeavor.

CHRIS: So, maybe there’s some resources on the lunar surface that we can use back here on Earth?

GEOFF:: There are folks that are looking at that right now.


GEOFF:, even a more important question for those of us on a budget. When are they going to open up the coach seating to the Moon?

BLAIR: Excellent question. Because you did say commercial.

FRANKLIN: That’s right.

GEOFF:: Right now we have the service module that we could convert to coach seating.

BLAIR: There you go.

CHRIS: You could get some lunar miles out of that.

BLAIR: There you go, a little mileage program.

CHRIS: We talk to people when we go out and we get some skeptics that are not quite sure why we’re going out there and why we’re going back to the Moon since we’ve been there six times. Why go on to Mars? And we actually received a message from one of our Face Book friends. “I don’t think a Moon-base is the right first step to our advancement in space.” He thinks asteroid mining and colonization is a far better first step.

GEOFF:: That’s a good question. And we have looked at what we could gain on an asteroid. It’s hard to do economic expansion or global partnerships on an asteroid.

CHRIS: You get more sky miles though.

GEOFF:: It’s actually more risky than an out post on the lunar surface. When a meteorite had hit the lunar surface, we can now learn a lot since it’s close to the earth. It was probably the same time when one had hit the earth. Now it’s in a pristine environment so we can gain a lot of knowledge on how the earth was created.

FRANKLIN: That question was probably born out of a recent viewing of the movie Armageddon, on the Sci-Fi channel. He was typing and “oh, hey.”

CHRIS: Well, Blair you have a proposal for…

BLAIR: That’s right. What I’m looking at is Shackleton Rim Retirement Community on the moon. We got some architects together and some students and said, “What would that retirement community look like?’ I wanted to know if I could get your opinion on these. Here’s one concept.

GEOFF:: This is a great concept, especially since it’s one of the options we looked at during our studies.

BLAIR: A little close to the mark there. Good.

CHRIS: Good job, Blair.

BLAIR: Let’s see concept #2.

GEOFF:: Not one that we looked at.

BLAIR: Okay.

GEOFF:: It’s an interesting concept.

BLAIR: This is a pro… pr..

FRANKLIN: Proprietary.

BLAIR: Thank you Franklin. Can you do some speaking for me, please?

FRANKLIN: I got you right now.

BLAIR: Thank you, sir. But this is one option.

GEOFF:: This option is interesting especially since it’s one we hadn’t looked at. But one of the things it does show in this option is the solar power cells.

FRANKLIN: How difficult would it be to erect towers that tall there on the Moon?

GEOFF:: Well, it’s actually pretty difficult. While the gravity is one-sixth G, it’s still pretty high that if you fell down you could break your suit, your facemask and be in trouble.

BLAIR: Yeah. We’re not looking forward to having any falls. Even though it’s a retirement community that’s… I’ve fallen and I can get up. It’s only one-sixth gravity.

CHRIS: The idea of using solar power on the moon…. What about the nuclear option?

GEOFF:: The nuclear option is a good option, if you’re looking at an equatorial site or the places that have a fourteen-day night periods, where the solar power system just wouldn’t accommodate that. But again, looking initially to the places that we do have sunlight allows us more flexibility. When you put that reactor down if you’re going nuclear, you’re pretty much stuck there.

BLAIR: Now, is it possible to come up with a hybrid situation? You go nuclear at night, solar in the day, like the cars.

CHRIS: Just hit a button.

BLAIR: Yeah, they just switch over. You don’t even pay attention to it. Oh, I guess we’re nuclear now because it’s dark out.

GEOFF:: That’s possible but once you activate that nuclear reactor you’re not going to turn it off.

BLAIR: That’s a good point. One more option here. A little bit different approach.

GEOFF:: This is an interesting option. As I look at it having a tunnel between two different modules, it could help reduce some EVA time.

FRANKLIN: It’s a new igloo look.

BLAIR: Yes, lunar igloo.

FRANKLIN: Lunar igloo. Yes.

CHRIS: Before we go, I want to see if you could give him some tips. Blair wants to become the first “medianaut” to get to the moon by the end of the next decade. He’s actually in the process of filling out an application. Could you give him some pointers or tips that he could do?

BLAIR: Or reference letter of some kind?

GEOFF:: Reference letter?

CHRIS: That could help.

BLAIR: That would be really helpful to me.

GEOFF:: We could do a reference letter but you’re number two in queue. I already promised another reference letter.

BLAIR: Great. I’ll be number five just as long as I can go on the trip.

CHRIS: He just wants to get his application on the top.

BLAIR: Exactly. Push a few people aside. Franklin, I’m going to get him to sign up, hopefully. Not competing ‘cause we’ll go together. It’ll be fun. All right.

CHRIS: Thanks

GEOFF:. Thank you for being on the show today. You’re watching NASA Edge.

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

CHRIS: Thanks,

GEOFF:. That was really good.

BLAIR: That was perfect. That was great. Love it.


FRANKLIN: Welcome back to NASA Edge.

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

BLAIR: We’re here with Pat Troutman, a really cool engineer we have here at NASA Langley Research Center. And he’s going to talk to us about the nuts and bolts of the lunar architecture.

CHRIS: Welcome Pat.

PAT: Good to be here.

CHRIS: We want to get to the nitty gritty. What’s this architecture actually going to look like?

BLAIR: And why do we have to call it an architecture?

FRANKLIN: Why can’t it be a blueprint?

BLAIR: Yeah. Or plans.

PAT: It is a plan, a blueprint for how we’re going to explore beyond low Earth orbit from now till the farthest future we can imagine at the moment. So yeah, blueprint’s really good.

BLAIR: All right. Cool. The lunar blueprint.

PAT: Laying the foundation for the future.

FRANKLIN: Did you just come up with that? Laying the foundation for the future.

PAT: Actually, I had it on a chart from a pitch a couple of weeks ago.

[all laughing]

BLAIR: Brilliant. It was so naturally said.

CHRIS: What is this lunar blueprint going to look like?

PAT: Basically, it’s a gradual progression of capabilities on the lunar surface that extend our reach for exploration. The first thing you have to do is set up your base camp. We call it an outpost. It’s building up these capabilities so we first put a habitat module down. Then we deliver the crew and their cabin in the woods is up and running. Now they have a base to operate from but they can only walk a certain range.

CHRIS: All right.

PAT: So what we want to do is to extend their mobility. They need a nice ride.

CHRIS: Okay. Sweet ride.

BLAIR: Franklin and I know a little bit about this.

FRANKLIN: We had a ride out in Arizona when we were out with the D-RATS.

PAT: Oh.

BLAIR: We got a glimpse. We actually saw SCOUT.

CHRIS: What kind of rover are we looking at? Are we looking at a pressurized, un-pressurized rover, or a muscle car?

PAT: It’s different from Apollo. No, not a muscle car. It’s electric. It’s about as fast as an electric golf cart but they’re inside a pressurized environment. They can ride around in outfits like this, maybe a little sportier or better looking than what I have on. Certainly better than what you got on.


BLAIR: A little in studio hostility.

CHRIS: Five second rule.

PAT: But it allows them to get to their destination and then the suits they wear are bulky and not very comfortable. They wear on the skin. We want to minimize the amount of time they have to be in there. You ride out to where you want to go. Then you go into the back of these suits right from a pressurized environment, out to the great outdoors on the moon. Instead of spending eight hours, you spend an hour or two in the local environment using what’s best about people. And that is understanding the context from what you’re getting these samples from.

CHRIS: I see you brought some video.

BLAIR: I’ll play this and if you could speak to the video.

PAT: This starts off with sort of like the shuttle pod from Star Trek.

CHRIS & BLAIR: Yeah, it does.

BLAIR: Space 1999.

PAT: You have pressurized access from where the habitat is into the rover. In other words, they don’t have to put on a spacesuit to go out.

BLAIR: Who’s driving in that?

CHRIS: It could be Blair one day.

BLAIR: Hopefully.

PAT: You’re going to be like sixty. Inside that rover, there’s a shield made out of water. So if there’s a solar flare, instead of trying to get back into your habitat, you just go in there and wait it out.


CHRIS: I noticed on the rover that you had two suits on the back. The astronauts are driving it. They stop and get into the suits from the inside. They hit the button…

PAT: and they pop off right off.

CHRIS: We have several questions we’d like to address from our Face Book and My Space friends.

BLAIR: I have one from Carrie. We’ve touched on some of it but she was wondering “What are we doing now in terms of energy use and recycling while we’re on the moon?

PAT: Apollo, you had to bring everything with you and leave it behind. Because we’re going to the moon for longer periods, you have to be able to reuse much of what you have. In fact, the bits and pieces, the components that make up your electrical equipment, and computers, you want them swappable. So if something breaks, the guys can fix it there. If something broke on Apollo, you had a back up system. And if that failed you, you went home. Here you don’t want to go home every time something goes wrong. You want to fix it. You recycle the elements you brought with you and you also utilize the stuff that’s on the lunar surface. You can take the lunar dirt, regolith, and process it to make oxygen.

CHRIS: Good.

BLAIR: You just hope you don’t get regolith lung.

PAT: That’s a very serious concern because the lunar regolith is very small and gritty. It gets into all the mechanisms and spoils it. It also stinks when it gets into air.

BLAIR: Yikes.

PAT: You don’t want that inside your house. No stinky dust. There’s not enough deodorant to handle this.


PAT: The neat thing about the suit port is you crawl out the back. The suit with all the dust stays outside. It never comes into the habitat.

CHRIS: That’s ingenious.

PAT: That’s the neat concept of it.

FRANKLIN: That’s the lunar mudroom.

PAT: Exactly. You’re stripping outside and coming in naked.

BLAIR: You’re in some kind of space long johns or something.

PAT: Yeah.

BLAIR: No nudity. Yes, it’s a family program.

CHRIS: We have a question from Chelsea in Huntsville, Alabama. She wants to know, “Are we going to be using inflatable habitats?”

PAT: Inflatable habitats. Definitely, in what we call the trade space. Everything you’ve seen here are notional in that we want to work with the commercial and international folks to come up with common designs that work well. Cans are always easiest to do but an inflatable module works just as well depending on the context it’s used in. We’re establishing what the basic type of units could be. You can replicate those and grow as much as you want, as economic means permit and desire permits.

BLAIR: You get there, start to work and you develop these solutions on the fly based on what you learn along the way.

PAT: Yep.

BLAIR: That’s a good byproduct.

FRANKLIN: Pat, I have another question for you from Brenda in Monterey, Mexico. How do you plan to protect the lunar outposts without lunar atmosphere?

BLAIR: Excellent question.

PAT: I’m assuming she’s talking about the solar radiation aspects of it.

FRANKLIN: Yes. Is it similar to what you do with the water covering… ?

PAT: Yeah, there’s two types of radiation. There’s solar particle event, which is a solar flare. And there’s something called galactic radiation. Both of those on Earth we’re mostly protected by our magnetic field, not the atmosphere but there is no magnetic field on the moon either. You can use materials high in plastics and hydrogen that protect you from the galactic but right now we can’t protect from all of it. So, we have to limit the stay times of certain crews on the moon.

CHRIS: Okay.

PAT: This is also a big problem going to Mars.

FRANKLIN: Let me ask a question when we’re talking about suits. Are the spacesuits customized to each astronaut or are we looking at small, medium, and large?

PAT: Right now, they are custom made for most astronauts. There are segments like torsos, arms, or legs that can be interchangeable. Or you say every crew member needs to be five foot nine and be in this particular range and design one suit.

BLAIR: Five foot four and three quarters.

CHRIS: You’re under qualified.

PAT: If you’re on the astronaut core, you want those custom suits. If you’re an engineer in charge of making the ???, you want to select the people to fit the suit. Did you ever see that Brady Bunch thing where Greg becomes a movie star because the suit fits?

CHRIS: Right.

PAT: It could be that way too.

FRANKLIN: I have a question from Charlie in Chesapeake, Virginia. Is it possible to have Wi-Fi internet on the lunar outpost?

PAT: Absolutely. And it’s already in the plans. In fact, what we’re thinking about is called global connectivity because we want to bring everyone on the earth along for exploration.

CHRIS: That’s brilliant.

PAT: What we have to think about too is our stand for connectivity, speed, and band width today are nothing compared to what they’re going to be ten years from now. So we’ve got to plan as big as we can right now, knowing that’s probably not going to be enough.

CHRIS: You’ll probably have Web 5.0 by the time you…

PAT: HD everywhere.

FRANKLIN: Lunar hot spot.

CHRIS: Another question. This is from Sara in Florida. What about the floor plan inside? Is it going to be a two-bedroom apartment, fold up bed?

BLAIR: Bungalow. Florida room.

PAT: Anywhere from a trailer to a very nice, classy hotel.

CHRIS: Okay.

BLAIR: I like that. Maybe by the time I go…

PAT: They won’t let you into the nice hotel. You’ll get in the trailer.

CHRIS: That’s where the co-host goes.

BLAIR: So, you do get to accessorize a little bit.

PAT: Oh yeah.

FRANKLIN: It’s kind of like a lunar IKEA.

BLAIR: Yeah, lunar IKEA. Not that we endorse any particular…

CHRIS: Let’s go ahead and take a break.

BLAIR: Certainly. And we want to thank Pat for coming out and answering our questions today. And you’re always welcome back here in the studio.

PAT: Even after all those comments?

BLAIR: Even after all the comments because I’m sure we’re going to want to come back and ask more questions, as we get closer to this becoming a reality. It’s going to become a clearer picture.

CHRIS: We’ll talk off line once we go to a break. You’re watching NASA Edge.

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

FRANKLIN: Thanks a lot, Pat.


CHRIS: Welcome back to NASA Edge.

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

BLAIR: It’s really great to be back in the “insider” chair. It’s really appropriate because we do have…

CHRIS: You felt uncomfortable when Jeff and Pat were here.

BLAIR: Actually I was uncomfortable because the information was flying so fast and I’m trying to take notes and catch up.

CHRIS: Trying to take everything in.

BLAIR: Fantastic. They did a great job. We’re going to close out the show with a highlight piece of our activity out in Flagstaff. I think you’re going to be impressed.

CHRIS: I’ve been looking forward to this the whole show. I can’t wait to see this.

BLAIR: There are a few surprises but we basically went out and spent some time with the Desert RATS. Do you know what Desert RATS stands for?

CHRIS: No, what does RATS stand for?

BLAIR: You’re asking an insider now.

[FRANKLIN laughing]

BLAIR: That’s what I’m talking about. It’s Research and Technology Studies. The “D” is for Desert. Research and Technology Studies.

FRANKLIN: It really wasn’t a serious desert environment that you think it would be. It was not hot but actually pretty cool and pleasant.


CHRIS: Good. I’m glad that you’re learning.

BLAIR: Let’s take a look. Desert RATS.

CHRIS: Right here on NASA Edge.

FRANKLIN: We’re here with Frank Delgado, the project manager for the SCOUT program, which means…

FRANK: Science Crew Operations and Utility Test bed. It’s a test bed that’s allowing us to look at new technologies. The last rover that moved around the surface of the moon was over thirty years ago. We’ve had technology develop since then. We’re taking a look at some of these advanced technologies and seeing how they can be applied to the development of our future rovers that will go to the moon and eventually onto Mars.

FRANKLIN: What are those new technologies?

FRANK: Some of the new technologies are related to intelligent systems, tele-operations and onboard driving. On the intelligence system side, we’re looking at how the vehicle can operate itself. Basically go from one location, carry out a set of actions, go somewhere else and do something else, come back and wait for further instructions. It’s got enough onboard intelligence to do things on its own.

BLAIR: Is all that new technology part of a special package?

FRANKLIN: Are there any end of the year, buyer incentives to picking up this rover?

FRANK: Any end of the year buyer incentives?

FRANKLIN: Like cash back.

BLAIR: I’ve got an ’84 Corolla. If I bring that in for this rover, what am I looking at in terms of monthly payments?

FRANK: Monthly payments… um.

FRANKLIN: I’m here today with Barbara Romig, test conductor at the Desert RATS test area here in Arizona. Barbara, what is a Desert RAT?

BARBARA: RAT stands for Research and Technology Studies. What we do is take our spacesuits and robots and test them here in the relative environment that looks very lunar-like and try to drive out operational concepts for requirements for the moon. This week we’ve been testing our spacesuits with a rover called SCOUT. We’ve had humans driving the SCOUT vehicle onboard. We’ve tele-operated the SCOUT vehicle, which means somebody’s driven it from somewhere else, and it’s been driven with programming, which we call autonomous.

BLAIR: All right Joe. This is seriously off the record but I’m planning on doing some research of my own here in the desert with the spacesuit. Do you have any advice, any tips you can give me for a first time researcher?

JOE: Blair, let me ask you, do you have your own spacesuit?

BLAIR: I found an old spacesuit back at NASA Langley and I brought it out to do some research of my own.

JOE: I tell ya son, you’d better get some boots. Do you have any idea what the spacesuit is needed for?

BLAIR: Um, fashion? It’s cool.

JOE: That’s a start. Actually a spacesuit serves three purposes. It gives you environmental protection.

BLAIR: Which you need.

JOE: Which you need, right. It enables you to have mobility because this suit has to be pressurized so you’re at least at Earth’s atmosphere-like situation so you can breath and have ventilation.

BLAIR: I’m a flexible guy.

JOE: You are. I’ve seen you run around and I’m glad they caught you. Another aspect is the fact you have to have the environmental protection because you’re going to be walking on rough surfaces and hot surfaces. You’re going to be walking on cold surfaces. You have to have micrometeoroid protection. So all those things need to be considered when you bring your spacesuit out here.

BLAIR: I tell you what, if you could just promise me if you see me wandering out there, just don’t leave me hanging.

BLAIR: If you’ve got a St. Bernard with that little jug of extra liquid, send him right out.

BARBARA: Okay, we will.

FRANKLIN: Dude, you look great!

BLAIR: Yeah, it’s not bad. I can’t figure out the controls really and it’s a little difficult. But there’s one major obstacle and that’s… no boots. I’m an astronaut hobbit out here. Space hobbit.

FRANKLIN: We can use a little ingenuity and take care of that. I gotcha there buddy.

BLAIR: Ah, thanks. Now see, look at those. Pretty nice, huh? Pretty nice. And it’s all shiny like NASA.

FRANKLIN: Hey man, you got some socks on under there?

BLAIR: Um, no but I just needed boots I didn’t need the whole Ecoutremont.


BLAIR: Actually I can see where that might be a problem.

BLAIR: I’m going to try a simulated geological sample grab. Cosmo talked about mobility, so this is going to be difficult.

BLAIR: Not only a successful mobility test, I got a pocketful of regolith and good to go.


BLAIR: Okay Joe, for my lessons learned part of my experiment, I was wondering if you could help me out and give me some evaluation.

JOE: I certainly was impressed after our little tutorial and you’re fully encumbered here in a spacesuit of some sort. Ensconced is the proper word probably. I’m really impressed with the duct tape boots.

BLAIR: Yeah.

JOE: We’ve got to think about that one. As far as your performance, I was pretty impressed. You did quite a good job. I hope you collected some interesting samples.

BLAIR: Pocketful of regolith.

JOE: Pocketful of regolith. Next time I would suggest you have a helmet so you can really feel it. But on a serious mode, you did so well I’d like to promote you to a Desert RAT.

BLAIR: Thank you, sir.

JOE: And you are now an official Desert RAT.

BLAIR: Oh, that is awesome! You’ve got to get this on camera. Check it out, Desert RAT. And likewise, if you’ll reach right there, we’re going to make you an honorary NASA Edge member.

JOE: Hey, boy, you talk about a trade. This is great. Thanks. Appreciate it.

BLAIR: Isn’t that awesome. Now, is it okay to sew these onto your suit?

JOE: You bet.

BLAIR: Is that too dangerous?

JOE: Well, as long as you’re not in it.

BLAIR: Good point. So we get not only spacesuit advice we get sewing and embroidery advice from Joe Cosmo on NASA Edge. An inside and outside look at all things NASA. Thank you sir.

JOE: Thank you, Brian. Enjoyed it. That was a lot of fun. You guys have a ball!


CHRIS: Welcome back to NASA Edge.

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

BLAIR: Hey, that’s right. See, I have arrived.

CHRIS: I’m actually impressed that you’re an official member of the Desert RATS team.

BLAIR: Yeah, or Brian is, one or the other.

[all laughing]

CHRIS: Is that your secret name?

BLAIR: Yeah, that’s code name. I didn’t know if I was going to want to identify myself with the segment.

CHRIS: I’ve got a question for you guys.


CHRIS: The duct tape with the boots was pretty impressive.

BLAIR: Which you have to be when you’re a scientist or a researcher. You have to be resourceful. And Franklin was very helpful in putting the finishing touches on that and getting me good to go.

CHRIS: How many rolls of tape did you use?

FRANKLIN: Just one but it was wound pretty tight though.

BLAIR: Yeah, he added that extra leverage putting that last piece on.

CHRIS: I have to tell you if it wasn’t for Franklin you’d still be on the ground right now with you little instrument tool trying to get up.

BLAIR: That’s true. But see that brings up a good point because mobility is really important in the suit. And to be honest that wasn’t a real, official spacesuit. It was a mock-up.

CHRIS: A concept.

BLAIR: So the size and there were some issues.

FRANKLIN: It was the older model. It wasn’t the new model they’re working with right now for the return to the moon and beyond.

BLAIR: In fact we talked to some of the folks out there in the new suits. You are able to do a three point stance. It’s very doable.

FRANKLIN: Yeah. Better mobility.

CHRIS: I’m glad you had a chance to interview Barbara, Joe, and Frank Delgado. They were pretty cool. Before we go, how did you get the boots off?

BLAIR: I tell you what. Before I answer that I’ve got one more insider. Can you tell us what SCOUT stands for?

CHRIS: I don’t remember.

BLAIR: You don’t remember. It’s Science Crew Operations Utility Test bed.

CHRIS: I’m glad you know that.

BLAIR: And I actually got to drive it. It was really cool. I thought it was just an homage to Kill a Mockingbird but it was good to find out it stood for something.

CHRIS: It’s good to see your liberal arts degree kicking in.


CHRIS: You’re watching NASA Edge.

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

CHRIS: Have a great day.

BLAIR: I’m going to go read. That’s perfect.


BLAIR: I am, totally.

FRANKLIN: On the count of three.

BLAIR: I’m ready.


[anguishing screams]

BLAIR: NO!! I hate Chris Giersch! Oh, mother! Oh! Oh my goodness. Ugh, is it bleeding?

FRANKLIN: Good job.

BLAIR: We’re going to have to soak this. We’re going… No!!

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