Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Space Dinosaur

     And it's huggable, too.  Astronaut and hobby crafter (and mother of a three-year-old) Karen Nyberg used her spare time on ISS and scrap fabric from a Russian food container to make a stuffed-toy dinosaur for her sonKewlest stuffed-toy critter EVAR!  Also kewlest Mom ever.

     Crafting, like amateur radio, is a space-station-friendly hobby, as the supplies don't take up much room and even after you eliminate the hazardous ones (rubber cement and glitter are no doubt right out), you're left with plenty of fun.  Plus it reinforces useful skills: the space station uses a lot of fabric for everything from toolboxes to food shippers to space suits and thread's a lot stronger than any glue they could safely deploy in the habitable volume.

     What caught my eye from the various Mom-in-space articles was this photograph, in which once again ISS looks a lot like where I work:
     Yes, that's a Maglite velcroed to the bulkhead, just this side of a hatch; while we use padded hooks (that gravity thing) and the red version of those flashlights with a strip of glow-in-the-dark tape, ours are also mounted right next to the doors and labelled ("EMERGENCY LIGHT").

     Where I work, "lights out" is merely staggeringly costly; the stakes are somewhat higher aboard ISS.  We seem to have made similar choices nevertheless.

     H/T to The Unwanted Blog.

10 comments:

Alien said...

That looks like a generic 4-D cell Maglite, plus a glow-in-the-dark label and some velcro. Couldn't NASA come up with a requirement for custom made $5,000 flashlights available only from some monkey farm in Outer Expensivistan? (Then again, maybe it's super special velcro woven from the exhumed bodies of thousand year-old Vels.)

Adding the glow stuff to mine is a good idea, all they have now is reflective tape. RX, any recommendations on which is the best glow stuff to use?

pdb said...

How are you supposed to read that label in the dark?

Roberta X said...

I bought some glow-in-the-dark tape from either McMaster-Carr or W. W. Grainger, probably McMaster. Seems to work okay. Uline and Lab Safety also offer various self-adhesive tapes, dots and arrows (typically used to indicate hazards and exit routes) and nearly all of them will sell online to anyone with a credit card.

The increasing presence of inexpensive, off-the-shelf solutions aboard ISS is a good sign.

BGMiller said...

Duck Tape (the brand) has added a glow in the dark version to their offerings. I haven't yet seen how bright or long lasting it is but it is available almost everywhere they have the big display with fifty different colors and patterns. Look between the mustache pattern and the zebra striped.


BGM

fillyjonk said...

That's fascinating. I might rethink some of my opposition to space travel if I'd be allowed to take knitting needles and yarn with me....

BGMiller said...

You can take knitting needles into orbit.

But you have to drive them to the launch site because TSA doesn't trust you to fly with them.*


BGM


*Given the sorts of things TSA seems to want to do with those blue gloved mitts it does make sense that they'd want to take any sharp and stabbies away from folks first. Any random .gov drone that wants to feel me up is well advised to remove all possible sources of penetrating trauma first.

Dave H said...

If you look around you can sometimes find glow in the dark products at craft stores and home improvement stores. (Maybe at realhardware stores too, although I haven't seen one in several years.)

NASA did a fair job of differentiating between "mission-critical" and "other" equipment some time ago, and switching to COTS gear when they could. Considering how their budgets tend to get pinched, they had to.

Charles Pergiel said...

I was going to say something about GLUE IN SPACE, but then I read the line about the thousand year old Vels. Ha!

Douglas2 said...

Not to say that they haven't changed their mind, because most of their rules that we must follow are unpublished, but knitting needles are oddly one of the things that has been specifically permitted past TSA checkpoints:
http://www.ok.ngb.army.mil/famprog/files/Prohibited%20Items%20List%20for%20Air%20Transport.pdf

Jay Dee said...

Speaking of lights out. You see that Harry & Barry shut down NIST.gov? Tha t'll show those Republicans.