5.7.06

Dedicated to the Shuttle and the USA

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Risk of death, Physical torture, Psychological torture, Involving digestive products. Yes good peoples all the above apply to Astronaut's or Cosmonaut's. Many folk may have the impression that being an Astronaut is the best job in the solar system; well it does carry the ultimate risk as we know. But setting aside the mortal danger it's still a job of great frustration, self- sacrifice even debasement. Astronauts are subjected to the most arduous of tasks: sitting in high-G centrifuges so that doctors can study motion sickness, deliberately enduring hypothermia for hours on end, wearing rectal probes (not for me thank you) and central IV lines in all forms of stress training like so many guinea pigs. Shuttle and Mir veteran Norm Thagard once objected to a study designed to make him wretchedly sick; NASA's response? "They said I could be fired for good cause, bad cause or no cause," says Thagard, "but I was required to participate as a condition of employment." Thagard also had the distinction of being the first person ever to clean out animal cages in orbit, on the Spacelab 3 in 1985. Engineers promised him that the cages would be at negative pressure, so none of the weightless waste of 24 rats and 2 squirrel monkeys would escape. But when Thagard opened the cages, air rushed outward, leading to a desperate hunt for the floating feces. A day later, at the other end of the craft, Commander Bob Overmeyer was accosted by a wayward huge turd wafting through the station. Yeah well not my scene at all so it seems these Astronauts see both ends of the spectrum. And their families like parents, wives, children, and girlfriends/boyfriends whatever must go through some terrible stresses/traumas waiting for their loved ones to return to Terra Firma intact. How on earth they cope is beyond me; I vividly recall some years ago now when I went for a trip in a hot air balloon, my wife’s face got smaller and smaller until it became a blur; when I returned she rushed over and her first words were I never thought you would come back; of course I stupidly laughed; (I sincerely regretted saying that really and apologised) I got an ear bashing for that so if she worried about that what the hell would she have been like if I had zoomed into space? So I feel for all the families of any Astronaut deeply. I did read that fights could break out on a lengthy trip such as going to Mars and knowing human nature this is a distinct possibility. `````````````````````````` Getting away from stress for the moment it has been suggested many times that America did not land upon the moon; personally I don’t believe that for a moment. However I did read on this site and countless more I have looked at that more or less disputes that fact, you will have to read or scroll down to the last paragraph in which even Neil Armstrong admitted certain things were asked him re-the moon and agreed that was so but of course he never actually admitted much about the landing on the moon, as he supposedly said his job was on the line. I do wonder at the last 30 odd words though and have reproduced them here. Now of course it looks like the race to Mars has begun. But if you look at the facts you really have to wonder: Has man made it to the moon yet? `````````````````````````````````

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