Hoochies in Space

Posted March 1, 2000 at 5:32 pm No Comments

Houston, we have a problem: only five of our six
boxes were waiting at our table when we arrived.

We rolled into the Ellington Field Hangar this morning to set up our equipment.  Much to our dismay, we found that only five of the six boxes we had shipped had arrived at the hangar.  This was particularly unfortunate given that our flight readiness review was in approximately 30 hours, and the missing box contained our Mission Toolkit.

We called the United Parcel Service phone hotline, and gave the phone representative our tracking numbers.  He informed us that the location of the package was “presently unavailable”.

“Unavailable,” Randy said to the representative.  “I see.”

“Yes,” said the representative.  “It’s probably in a warehouse somewhere,” he continued helpfully.

“Not to blow things out of proportion,” returned Randy, “but the equipment in that box is scheduled to be on a NASA flight.”

We left Randy on the phone to work his way up the UPS chain of command while we scampered off to Home Depot to buy parts, having resigned ourselves to rebuilding the Mission Toolkit from scratch.

After a successful shopping trip, we returned and frantically set upon the task at hand.  Two hours and several rolls of duct tape later, we had constructed a brand new mission toolkit.”You know,” Emmer remarked, “I think this might be better than our original one.”

“It has more Velcro, anyhow,” I said.  “NASA people seem to love Velcro almost as much as they love acronyms.”

The hangar at Ellington Field is full of sophisticated
airplanes undergoing maintenance work.

This Rube Goldberg apparatus from Texas A&M University has
something to do with tactical attitude recovery through haptics.

We rewarded ourselves for a job well done by strolling around the hangar to examine the projects from other universities.  Compared to some of the elaborate and intricate contraptions at the tables of the other schools, our Mission Toolkit was rather  embarrassingly simple.
It seemed that nearly every university had opted for some sort of clever acronym to describe their project.  We couldn’t stop laughing over the acronym that Wellesley had selected.”Suddenly, I’m not nearly as proud that our proposal was accepted,” Kate said after seeing this sign.

“Heh… Girls just wanna have fluids,” Peter chuckled.

The Brown University table was covered with equipment, but the Brown flight team was nowhere in sight.  Before we left the hangar, we decided that a little modification to their sign was in order.

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