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Sunday, June 08, 2008

Our NASA Astronauts

Greetings and Salutations to All my Kith and Kin and All the Ships in Outer Space:

Oh, I know, I've written about this before.

But, I just can't get over my amazement at astonauts floating in Outer Space, as they perform construction and maintenance on the International Space Station, and using my notebook computer to watch it all on my television.

What a time to be living on this Earth!

Also, being a guy, I'm particularly fascinated with watching Karen Nyberg, as she floats around inside the Space station, with her long blond tresses flying about in a gravity free environment.

It's fun watching her converse with other astronauts, as they are floating upright, and she is floating upside down.

Yesterday, a couple of the astronauts were having a bit of idle fun.

One of them was floating in mid air and deliberately spinning himself like a top.

The guy at the Mission Control Center in Houston, Texas was so struck by the sight, that he temporarily ceased talking in mid sentence.

While examining the space suits, another astronaut was toying with one of the equipment items, just spinning it around and around.

But, these guys are REALLY physically fit and very courageous.

Just imagine (or don't imagine - - - watch it on the Internet) what it must be like to be floating upside down in Space, with the Earth spinning below you, and using tools to do some construction, maintenance, or repairs.

Man, that's guts!

They've got lots of lights and cameras all over the Space Station, the Space Shuttle, and even on top of the astronaut's helmets, so you can observe everything that's happening, and listen to most of the conversations.

If you want to use your computer to watch all this, then go to the NASA-TV web site.

To view the image full screen, just right click on it with your mouse, and on the drop down menu, select "ZOOM", and then, "FULL SCREEN".

If your computer is connected to your television, you might get better screen resolution (as I apparently did) if you opt for the "PEER-TO-PEER STREAMING", which is located on the lower left corner of the NASA-TV web site.

It involves a brief download and installation of a plug-in, the DigiMeld Player.

That's what I'm using to watch this on my television.

Connecting your computer to your television is simple, if your television has the proper connectors.

Just run a VGA cable between your computer and your television, and that will put the image on your screen.

For sound, you need to run a cable between the earphone jack on your computer to the "EARPHONE IN" jack on your television.

That's how I did it.

But, your television and your computer might be different than the ones I have.

For instance, not all televisions are equipped with a VGA connection, and without it, you can't connect your computer.

So, when you shop for a television, make sure you get one that you can connect a computer to.

Also, at the NASA-TV web site, you'll want to download a PDF copy of the STS-124 Mission Schedule, so you can know what's going on.

Gosh, gee whillikers, all this stuff is happening in OUR lifetime!

It's like the ficticious stories in comic books and movies are all coming true.

This is really something!


Oh, by the way, I'm still using my computer as a volunteer in the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (i.e., S.E.T.I.), and I hope you'll consider joining me in this effort.

The program runs unobtrusively in the background on your computer, so you're able to continue doing your regular activities, uninterrupted.

The volunteer computer operations are coordinated by the University of California at Berkeley, analyzing radio signals gathered randomly from Deep Space.

On 15 August 1977, a signal was detected at Ohio State University, and was dubbed the "Wow!" signal, due to the initial reaction by a professor.

That signal, which lasted a little more than a minute, came from the area of the constellation of Sagittarius, and its exact origin and purpose remain unknown.

However, any detection of a similar signal has not been repeated.

If your computer does detect an intelligent signal from another world, you will be given credit for the discovery.

Wouldn't that be nifty?

Thank you.

John Robert "SAIGON" Mallernee, KB3KWS
Official Bard of Clan Henderson
Armed Forces Retirement Home
Washington, D.C. 20011-8400

NOTE: "My unpopular and controversial personal opinions are independent of my Scottish clan."

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