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  9/11: Robert Cenker at Toms River, NJ

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Author Topic:   9/11: Robert Cenker at Toms River, NJ
Hart Sastrowardoyo
Member

Posts: 2123
From: Toms River, NJ,USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 08-14-2009 01:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From the Ocean County College press release:
Retired NASA Astronaut to Speak on OCC Campus

In association with the Robert J. Novins Planetarium at Ocean County College, the Astronomical Society of the Toms River Area (ASTRA) will host a special guest speaker, retired NASA astronaut Robert Cenker, on Friday, September 11 at 7:00 p.m. in the OCC Lecture Hall, Technology Building (building 13), on the Main Campus, College Drive, Toms River, NJ. Admission is free and open to the public.

Cenker flew aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia for a six-day mission in 1986, traveling over 2.1 million miles in 96 Earth orbits, and logging over 146 hours in space.

Although the Novins Planetarium is currently closed for renovations, staff members are hosting a variety of events outside of the planetarium. A list of events is available at ocean.edu/campus/planetarium.

For recorded information about upcoming events, call 732.255.0342, or to reach the planetarium office, call 732.255.0400, ext. 2111, weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Hart Sastrowardoyo
Member

Posts: 2123
From: Toms River, NJ,USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 09-12-2009 08:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Bob Cenker talked to a standing-room-only crowd last night at Ocean County College. Some pics:

Tony Eggert showing Cenker his piece of Columbia (payload bay liner?).
My favorite photo of Cenker. I think he's describing liftoff.
Cenker's nameplate and 25 Mach patch on his jacket. He said he would have worn his flightsuit, but the weather was too bad to do so.
Cenker's Mission 61C patch, also from his jacket.

Hart Sastrowardoyo
Member

Posts: 2123
From: Toms River, NJ,USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 09-12-2009 08:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Random thoughts, some of which didn't make the story I wrote for the paper:

Cenker was the guest speaker of the Astronomical Society of the Toms River Area (ASTRA). For those who weren't fmiliar with him, he showed a photo of him from his 61C flight and said, "That was when I had glasses and a lot more hair."

I had a poster showing New Jersey from space (taking during STS-3), which Cenker recognized as "Terry Hart's poster". (I had received the poster from Hart five years ago.) Ever so dutiful, I uncapped the Sharpie before handing it to Cenker to sign the poster with. He didn't notice and tried a few moments to uncap the marker - thereby getting ink on his hand. Heh heh heh. Sorry.

His cost of getting into space: $80,000, paid by RCA. His training at JSC: six months, which he jokingly described as "what not to touch, which gave my wife a warm fuzzy feeling, because we engineers love to twiddle dials." In actuality, Cenker said his training consisted basically of health and safety training, since he wouldn't be flying the shuttle. Payload specialists wouldn't be doing spacewalks as well, he later said, so no EVA training.

"Words don't do it justice," Cenker said of his spaceflight and of the view of Earth from the shuttle. "You cannot realize what it is like until you've been there."

On the same note: "I would like to go back and find out how long it would take me to get bored."

Furthermore: "I'd like to do it again. But realistically, I've accepted that I've done one thing that people only dream of."

Cenker said he adapted to zero-G after Flight Day One. His reaction to weightlessness was that he felt like he had been upside-down for four hours, not nausea.

Back on Earth, he dropped the toothpaste tube cap and instinctively reached out his hand in the air, expecting it to float away. He also leaned too far forward on the first day back while putting his daughter in a high chair and felt dizzy. By the second day, however, he was running.

The worst part about space was not being able to adequately wash. Cenker said that within five minutes of the postflight exam being done, everyone was in the shower for half an hour.

No overtime paid for the launch delays, Cenker told one questioner. RCA was really accomodating during that time with the expenses, and Cenker said he was tempted to stick in a travel expense voucher for 2-1/2 million miles but didn't because they were so accomodating.

Cenker acknowledged that there have been some differences of opinion between the professional Astronauts and the payload specialists. But RCA was interested and involved in the space station planned at that time, and Cenker viewed his role as a PS as taking his knowledge about space and the shuttle back to the working world. I don't have the exact quote, but he described it as akin to having a car designed by someone who was a driver.

Tonyspace
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Posts: 114
From: Edison, New Jersey
Registered: Nov 2002

posted 09-13-2009 05:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tonyspace   Click Here to Email Tonyspace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hart, thank you for the picture.

I never looked so good. You had to touch up the photo. That was a section on the bay liner from his mission I was showing him.

I called Bob Cenker today and gave him a heads up about your posting.

Tony

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