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  Space Shuttles - Space Station
  STS-133: "Message in a Bottle" (EVA-1)

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Author Topic:   STS-133: "Message in a Bottle" (EVA-1)
jasonelam
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Posts: 443
From: Monticello, KY USA
Registered: Mar 2007

posted 09-27-2010 10:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jasonelam   Click Here to Email jasonelam     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was looking through the master flight plan for STS-133 and found this interesting note:
Sun 02:20 PM...05...22...40...00...EVA-2: "Message in a bottle"
Does anyone know what this is? Never seen this before.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 09-27-2010 10:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency Education Payload Observation 5:
Message in a Bottle plans to create a unique communication interface between space and Earth, as well as present and future humankind. During a extravehicular activity (EVA), a small cylinder is filled with Space. This investigation provides a chance for the participating astronaut to create a memento of his or her time in space but also a message for people on Earth. Once the "Message in a Bottle" is brought back to Earth and placed in people's hands, it will become a conduit between humans and space, and between this world and the one beyond us.
Doug Wheelock was originally scheduled to deploy this during a station (stage) spacewalk, but it was rescheduled for STS-133. He described the "Message in a Bottle" to collectSPACE during a pre-flight interview:
It is a brainchild of a scientist/renaissance man in Japan, who developed this idea to spur interest in space and expand kids' horizons and expand their ability to dream about what could be.

We're carrying this metal tube to the station and we're going to record an educational-type briefing about this "Message in a Bottle."

Inside this canister is a glass bottle. I'm going to take it out EVA with me and open a valve and evacuate the glass, essentially fill[ing] the glass bottle with outer space.

And then we're going to bring it back to Earth with us and these Japanese scientists are going to fuse the glass together to make it an enclosed volume and then it is going to tour museums through the world as the "Message in a Bottle."

There's no message in there, but children of all ages will be encouraged to -- almost like what they do leaving notes at the wall, at the Vietnam Memorial and things like that where people leave notes -- they are going to encourage people when this goes on tour to approach this glass-enclosed bottle of space and write whatever message they would put in there to deliver to the rest of the universe.

That's kind of a really, really neat outreach attempt to try to spark and energize that sort of human spirit of what the possibilities could be. It is just a small thing that we're doing...

I'm planning to write a feature article about this after I have the opportunity to speak with the STS-133 crew member who will now have the "bottle" during the mission's first spacewalk.

jasonelam
Member

Posts: 443
From: Monticello, KY USA
Registered: Mar 2007

posted 09-28-2010 08:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for jasonelam   Click Here to Email jasonelam     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Very cool idea! Thanks for the information, when you see something like that on a flight timeline it catches your attention!

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-11-2010 12:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Al Drew and Tim Kopra describe the Message in a Bottle during their NASA interviews.
Al Drew: Let's see, and finally we have a payload from the Japanese Space Agency that's called Message in a Bottle. We're simply going to open this bottle up and get a sample of the vacuum of space.

It's a big thermos bottle and we open it up and allow it to equalize with the vacuum of space out there and then we seal it back up. Oddly enough being out there in space you got a better vacuum there that you get here on earth with any kind of pump so you really have a more perfect vacuum.

We'll get some photographs for the Japanese Space Agency and we'll bring that in and that would wrap up our first spacewalk.

Tim Kopra: We do have something called Message in a Bottle. It's a Japanese piece of hardware and the intention here is to use this outside space station. All we want to do is open a valve.

It's kind of unique and a thoughtful sort of experiment the Japanese have designed where we're just going to fill it with the vacuum of space and, and really I think it's really just more to demonstrate that, "Hey, this is the vacuum of space." Clearly a vacuum is a vacuum whether it's space or if it's in a vacuum chamber here at NASA, but this is a little bit special, especially for the Japanese because it's the, the vacuum of space, so we'll do that, capture in pictures and provide that to the Japanese once we come home.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-01-2011 07:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The "Message in a Bottle" activity was performed during yesterday's STS-133 spacewalk.

collectSPACE: Spacewalking astronauts capture space in a bottle

Two astronauts working outside the International Space Station (ISS) on Monday collected an unusual souvenir of their spacewalk: a bottle full of space.

Spacewalkers Stephen Bowen and Alvin Drew opened and 'filled' a Japanese-designed metal cylinder with space, or rather the vacuum of outer space, and then sealed it to be brought back to Earth with space shuttle Discovery.

dabolton
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Posts: 215
From: Round Lake, IL, US
Registered: Jan 2009

posted 03-02-2011 07:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for dabolton   Click Here to Email dabolton     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Two questions about this.
  1. is the air around the station/shuttle free of contaminants; i.e. is it possible to get a pure vacuum sample that close-in

  2. did they capture the 'gunshot' smell that astronauts say space smells like when an EVA ends; it would be an interesting analysis of the contents.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-02-2011 07:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The International Space Station is not entirely outside of Earth's atmosphere. The station needs to be re-boosted periodically as a result of atmospheric drag.

So, yes, the Message in a Bottle may include a few molecules of atmosphere, too.

As this was designed from the start as an artistic/symbolic activity, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) does not intend to study the bottle's contents (or lack thereof). The metal cylinder's internal glass bottle will be put on public display after returning to the ground.

Cliff Lentz
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Posts: 639
From: Philadelphia, PA USA
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 03-02-2011 07:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Cliff Lentz   Click Here to Email Cliff Lentz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Don't want to be the spoil sport here, but isn't this just a sealed empty bottle? I know it's symbolic and all that. Here in Philly after the Phils won the World Series, they took up the grass and had small pieces freeze-dried and offered for sale. Is this a new marketing idea?

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-02-2011 08:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Cliff Lentz:
Don't want to be the spoil sport here, but isn't this just a sealed empty bottle?
Sure, but then some artwork is just paint splattered on a canvas. The important point for both is intent.

The bottle in Message in a Bottle is symbolic; the message though, is that children (of all ages) can make space and exploration whatever their imagination can fill-in.

All times are CT (US)

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