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  Butter cookie tradition when suiting up for EVA?

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Author Topic:   Butter cookie tradition when suiting up for EVA?

Posts: 857
From: Olympia, WA, USA
Registered: Sep 2011

posted 11-06-2013 02:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A while back I'd heard a comment from someone about butter cookies and getting ready for shuttle EVAs.

Today, I read a passage in "NASA's Scientist-Astronauts" by Shayler and Burgess that mentioned the same thing, which I took to mean it was some form of tradition.

Does anyone know more about this? The passage in the book is the first thing I've ever read about this being a common thing. If so, why butter cookies?


Posts: 465
From: Monticello, KY USA
Registered: Mar 2007

posted 11-06-2013 04:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jasonelam   Click Here to Email jasonelam     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In searching for information about this subject, I found this in the JSC Oral History from Joe Allen.
There is a point when the IVA crewman pops the helmet on the head of each of the spacewalking crewmen, and he had already buttoned Dale up, and then he was coming to me. Just as he got ready to do it, I said, "David, stop. I am so hungry. I really need a cookie or something to eat."

He said, "Oh, Joe, how could you? We're slightly—."

I said, "David, I need a butter cookie." So he goes off into the food pantry, grabs things, throws it hither and yon and comes back with a butter cookie. I open my mouth. Keep in mind I can't use my hands now. He puts the butter cookie into [my mouth], the whole thing, and then he hits my jaw shut [demonstrates].

He says, "Eat it, but don't choke, you little rodent." We can come back to that later.

I ate the butter cookie; felt better. David put the helmet onto me, popped it. We're now sealed, and there unfolded a pressurizing and then a depressurizing of the airlock, and the EVA started.


Posts: 569
From: South Carolina
Registered: Jul 2006

posted 11-06-2013 05:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ea757grrl   Click Here to Email ea757grrl     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I remember Joe Allen making the butter cookie reference in a documentary, I believe an episode of "Frontline" from 1986 or 1987 about the astronaut corps during the Challenger stand-down. He said it as a passing reference, while drawing an analogy to your crewmates helping you get suited up being like your mom bundling you up to go out in the snow when you were a kid.

(Need to find that videotape. That was a very good documentary.)


Posts: 539
From: Sacramento, CA
Registered: Jun 2001

posted 11-07-2013 11:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for sts205cdr   Click Here to Email sts205cdr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Butter cookies were specially made for the Skylab crews. Pete Conrad was especially addicted to them.

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