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  Astronauts becoming 'shellbacks' on orbit

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Author Topic:   Astronauts becoming 'shellbacks' on orbit
Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 38714
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-23-2018 11:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
During today's (Jan. 23) spacewalk outside the International Space Station, Scott "Maker" Tingle, a commander in the U.S. Navy, became a "Royal Shellback" (and his fellow spacewalker, Mark Vande Hei, an honorary shellback). Here is the exchange between Maker (on orbit) and Victor "Ike" Glover, capcom and U.S. Navy commander:
Glover: Hey Maker, it's Ike, are you a Shellback by any chance?

Tingle: (Laughing) Why yes, I am. Thank you for asking.

Glover: Well, you know, you guys are about to cross the equator at the prime meridian. So I think that will upgrade you to a "Royal Shellback," if I am not mistaken.

Tingle: (Still laughing) Oh, that is excellent.

Glover: And I guess by default we've got to make Mark one.

Tingle: I'm not going through the ritual though.

Glover: Hold on, let me get my trident...

Per Wikipedia, regarding the line-crossing ceremony:
Sailors who have already crossed the Equator are nicknamed "Shellbacks," "Trusty Shellbacks," "Honorable Shellbacks," or "Sons of Neptune." Those who have not crossed are nicknamed "Pollywogs," or "Slimy Pollywogs"...

Another rare status is the "Golden Shellback," a person who has crossed the Equator at the 180th meridian (International Date Line). The rarest Shellback status is that of the Emerald Shellback (USA), or Royal Diamond Shellback (Commonwealth), which is received after crossing the Equator at the prime meridian, near the Null Island weather buoy.

This is not the first mention of shellbacks on orbit. During STS-123 in 2008, Mission Control sent the following message up to space shuttle Endeavour's crew on the tenth day of the flight:
We know that there are one or two of you Navy folks on board so if you are performing any arcane seafaring rituals, associated with crossing the equator at the equinox, featuring shellbacks and polliwogs, we'd prefer not to hear about it. What happens on orbit stays on orbit.
Anyone know of other instances of shellback ceremonies (or mentions) in space?

JBoe
Member

Posts: 869
From: Churchton, MD
Registered: Oct 2012

posted 01-23-2018 03:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JBoe   Click Here to Email JBoe     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Would there be any astronauts eligible for 'bluenose?'

ejectr
Member

Posts: 1664
From: Spring Hill, FL
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 01-23-2018 05:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ejectr   Click Here to Email ejectr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I got 'em both...

SpaceAholic
Member

Posts: 4088
From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-23-2018 06:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ditto (several times over). Big question: who on orbit got to play King Neptune.

JBoe
Member

Posts: 869
From: Churchton, MD
Registered: Oct 2012

posted 01-23-2018 07:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JBoe   Click Here to Email JBoe     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I got my 'bluenose' while stationed in Keflavik from 1998-2001. Got the 'bluenose' onboard VP-45 above the Arctic Circle north of the fjords.

Would Aldrin's trip to Antarctica in 2016 qualify for 'rednose' however brief and untimely exit?

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