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  Looking for middeck "spare astronaut" video

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Author Topic:   Looking for middeck "spare astronaut" video
space1
Member

Posts: 547
From: Danville, Ohio, USA
Registered: Dec 2002

posted 02-26-2014 08:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for space1   Click Here to Email space1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I recall seeing a video showing an astronaut in what appeared to be a middeck locker. The narrating astronaut says something like if they need more help they get out their spare astronaut. They open the locker door and an astronaut, all crunched up inside, brings himself out. I told a museum educator about this video and she doesn't believe it. Please help me find this so we can all be smarter!

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 28970
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-26-2014 08:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From Joe Allen's oral history, describing STS-51A:
During the course of the mission, after we'd successfully recovered both satellites and had just a few hours on our hands, extra hours, Dale Gardner and I had made a videotape of his pulling me, extricating me from inside a very tiny middeck locker. We reviewed the videotape on orbit in the black-and-white monitors we had there; found it was very amusing, because we had used an optical trick of sorts, and it looked as though I really had come out of a very tiny middeck locker.

Just for the fun of it, we beamed it down to the night controllers on the ground. These are the people that sit through the night shift, and because the mission was going very smoothly by then, we knew they had very little to do, so we thought that they would be amused by this. We were also certain that it can't be intercepted publicly, and it would just be shown around the mission control, and that would be the end of it.

What I didn't know is they had been so amused by it that they had shared it with other NASA Centers, including Florida, and people who had seen it in Florida were the very technicians that had prepared the spacecraft for launch. They were very well aware of the configuration of the middeck, and they knew full well that the dimension of a drawer would not accommodate an astronaut, however diminutive he or she may be, and they were quite mystified by that.

The same technicians that had packed the spacecraft for launch were also those that came out to greet us, and they came in and looked around; looked around at the configuration of the middeck lockers and said, pretty much, "How the hell did Joe Allen come out of—?" And then they said, "Oh, we now understand it."

And here's the video — the segment starts at 7 minutes, 33 seconds:

space1
Member

Posts: 547
From: Danville, Ohio, USA
Registered: Dec 2002

posted 02-26-2014 08:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for space1   Click Here to Email space1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you, Robert! Very clever trick.

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