Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Things You Might See at Goddard

First off, don't ask me which building any of these are in. They're all called "Building ##," and you're whisked through just about all of them in your action-packed (okay - science-packed) day.

For the folks accepted into the James Webb Space Telescope #NASASocial next week, I thought I would share a little taste of what you MIGHT see while you run all over Goddard Space Flight Center. I was selected to attend the Global Precipitation Measurement NASASocial that was held in conjunction with JAXA and the National Cherry Blossom Festival last year (which you should check out; the events are awesome).
If you DO NOT perform the obligatory "badge shot" post to your social media account(s) you are not a real #SpaceTweep and I regret to inform you that you need to turn in your membership card immediately.
You might get to go in to see the High Capacity Centrifuge. It can accelerate your mom so fast, she'll experience forces 30x greater than Earth's gravity. If she weighs 2.5 tons. And not human (they are NOT allowed to ride).
You might walk through the "Room With Many Variant-Sized Space Environment Simulators" (my name - I think it's catchy).
While you're in the "Room With Many Variant-Sized Space Environment Simulators," see if you can spot my hot pink extension cord.
If they don't take you to see visualizations on their Hyperwall, they are meanies and you should all immediately riot* because this thing is REALLY COOL.
*DISCLAIMER: I take no legal responsibility if NASASocial attendees do, in fact, initiate a riot of any means at any point in time.
I'm going to take bets that you see this. Also, no photo can accurately show how large the Large Space Environment Simulator is. It fit Hubble in it. And they're gonna put JWST in it. That's a baaad mother-SHUT YOUR MOUTH- I'm just talkin' 'bout SES.
You might be lucky enough to see someone working on another craft! Like we did with two of the MMS probes!
I know for a FACT you will go to the highbay cleanroom (the world's largest cleanroom - YEAH IT'S BIG). That's just a given that you're going there. Note the entire wall - 9000 square feet - is HEPA filters.
More than likely, you'll also stop off in Astrobiology, where they'll let you handle space material that is [I don't often use the word "literally," but when I do] LITERALLY older than dirt. Because it's older than the Earth.
Because the GPM satellite is already at Tanegashima Space Center in Japan. And if there is a crate of "GPM critical hardware" still lying around, well then, I THINK WE MIGHT HAVE A PROBLEM.