Art, Creativity, NASASocial, Photographs, Photography, Weekly Photo Challenge

Photo Challenge: Grid

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Grid: So many grids contained within the vast Vehicle Assembly Building in Kennedy Space Center, Florida. The building is amazing!

To see other entries for the Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge, click here.

Architecture, Art, NASASocial, Photographs, Photography, Space

Standing Inside with My Jaw on the Ground

Many, many years ago, my friend was able to go inside the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. I was very jealous. If you’ve never seen this building in person, I’ll try to describe its gigantic proportions.

When you’re driving the 10-mile stretch to KSC, you start to see the VAB; it’s actually the first thing you see. Its head pops up over the horizon, it’s that big. I’ve been on bus tours before that drove by the VAB, but I’ve never been beside it, much less inside. But my dream finally came true, and I finally lost that green envy I’d been toting around for at least two decades now! During the #NASASocial for #SpaceX4, we socialites were given an inside look at the VAB, or as I like to call it, the “VLB,” meaning Very Large Building. XL! When we went inside, I felt my jaw drop to the ground: the VAB’s awesomeness is just indescribable.

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Look at the cars in front of this VLB, I wonder how many of these you could fit in that building? Quite a lot. The stripes on the United States flag are large enough for buses to drive across them. The NASA meatball (the logo) took over 600 gallons of paint.

More Interesting Facts

  • The VAB processed 13 Saturn V rockets for the Apollo space missions and then all of the Space Shuttle missions.
  • The VAB high bay doors are the largest in the world (456 feet tall) and take approximately 45 minutes to fully open or close.
  • The American flag took about 6,000 gallons of paint and is 209 feet high by 110 feet wide. The flag’s blue field is the size of an NBA regulation-size basketball court!
  • The flag’s stars are six (6) feet across; each stripe is 9 feet wide.
  • The logo on the VAB takes up 12,300 square feet.
  • The VAB covers eight acres!

So now for the really good stuff: the photographs!

NOTE: These photos do not show the absolute top of the building, you only see the top of this particular bay. Because workers were on the other side with that huge machine (which looks small in the photo, go figure!), we were not able to venture to that area. But I doubt you could see the real top even over there. Maybe one day I’ll get to see that side.

It truly was an honor to be inside the VAB and I hope to return one day in another #NASASocial. Who knows, maybe the #Orion launch in December. Toes crossed (can’t type  with crossed fingers)!

P.S. Notice the last photograph; this was once a shuttle bay.

Blogging, NASASocial, Photographs, Photography, Social Media, Space

Tricked Out Test Tube

Sheila Nielsen-Preiss, Principal Investigator for NASA’s Space Biology Project at Ames, holds her “tricked-out test tube” for the Micro-8 experiment to be held on the International Space Station. Sheila talked about how the experiments will investigate how spaceflight affects potentially infectious organisms during a NASA TV broadcast on September 19th at Kennedy Space Center. (That lucky me got to attend!) The yeast strain, Candida albicans (C. albicans), was launched on SpaceX’s Dragon cargo ship on September 21, 2014. Looking on is Ames scientist Sharmila Bhattacharya, who works with NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California. Sharmila is an investigator/scientist for Heart Effect Analysis Research Team conducting FLy Investigations and Experiments in Spaceflight (HEART FLIES). This is the first experiment to use the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, to study the effects of spaceflight on the structure and function of the heart. To read more about these fascinating experiments, read NASA’s article here.

The fruit flies and yeast strains have since been delivered to the International Space Station, along with a 3-D printer, and mice, among other experiments and supplies weighing 2.5 tons!

During their flight, the mice and flies developed multiple funny personas on Twitter, @astrofruitflies and @astromicerule, which both continue to make hilarious posts. Considering they brought in the Big Bang Theory TV show to the discussion, how could you not love these astro mice and fruit flies?!?

I made all of my posts during my trip to NASA during my #NASASocial event through Twitter. If you want to check out all of the fun, follow me on Twitter @whatisitpic. I had such a mind-blowing experience, I’m still in awe a week later. But I suppose that’s what happens when mind-blowing things are happening all around you!

NASASocial, Photographs, Photography, Social Media, Space

Space Chronicles: 3-D Printing in Space

During my visit to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center as a social media representative (aka “socialite”), I learned so much information that my brain felt like it would burst! (Well, no wonder, I was just coming from my software release, where I spent way too many hours in front of my laptop, so technically, my brain was already mush.) But I had the best time of my life, this was an experience in the top three! I was certainly in my element, around a bunch of space junkies, communication geeks, photographers, designers, and writers, my kind of peeps.

We all got to participate in NASA TV broadcasts, where the engineers, scientists, program managers, directors, etc. talked about the various research experiments that would take place on the International Space Station once SpaceX’s Dragon was attached. Out of all the experiments, the 3-D printing caught my attention the most. (This is what has saved my hubby from setting up his 3-D printer on our dining room table, btw.) The ability to print parts in space on demand is just mind blowing! Even though 3-D printing has been tested on the “Vomit Comet” it needs to be tested in micro-gravity, which is ideal at the ISS, right? NASA partnered with a company, Made In Space, to build this particular 3-D printer. All of the little white pieces you see in the photos were parts printed with this printer. Just imagine, if we had this capability during the Apollo 13 spaceflight, what the astronauts could have made to resolve their issues! In the first photo, Niki Werkheiser, NASA’s 3D Printing in Zero-G Project Manager, gets ready for her talk with media and social media on NASA TV.