Sunday, September 28, 2008

so much for relaxation...

Well, despite the ongoing litany of safety stand-downs, holidays, and normal days off enjoyed by most of the station, I'm still here working without respite. Sunday 9/28 was my 250th consecutive day at work, and it was a productive one, which they might as well be if you have to be at work. I guess the "highlight" of the day was trying to remove some sensors from the roof, but being unable to do so because the humidity from inside the station had worked its way up into the joints around the sensor assembly and frozen it in place. So, there's yet another thing that's going to take a lot longer than originally anticipated.

We're only a few weeks away from seeing the Basler and Twin Otter aircraft transit down to the Ice for the summer season. Once they arrive we'll begin to get folks deploying to Pole sometime (likely) in the third week of October.

We had our time change yesterday morning, springing forward one hour. The lost hour was not appreciated, particularly here where the sun won't set until a few months into the next calendar year. Who needs to save when the resource is effectively endless?

Sunday Select Cinema's showing of Jurassic Park was fun last night. I ended up watching the jungle in the background about as much as the action. The movie definitely isn't high art, but it really is a good escapist story that has special effects that stand up pretty well, considering the movie is pushing 16 years of age and was one of the first movies to really get the computer graphics done right. I consider JP and Terminator 2: Judgment Day to be major landmarks heralding the age of computer graphics in cinema.

2 comments:

lillylyle said...

Hi Ethan,
That's an interesting problem, the sensors on the roof freezing like that. How will you solve it? Do you heat them in some way to get them loose, or do you use some chemical means to melt the ice? It strikes me that it is the kind of thing that might happen to sensors on the outside of the space station. I wonder if the problem would have to be approached in a different way in a vacuum...

EthanG said...

I got the sensors out by turning a ventilator fan back on for the roof box and routinely pointing a heat gun at the air intake. I gave it a few days to thaw, and with a little gentle help from a pry bar it came loose. Hopefully there isn't this much moisture/vapor leakage from the ISS. That would be very bad. Plus, things there in orbit get pretty hot when in the sunlight. But, that ol' vacuum does create its own share of difficulties.