Day 9: The highly technical toothbrush tool

I went to the spacewalk briefing today, which talks about everything the astronauts (Tim and Tim) are going to do on Friday. One of the highlights of this is when Paul pulled out a modified toothbrush. It looks like a toothbrush wrapped in lots of tape. This is one of the highly sophisticated tools the astronauts could be using on their spacewalk.

A toothbrush. Let’s see that again.

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There you go folks! NASA made their astronauts a toothbrush to put in their spacewalk utility belt. I can’t get over it.

So, anyway, I went to the briefing, where I learned a lot about spacewalks. (You can watch it here! There’s a pretty nifty animation set up.)

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For example, one of the Tims (I forget which) is going to be threading a cable all over the space station, and this will probably take the longest amount of time out of the walk. Why? He’ll probably get caught on other cables and parts of the space station as he transverses over it!

Dan (far left) made a comment about it as he walked past my desk. It went along the lines of: “He’s going to get soooo caught.”

Oh! Question time: How does Mission Control tell astronauts apart on a spacewalk?

A: Each suit has a different colored stripe!

I know, I know that is incredibly basic. But I never thought about it before.

I also chatted with Paul (seen holding the toothbrush) afterwards. I wanted a better shot of the toothbrush. My first one is below.

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As you can see from the photo, I had not been prepared to take a picture of a toothbrush at a spacewalk briefing. The toothbrush does have a point. The bolts holding down the part the crew is reinstalling can sometimes get debris in them. The toothbrush will be used to clean out the debris.

In the morning, I went to an all-hands meeting. I found out a lot about NASA and their goals and plans for organization and saving money. It was super interesting (if at times a bit wordy).

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Then I also saw this great set of signs outside.

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“Mars Rover, Mars Rover, Send Interns Right Over. Request Yours Today!” I thought that was pretty humorous.

I also made a graphic that didn’t end up getting used on social media, so I’ll share it with you. I really like the combination of the pictures! They were all taken by Scott Kelly from the International Space Station. It includes some of the more traditional images from space, but also beautiful landscapes that look like a master artist painted them.

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P.S.  This was also Paul’s first spacewalk briefing. I think we bonded over that. Royce, sitting Paul, chimed in to let me know that Paul was not an intern. I don’t think they would let an intern talk during a live news conference.

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