Normal me: Happy new year, folks. Out with the old and in with the new.
Artistic me: Let’s all make 2012 a beautiful and fantastic year, led by the ideals of freedom, beauty, truth, and love, shall we?
Apathetic me: Bloody bohemian romantic hipster, you.
Artistic me: At least I can be happy.
Apathetic me: Meh.
Sports Fanatic me: Let 2012 please bring Sid back to the ice for the Pens. They could really use him.
Nerdy me: And let the new year bring continued academic successes.
Normal me: Are we done yet?
Artistic me: Yeah, pretty much.
Normal me: Okay, so what are we really here for?
Nerdy me: The mooooooooon.
Artistic me: Are you okay?
Nerdy me: (a la Bill Cosby’s drinking skit) oph khorsh ahm ohkay…
Apathetic me: All you had was sparkling grape juice.
Nerdy me: Haven’t you ever heard of punch drunk love? With the moon?
Apathetic me: This extraterrestrial fascination of yours really needs to be looked into.
Normal me: Killjoy.
Apathetic me: That’s me.
Normal me: Anyway, Nerdy, you were saying?
Nerdy me: Oh, yes, of course. So, very few of you who read this (of the very few who read this at all) will know that during this past semester, James was part of a group in Aersp 401A…
Normal me: That’s his Space Mission Design course.
Nerdy me: …whose goal it was to develop the plans and requirements for posting a permanent manned settlement on the moon.
Sports Fanatic me: Sounds like a hefty order.
Apathetic me: Sounds like an impossible order.
Nerdy me: T’was. To the heftiness…
Sports Fanatic me: *chants HEFTY HEFTY HEFTY*
Nerdy me: Stop that. Not the impossible…ness. Ahem. Anyway, James managed to really come into his element when the team finally got to the design part of the course. Not that they were really supposed to design the actual equipment and modules, per se, but he did it anyway, as well as corporate logos and patches for the team, an example of which you see……… here.
Nerdy me: Each team needed a name, and of course James is fairly good with backronyms. He proposed a few, and this is the one that got the most support. It also stands for “Clearly Everything Looks Enormously Stupid To Intelligent Aerospacers.”
Artistic me: Two of his other proposals were rather interesting too. One hearkened back to his high school days with…
Of course, that last one is a joke… it comes from a project his team had to do involving making paper towers. Theirs was crooked and unstable, so they called it the Tower of North Korea…
Apathetic me: How fitting.
Artistic me: Thank you, they thought so too.
Nerdy me: Anyway, where were we… oh yes, designing components for the base. Here’s where it gets interesting. The initial plans for the base involved landing temporary surface modules until a permanent underground base could be constructed. First of all would be a communications and command module. This would provide communications with Earth as well as excavation modules and other base facilities. Here’s the first iteration based off of James’ teammate’s sketches, done really quickly, cheaply, and amateurishly. …how in heaven’s name did that register as a word?
Artistic me: That makes me shudder.
Nerdy me: Fret not, it gets better. He eventually decided to go back and redesign it completely with more attention to detail and more realistic features. Here are the results:
And in action:
Sports fanatic me: Cool. Much better.
Nerdy me: Yes, but not perfect. He’s still tweaking it further. For one thing, he neglected two tanks for the other half of the hypergolic fuel combination used in the reaction control system thrusters. You see, the thrusters use nitrogen tetroxide and hydrazine, a hypergolic combination. This means that the instant they come into contact, they combust. Now, James wanted to simplify the design, but forgot to include separate tanks for the fuel components. in the next revision, he changed more materials, added details, and included those missing tanks.
Normal me: That’s really shaping up into something NASA could actually launch…
Nerdy me: Yes indeed, but there’s still more work to be done on it in his spare time, such as getting rid of those horrendous soup platters on the top and refining the solar panels, not to mention interior design.
Artistic me: Aw yeah.
Nerdy me: Good luck with that one. But anyway, that is the comm module as it stands right now. To say the least, it blew anything the other groups did out of the water. Of course, James wasn’t done there. But that can be saved for another time.
Normal me: Indeed.
Normal me: Hey, do you know what’s really remarkable?
Sports Fanatic me: Pittsburgh sports teams?
Normal me: Er…sure? I mean to say that this is the first time we’ve put up two posts within a week’s time since February.
Artistic me: That is remarkable…
Apathetic me: James is just inattentive.
Normal me: Oh hush.
Nerdy me: Does this mean I get the last word? Oh, wonderful, well everyone, we hope to see you again within another week’s time, possibly with more airplanes, or Star Trek, or moon base stuff. Happy New Year, ta ta for now.
Artistic me: Word.