Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Little "Beef" with "Chile"

I'm sure by now most of you have heard about/read about/watched the news about the trapped miners in Chile. And while it does, basically, suck to be stuck at the bottom of a mine, I was just happy to hear that they were found alive and unscathed. I was even ok with the conservative timeline of 4 months to drill those poor dudes out. In my head this translated to 4 months of card-playing, relaxing, BS-ing, and a nice payout once they reach the surface.


But then I heard something that just tilts my orbit.


The miners still don't know that the timeline to get them out extends to Christmas.


Are you kidding me?!?!?!?!


You are probably wondering why I am wasting this blog post on these poor, un-self-inflicted-ignorant, although completely blog-worthy miners. Well, as I see it, Chile is breaking one of the most fundamental rules of spaceflight: the astronauts need to know the situation. And similarly, the miners need to know the situation.


John Glenn brought the issue to light during his Mercury flight, when controllers feared his heat shield may be loose. And since his critical de-brief words for the men in NASA mission control, the "rule" has become the unconscious norm at NASA.




To bring it full circle, Chile is now asking NASA for advice on living in small spaces for extended periods of time. And personally, I think NASA should reply with advice on applying the fundamental and completely deserved right of knowing the situation.

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And on a side note...this will be the first installment in a series I am going to call, "Why Nerdy April Would Make a Great Astronaut (WNAWMAGA)".



#1: I'm good at living in small spaces for extended periods of time...remember that time I lived at space camp for 3 months in a room barely larger than the bunk beds?