Jump to content

James Webb Countdown has started!


Recommended Posts

I worked at a couple NASA facilities.  At Goddard, they gave us a very cool personal tour.  I had to go through the protocol to work in a clean-room area,  which was way more involved than you can imagine.

The tour-guy said the satellite workers had a much much stricter clean-protocol, then what we went through.  Every millimeter of every component was microscopically inspected before it went into orbit.

When they came back,  they went through another microscopic inspection.

The most commonly found FOD (foreign object debris) on everything that came back from space?

Cat hairs.

  • Haha 1
  • Sad 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 minutes ago, Batesmotel said:

Were they from pre launch or picked up in reentry atmosphere?

I dunno.  They weren't found on the way out.

There must be a reason that the Egyptians had a firm grasp of astronomy, built structures that couldn't be built,  and also worshiped cats.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Installing our equipment,  we had overseers watching our every movement.  The one rotating shaft, in our stuff, had exposed grease,  which was almost a show stopper.

We cleaned it to their recommendations.  We had to show our latex-gloved hands every few minutes.  Then the watcher-guy would just pinch the bridge of his nose, wince,  and put another pair of gloves over my gloves.  By the end of the day,  I had 15 pairs of gloves on.  Pillsbury dough-boy hands.  Fat sausage-fingers.

Before anyone was watching us,  while we were moving stuff in,  my partner put a 1" slash into the room's filter-wall,  with a hand-truck handle.  He said, "Sht!", and spit on it,  and made it look unscathed.

It took a couple days,  but they have gas analyzers in the filter-exit hallway.  They knew there was a leak in one of the rooms.  They found it, alright.  They almost refused to pay us.

They also had to benchmark their exit-analyzers because our grease-air-vapor was overly measurable.  They said it would take weeks,  or months, to go away.

Because we were just a bunch of grease-monkeys.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

That machine had two chambers.  A pre-chamber and a final-chamber. 

The pre- (on the right) was always opened and closed.  It just had to get close.

The final-  took a month to pump down.  We could measure each molecule flying around.  You couldn't pump them out, any more, by then,   you just had to wait for them to bounce around and get frozen-stuck.  We could make a cleaner vacuum than outer space.

So it's best to just introduce gobs of grease that you got from Pep-Boys, and punch holes in the wall.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I went to the interview with my sharpest new haircut,  a dapper new suit, a painful shave,  and my metal Samsonite briefcase.  Spiffy, I was.  And well qualified.

And then I pulled up to a dilapidated farmhouse,  collapsing upon itself.

The guy I interviewed with had a ragged leather baseball cap,  torn jeans, and hair down to his ass.

He was the most intelligent person I've ever met.

He had two and a-half degrees (physics, chemistry, and math, I think) (he said math bored him, so he quit).

And he grew up a farm boy,  so he had common sense built in.

He said they laughed at me later,  but I was following the correct hiring-template,  and he liked that.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We interviewed at the kitchen table,  with a 4' x 4' hole in the floor,  into the basement.

He said, "Yeah. Tom let a still overheat.  Good thing the blast went down,  instead of up."

"OK.  You're hired.  So... fix the floor.  Or just get some plywood from back there, and cover it up."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We sold some equipment to a guy from China.  Shanghai-Rich.

He wanted to check out our operation first.

He pulled up in a huge limo,  with three Shanghai-worthy hookers, in their 10" heels and kimonos........

Into our 1' deep mud driveway.  At a farmhouse,  collapsing upon itself.

He came in.  The limo immediately took the girls away.

This was a $1 million gig.  If the guy had wanted a new, good, one,  it would have cost 20X.

So he was in.

We offered him lunch.  Asked for his preferences (because we weren't sure of his culture).

Whiskey and hamburgers.  That's what he wanted.


We've got that!

We went to the redneck joint down the hill, and sealed the deal.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We'd have a new piece of refurbished equipment (someone already paid for it) up and running,  all pumped down,  for two weeks,  and Roger would come out and look at the gas analyzer and say, "Nope. No."  (just looking at all the jagged-colored graphs running across it), "Uh.  There's a dead cricket or cockroach in there.  Find it."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I came in one morning,  and Roger had, like, five whiteboards (I don't even know where five whiteboards came from) all filled up like Good Will Hunting.

He was raving, "I told him!  I told him it wouldn't work!"

Some customer hated what we sold him.

So, the customer could get his money back,  as soon as he could disprove Roger's calculations.  Or we'll just sell him the right stuff.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Please Donate To TBS

    Please donate to TBS.
    Your support is needed and it is greatly appreciated.
  • Create New...