Bao's weblog


Meandering thoughts of a Bay Area college student… be prepared for some bipolar vocabulary

Juliet, Alfa, Romeo, Golf, Oscar, November [That spells jargon]

So I’m going to warn you guys ahead of time, this post will either bore you out of your mind, or confuse the crap out of you, or some mixture of both, like a brain leeching cocktail. If you pull through… Mazel tov.

Everyone says new experiences are always worthwhile, no matter how amazing, devastating, or bittersweet it may be. From down to the most minute activity you’ve tried for the first time in your life to your first time experiencing a death of someone very close to you.

A few days ago, I had my first taste of astronaut ice cream, Neapolitan flavored! Amazing! That’s chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry ice cream all into one slice! That’s right! Slice! No need for it to be cold. Heck, it’s not even wet. Kind of crumbly and all. Just pop a piece into your mouth and saliva does the rest. I hope all of their food isn’t like this, b/c the ice cream gets unbearably dry and u’d wish u were smart enough to grab a cup of ice before opening it. But still… they eat this crap in space, and it’s healthy, convenient, and clean. I can see why the astronauts working in the ISS crave actual fruit.

I’ve always wanted to fly the shuttle. I don’t really give a damn about spacewalking in the space suit like many of the others in the profession. No, I want to actually have my hand on the joystick in the cockpit of the shuttle, sitting in front with the flight commander, giving coordinates such as oh-niner-five-five-niner, or saying something totally awesome like “Roger that control. This is Atlantis, go for OMS burn,” or “Copy control, we have SRB seperation.”

And YOU guys… have no idea what I even said huh? 😉 Well, I actually know what it all means and I’ve heard the shuttle pilots say all of that… just shows my interest in this kind of thing. Hell, give the crewmembers on a 747 flight food poisoning and I’ll give u a 5:10 chance I’ll be able to land the bird (no pressure of course) or at least make one hell of a copilot for the emergency pilot. Well, maybe not… but maybe yes!

This means like… all of the jargon that pilots communicate with to ATC (air traffic controller)

SOCAL approach, this is Flight 01, type Boeing 747-400, with information Tango, inbound on ILS Runway 28 Right for emergency landing, 5 miles out.”  Though I have a feeling I left out something.

747The actual landing…

No speed breaks below 1000 AGL, Flaps 30 (40 if short runway), extend landing gear, speed at 137 IAS, power to 55%-60%. Aim 1,000ft pass runway threshold and make sure it stays stationary outside cockpit window. When main landing gear is 15 feet above runway, initiate a flare with nose up approximately 3 degrees, set thrust to idle, do not hold airplane up for soft landing, make sure main wheels don’t fall short of runway. When wheels hit ground, extend spoilers, engage reverse thrust, engage autobreaking… disengage reverse thrust when IAS < 60 kts. Apply breaks until plane rolls to a complete stop in front of the red fire engines and ambulances.

And voila, I just saved 500 lives. Haha, I should fly for the President of the United States!

Actually, the autopilot should be able to take care of everything! Just twist the knobs, flip some switches… ATC will guide you through everything haha.

Well, I can do this all day would love to do this all day, but I got mountains to climb, sharks to kill, and college apps to conquer.

Cheers! Call me a nerd 😀 [Edit: If you actually understood those procedures and that ATC stuff, there’s a free lunch waiting for you]

And if you’re interested…

NASA takes regular ice cream and freeze-dry it (lyophilization) to remove the water from the ice cream. This works because it removes air pressure to a point where ice shifts from a solid to a gas (sublimation). So then the ice cream is placed in a vacuum chamber where the water crystallizes. Air pressure is lowered, creating a vacuum that forces air out of the chamber. Next heat is applied, vaporizing the ice. A freezing coil traps vaporized water. This continues for hours. And you’ll have your perfect ice cream… slice.


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