Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Day Twenty Four - Watch out for Rocket Fuel!

June 22nd

Today we got invited to join in on training at Astrotech for the building where we will move the spacecraft and fill them with propellant (our tour guide calls this 'commodity'). Before we entered the building he noted that there were four windsocks located on all four corners of the building. It seemed like this was an important piece of information, but I didn't understand why, and it wasn't explained. Huh.

Moving on:

The main fueling room. If you notice that square on the floor, those are drains so that if anything spills during fueling in the middle of the room, it will flow towards those drains. Of course, some of the 'commodity' will be things like liquid oxygen, which pretty much evaporates immediately. You can see the orange stain here where a spill had happened before.

Obviously you have to be able to get your vehicle inside the building to be fueled, and some vehicles are very large, so you must have a gigantic garage door. You can see the size here as illustrated by LeeAnne (and I just missed the top of the door, it goes on a few more feet).

In case you need a refresher on crane training :)

 Then we walked outside the building, and were directed to notice the emergency shower. This is for if anyone gets 'commodity' on them, they run outside and can shower here.

At this point there was discussion again about the location of the wind socks. So I finally asked "and why is that important?"

"So that if someone comes running out to use the shower, you can be upwind of them and not get it on you".

Ah ha. I, sometimes, am an idiot.


Added bonus:

Later that night I had a Google+ hangout with Matt and the kids. The kids were crying so in an effort to cheer them up, we added some fun in.