ISS Mailbag Episode 2 – Part 5 – The Games People Play, Not Like in the Movies


>>It’s Astro Pettit.>>And I’m Astro Mike. And this is the ISS Mailbag. [ Music ]>>My eight yo son.>>Maybe it’s this kid.>>My 8 yo son asks:
Do you play any kind of games, video or [inaudible]?>>”YO” means “year old”
apparently — eight-year-old. I’m sorry, what was
the question?>>Do you place any
kind of games?>>Yeah.>>When you have time in space,
when you have extra time. You play some games, didn’t you?>>When experiments are done.>>You’re a chess player. You play chess. I know that, right?>>I play chess.>>What else? Is that your first time? You made your own chess set. Didn’t you make your own,
like, zero-gravity chess set?>>Yeah. I made a zero-gravity
chess set and flew it up in my personal kit. And I was playing various games. We play by email, okay?>>The chess?>>Yeah, the chess. So I’d make maybe one
to two moves a week. So it’s a pretty slow moving.>>Seems like that’s
kind of slow. I mean, I know chess is slow. I’m more of a checkers
kind of guy. But chess is pretty — but
that’s really slow chess.>>Yeah, that’s really
slow chess.>>It’s like a little
timer and you make a move. And you hit the timer.>>In this case,
the timer would have to be a timer measured in days. But anyway, do we do
video or nonvideo? We’ve got the capability to do
that if you have an interest; however, most crew members —
if you’ve got off-duty time — you have this amazing collection
of windows called “the cupola” to look out and all kinds
of cameras to take pictures of Earth and surrounding Earth. So you need to decide “Do I play
video games, which I could do on Earth, or do I do something
in space with my off-duty time that you totally cannot
do when you’re on Earth?” And I gravitated towards
things that I could only do on space station in
my off-duty time. And I’ll watch movies, and play
games, and things like that, and sleep after I
get back to Earth.>>I agree. Looking out the window
is the best. But the guys on the
station now have this game. It was a video game, like,
you’re shooting things and you’re trying to get
things through a hoop or something in the
space station. So these guys, our friends
— Mike, Koichi, and Rick — recreated this game in space
where they put a drill. And they got — this is
the use of a power tool. They put a hoop on
the end of a drill. And they had the thing
moving like this. They set up — I guess they must
use a TheraBand or something — they set up some kind of
bungee kind of catapult. So yeah, so like a
slingshot, right? So I think they were using
— had some kind of — I don’t think it’s a ball of
socks or what they were using, but they had — so as
this thing’s rotating.>>Oh, they try to hit it?>>You get it through the hoop.>>Oh, wow.>>Get this it through the hoop. So they set up that game.>>They don’t have enough to do.>>And that’s what
I think that is.>>Human beings are
naturally curious. And you can’t work all the time. And when you do have some
moments of off-duty time, you need to be allowed to do whatever the
environment will offer.>>Playing a little game as a group is kind
of a fun thing to do.>>Yeah. It’s okay to do that.>>[Inaudible] has
another question, it’s: How does docking work, and
what comes next after contact? So there’s different
ways to dock. But we’re talking about
getting the pressurized volumes connected or pressurized.>>Let’s talk about a
visiting vehicle coming to space station and
it’s got to dock.>>So what we used
to do when we had — like, when Hubble and
what you do with some of your visiting vehicles, you
grab them with the robot arm. And on Hubble, we didn’t have
a pressurized connection, so we would just put it on a
servicing platform and lock it down with latches and
then attach power. So it’s kind of a very easy,
like, [inaudible] position and installing latches. But we didn’t have a connection,
a pressurized connection so we could float in there. So you [multiple speakers]
was a different experience. You might still grab
it with the robot arm or you might have an
automatic docking system. And then what happens once you
get to the [multiple speaker]?>>Okay. Once you actually
get the surfaces together, there’s either clamps or bolts
that are driven by motors. And the clamps are like
hooks, and they go [inaudible] and then they grab like that
all the way around this hatch.>>They make that noise, too. Even though you can’t
hear it in space.>>Or you have a bolt
that is driven by a motor. And you drive bolts in
through the docking ring. And there are seals
— usually two seals. And then once we’re
all bolted together, then we do pressure checks. We even do a pressure check
between the two seals.>>This is important. You don’t want any leaks.>>Because one of the
seals might be leaking. And you want to see it
from inside station. But if you have a means
of measuring the pressure between the two seals,
then you can tell if one of the seals isn’t
sealing correctly.>>And this is a big
deal because you have to keep your pressure — your atmosphere inside of
your spacecraft — intact.>>Oh, you do. Yeah.>>Because that’s
what’s keeping you alive.>>And a small leek
over many months — say you have a Soyuz
spacecraft docked to station. It’s going to be docked
there for six months. And if it had just
a little tiny leak, you might be leaking effectively
hundreds of kilograms of air overboard
that you have to make up with another vehicle
bringing it from Earth.>>So this is a big deal.>>So this is a big deal. That’s why you want it make sure
you have very slow leak rates when two vehicles come together.>>And I’m kind of amazed at how often those
burning mechanisms are used over and over. You open and close, and open
and close, and open and closing.>>And seldom do we have
any kind of failure.>>Yeah. So.>>It’s an amazing piece of
engineering that is very robust and it works really,
really well.>>This isn’t like
opening a garage door and putting a car away because
you’re making a connection. You’re really adding
onto your spaceship, and you cannot have a leak
between that interface. And generally, when you
tend to use things over and over again, they wear out.>>That’s right.>>But these things have
been very, very reliable.>>Both the Russian
docking systems and the NASA docking systems,
and the ones made by JAXA and by ESA, these things
have been incredibly robust.>>How long did the supply ships
— he said Soyuz, of course, is six months —
what about Progress?>>Progress is about
three or four months.>>Three or four months.>>ATV is three or four months. HTV is maybe two months.>>What about the American ones?>>Dragon is about a month;
Cygnus is about a month.>>So Don, that wraps
up this next — we’ve had a bunch of
mailbag episodes here based on another round of
questions that we got.>>Good questions.>>And now our editors
have gotten around to finishing
all the editing and we’re out of questions.>>So we’re going to have
to do this again sometime.>>So stay tuned out there. We’re going to send
out another note. We’ll probably do this sometime
soon hopefully where we’re going to solicit more questions
from you. But these are excellent
questions.>>For the ISS Mailbag.>>For the ISS Mailbag.

10 comments

  1. I cannot believe they answered my question! Thank you very much, terima kasih astro Mike and Don πŸ™‚ I am so thrilled, gotta tell this to my physics teacher. Cheers from Indonesia πŸ˜€

  2. russians love slingshots – it's a shame that they allow putin to hate america so much to prohibit cosmonauts from playing space slingshot

  3. 2:40 This is amazing! Why didn't I see this footage yet? I am following the activities on the ISS quite closely and it is always "Astronaut discussing life in space with students" or something like that, with same questions every time… So, "boring" stuff they show, but entertaining stuff they don't. What gives, NASA?

  4. β€œEven though you can’t hear it in space β€œ
    Lol yeah you guys keep saying that yet in your moon landing videos you can hear sounds. Fuck outta here quit with the lying bulllshit
    A lot of people are waking up to this fuckery

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