Re: Pygmies In Space

Date: Sat Feb 17 2001 - 05:19:12 MST

Talk of the size of human space explorers brings to mind something I saw a
couple of days ago. Space geek that I am, I had NASA TV on in my office
(through the T-1 - yumm) and caught the live video of the STS-102/Expedition
Two crew photo-op at the Cape. The PAO had the two crews all line up for the
press and I was really struck by how TINY the Expedition Two crew are,
especially Alpha's second commander, Yuri Usachev. When he was standing next
to Discovery's skipper for the ferry flight, James D. Wetherbee, Usachev
looked downright petite. Then the other two E-2 crew members, Susan Helms
and James Voss lined up with Usachev and you could tell all three are all
probably under 5'7". Given current costs for pounds-to-station, I wonder
what the dollar savings are in both crew weight and food from picking such
small folks.

At least I have an excuse for not being an astronaut . . .

BTW, Atlantis got some awesome shots of Alpha as it pulled away yesterday:

This one in particular is great (Alpha over the US Left Coast):

Alpha is getting BIG.

Final astronaut groupie note - check out Susan Helm's bio:

If you made up a character like her in a SF story, you'd be criticized for
creating unrealistic people! And, Spike, she's SHORT.

       Greg Burch <>----<>
      Attorney ::: Vice President, Extropy Institute ::: Wilderness Guide -or-
                                           ICQ # 61112550
        "We never stop investigating. We are never satisfied that we know
        enough to get by. Every question we answer leads on to another
       question. This has become the greatest survival trick of our species."
                                          -- Desmond Morris

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