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   Undertoad  Tuesday May 27 03:22 PM

5/27/2003: Wise-ass astronaut

Hey! There's no call for this kind of thing!

That's astronaut Dale A. Gardner, and his sign refers to two satellites, Palapa B-2 and Westar 6 that they retrieved from orbit after their Payload Assist Modules (PAM) failed to fire. Apparently the satellites themselves are right there in the lower right corner, and so the image has been cropped to minimize the humor value.

azz  Tuesday May 27 05:49 PM

More background information

If, like me, you were thinking "that's got to be a Photoshop job", then you might be surprised...

The flight it was taken on was STS 51-A in November 1984; the mission summary gives more information. There's a page with more information about the image too. There's also a lot of other images from that mission (including some of the recovery of the first satellite) that I browsed around for a while before finding the right page; it appears that, like most people when given a camera, Shuttle astronauts tend to take a few very good pictures and a lot of uninteresting ones...

xoxoxoBruce  Tuesday May 27 09:21 PM

Wonder if that sign ended up on Ebay?

Dr. Zaius  Tuesday May 27 11:30 PM

Whew! I thought for a moment there NASA had decided to unload their three remaining shuttles.

It's amusing but it doesn't quite rank up there with Alan Shepard's putting game on the lunar links.

xoxoxoBruce  Wednesday May 28 08:53 AM

If, like me, you were thinking "that's got to be a Photoshop job",
This is a little off track but, I wonder how Adobe feels about Photoshop becoming synonymous with deception/fake/phoney?

dave  Wednesday May 28 09:24 AM

They probably don't care, because as long as people recognize Photoshop, they can afford cars that cost more than your house.

Undertoad  Wednesday May 28 10:51 AM

It's truly a marketer's dream for a brand to make it into standard usage (like "Kleenex" or "Xerox" or "Super-Size"). I'm sure they high-five every time they see it.

wolf  Wednesday May 28 11:19 AM

Most marketers hate it, actually.

When the brand becomes the generic the utility of the brand-naming is GONE.

You may say 'bandaids' but chances are you'll go and buy Curad or the house brand or the Cool Ones with SpongeBob SquarePants on 'em rather than REAL Johnson & Johnson Band-Aids.

While they can't stop common usage, many manufacturers will track and stop published uses (for example, mentions in novels or movies) that do not involve proper compensation for the use of the trademark/brandname.

tw  Thursday May 29 09:29 PM

Darn. I was expecting to see an astronaut mooning us (without using the real moon).

Beletseri  Friday May 30 09:44 AM

Well that would be interesting - How would you moon someone on the moon without losing way more than you wanted to vacuum?

quzah  Saturday May 31 01:37 AM

Originally posted by Beletseri
Well that would be interesting - How would you moon someone on the moon without losing way more than you wanted to vacuum?
Contortionist. Face plate. Enough said. Or, failing that, assuming they cannot actually put up the Golden Shield(TM), perhaps see-through space suits.


tw  Saturday May 31 10:51 PM

To moon in space probably first involves use of a Xerox machine.

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