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Up the gravity well… Thursday

Posted by James Dubois in L5.
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A quick note to all my friends and family. I passed my physical and will be making the journey to Liberty Station. I CANNOT WAIT.

The past few months have been hell on my body with all the tests. I’ve become a total gym rat, trying to build up my muscles and strengthen my bones before heading into space. Even with the rotational gravity, it’s good to get in shape just because the environment is so much different than it is on Earth (the gravity difference will be negligible, about .02g less than on the ground at sea level). I think I’ll be passing through the ISS so I will have plenty of time in zero-g. But after that it’s a “quick” jump over to Liberty.

It’s a little scary, even though I know I shouldn’t worry about it. But still, space! I get to live in space! From what people tell me, it’s a bit like living full time in an office building… sealed environment and all of that. But I’m really looking forward to checking out all the cool technology and processes that my work helped to create. I mean, schematics and blueprints and test models are all well and good but I’ll be able to actually WALK through some of the structures my team helped to design. I can’t wait to see the toilets. I know, that sounds weird. But you try designing a sanitation system for 10,000 people spinning a hundred miles up!

ID&E has enough clout and cash to warrant their own private shuttle, which is a godsend. Some of my fellow engineers had to jump through hoops to book passage through governmental channels. With the recent explosion in private and corporate orbital flight, it’s a lot easier (and safer too, which seems kinda counter-intuitive, but someone was telling me that all the data NASA and ESA has accumulated is being put to good use by a lot of smart, talented people). The Chinese government has also been extraordinarily open about its civilian space program, which helps immensely. ID&E’s Shanghai office has lots of engineers on Liberty so I’m sure I’ll return home with lots of new curse words. Too bad I didn’t get a change to fly out to China but this is the next best thing.

Someone water my plants while I’m away!

Take care, folks.

– Hersh

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