Y’know? You can find some amazing things in the NASA gift shop.
How about a replica of the International Space Station Destiny Module? Of course the price is a little steep, and at nearly 20,000 pounds it might not be something you’d want in your upper-level apartment. But still, how cool is that?
Yeah, but at $1.6 mil, that’s like eight trips on VirginGalactic. If I had that kind of cash to blow, I’d be flying, not tinkering around in a giant tube on Earth, ya know? (Still pretty cool, though.)
There’s a link to a .pdf document at the bottom of that page, to Wingless Flight: The Lifting Body Story. I downloaded that book (200-and-some pages) years ago, planning to print it off on photo paper. Beautiful colour photos! Unfortunately, the file is on the hard drive I can’t get to (yet). So the fiasco began…
I clicked to open the file. As I said, it’s huge. 13.4 meg. It took over an hour to download with my dial-up. Finally it was finished; but instead of Adobe Acrobat opening up, I got the ‘Open with…’ dialog box! Seems my new OS lacks Acrobat Reader. And since I ‘opened’ the file instead of ‘downloading’ it, I couldn’t save it for later. :smack: I had to download Acrobat. That took an hour and a quarter. Okay, I’ll install Acrobat, see the book, and save it to disc. Nope. Gotta restart the computer to install Acrobat. Aiyiyi. I went back to download the file again. I guess it was already in cache, so I got my icon immediately. I clicked on it. I looked at the first three or four pages, and all but the first were blank. Problem with the download?
But wait! My PowerBook has a DVD writer! I can download the file on the Mac, then write it onto a CD and put it on the PC for printing! Another hour-plus, while the file downloaded onto the laptop. Finally, I opened the file using whatever it is Apple uses for Acrobat.
And now… The punchline!
The second, third, and (I think) fourth pages were blank. But Apple’s programme has a preview window that shows several pages. Turns out that, like most books, there are pages that are intentionally blank. :smack:
And there was another problem. I’d noticed that the first page was a little off-kilter. The original file I’d downloaded years ago was either a transcription with very nice colour photos, or it was a very well-done scan of the book. At the time, I thought it was an e-published work instead of an actual book. The new download was a poor-quality scan. The B&W images were dark, as if they were third- or fourth-generation photocopies. Bugger!
Since the original download (which, as I said, I can’t get to) was from NASA, I wend to the NASA Dryden site to see if I could find it. I wasn’t hopeful, since the .pdf I’d just downloaded was from NASA (although from the Technical Server, and not from Dryden) and I suspected that the original .pdf was no longer available. I did a search on ‘Wingless Flight’, using the ‘find all these words’ option. 60 returns from Dryden. I added ‘.pdf’ to narrow it down a little. Instead, I now got 114,000 returns (or some other large number). Back to the original search. I started reading the previews, and there it was. The book is available in print from the University of Kentucky. Eighteen bucks in paperback.
Now, a few paragraphs ago you may have thought of a problem with my printing off of 200-plus colour pages. How many printer cartridges would that take? How much is the photo-quality printer paper? Probably more than the $22 (with shipping) it would take to just buy the book. I only dread receiving an e-mail saying, ‘Sorry. That title is no longer available.’ :eek:
Incidentally, the M2-F1 is on display at NASA Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards AFB. Two tours daily, weekdays, excluding holidays. I took the tour once and saw it. They also have the surviving ‘Flying Bedstead’ LEM trainer. Not really a great tour unless you’re an aviation geek like I am, but how often do you get a chance to walk through the same doors ‘Major Nelson’ did on I Dream Of Jeannie?