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NASA Space

Astronaut Loses Tools While Performing an EVA 445

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the only-human dept.
tpheiska writes "NASA press release states that 'At approx. 3:33 p.m. EST, Piper reported that one of the Braycote lubrication guns had released grease into her toolbag. As she was cleaning the bag and wiping the tools and equipment inside, the bag floated away. Another bag carrying identical equipment is now being shared by Piper and Bowen.' Luckily they had a spare."
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Astronaut Loses Tools While Performing an EVA

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  • I was just wondering (Score:5, Interesting)

    by black_lbi (1107229) on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @10:34AM (#25816949)
    Why isn't the tools bag somehow linked to the suit? with a strap or something ...
    • by Cthefuture (665326) on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @10:36AM (#25816995)

      I was thinking the same thing. I mean it's not uncommon to use a tether on your bag while on Earth. It would make even more sense in space.

      • by Konster (252488) on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @11:18AM (#25817701)

        Except they are not on Earth.

        You don't want a tether on a bag full of stuff in orbit because it can act in pretty unpredictable ways, flailing about and risking the life of the person that's holding the bag is the first consideration. Guys, this isn't changing the oil on your car. A stray object can damage any one of the many couplings on the suit and rendering that suit inoperable very quickly. Bad news if you happen to be that person inside the suit at that time. Failure on Earth means you pick up the wrench and go back at it. Failure up there is a dead person on a mission with a multiples of billions of dollars pricetag hung off to the side.

        Further, they are trained on instrument loss...tools floating off, et cetera. Again, this is not Earth wherein you can grasp around with complete impunity looking for whatever tool that just spun out on the garage floor. Space walkers especially are trained far more on what they cannot do than what they can do. They can reach out very slowly to try and recover something that is drifting off, but any large effort means that they may also join that tool bag on its long, lonely orbit around the Earth. In the small and large scheme of things, an astronaut is of far more value than a wrench or any multitudes thereof.

        Also, yes, NASA knows a little bit about redundancy and especially so on space walks.

        Give our astronauts a bit of credit here. Tough job. Worst pay on the planet (or near it) for the risk. Awesome view, but colossal vertigo.

        A bit of trivia: space walker's microphones are muted for the first 30 seconds of their first space walk. Reason is this: in space, no one can hear you scream. And with the mic off, neither can Houston.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          Unless the astronaut imparted enough force into the object to either give it escape velocity or cause it to reenter the atmosphere, shouldn't she (in theory) just be able to wait the 90 or so minutes till the next orbit and grab it when the two orbits intersect?

          There's always the chance the object will interact with another NEO and not come back, but if no other force acts on it, it should just intersect orbits on the next revolution since it seems like very little force was imparted to the object to cha
          • by cowscows (103644) on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @11:55AM (#25818359) Journal

            If you let go of an object while in orbit, it doesn't just hover in that exact spot over the earth and wait for you to come back around. If it did, then the shuttle/ISS would likely collide with that object at a very high speed and it'd be game over. I'm not sure if that's what you're implying, but it certainly doesn't work that way

            The tool bag or whatever is orbiting the earth at the same speed as the astronaut. If I was that astronaut and I lightly pushed my tool bag away, it would mostly continue in the same orbit that it and I had before, plus it would have a small bit of momentum in whatever direction I shoved it. If I only pushed it lightly, then relative to me it would only be moving away very slowly. If it's moving away from me at one mile per hour, then after a 90 minute orbit, then it would be a mile and a half away from me, still moving away at that same speed.

            I guess theoretically, if you ignore any sort of air resistance causing orbital decay, if you shoved the toolbag in a direction that didn't change the altitude of the bag in relation to the earth, then it might eventually your path again, but it's not likely to happen.

            • by tom17 (659054) on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @12:12PM (#25818643) Homepage

              I think the original poster may be correct on this one.

              He was not implying that the object would stay still, rather that after the 'shove', the object would now be in a different orbit. The two orbits initially intersect at the point that the 'shove' finishes and no more force has been exerted in changing it's orbit.

              Now picture two orbital paths around the planet, but one is at a slightly different angle to the other. They intersect at 2 points, 180 degrees apart. Therefore, the object would stop moving away, relative to you, after 1/4 an orbit. After half an orbit, the orbits would intersect again and you could pick up the spanner.

              This, of course assumes that the 'shove' only had a lateral (left/right) component. Any component of force that was up,down, forwards or backwards relative to the initial direction of traffic would complicate that a lot and I do not know how to "in my head" work that out.

              The chances of *only* giving the tool a force in the correct plane is, however, pretty unlikely, so the spanner is likely lost for sure.

              Tom...

              • Agree. The two orbits will continue to intersect if it's all in physics-land and everything is working on the same plane etc. This was, in fact, the central premise and punchline to an Arthur C Clarke short story called Jupiter V, it's very good and I recommend it. There you go, I must be right, fiction agrees with me.
            • by Deadstick (535032) on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @12:47PM (#25819307)
              If you're in orbit and you push an object away, you and the object are now in two orbits that intersect at the point of departure. In principle, both of you will pass through the same point the next time round, but not necessarily at the same time.

              For example, if you push the object backward along the flight path, it will now have a slightly lower velocity which will take it to a lower altitude on the other side of the earth, and then back up to your altitude. But that orbit will have a shorter period, so by the time you get back to the start point, the object will have been and gone.

              Also, at the altitudes where the Shuttle flies, you're not truly out of the atmosphere...you're still hitting gas molecules from time to time, and every impact takes a tiny bit of energy out of your orbit, which ever-so-slowly brings it downward; that's why low-orbiting satellites don't stay up terribly long. When you eject an object backwards and lower its orbit, it will dip a little deeper into the atmosphere and incur a tiny bit more drag than you do -- which will prevent it ever getting back up to your height again. When a newly-launched satellite deploys its various antennas and stuff, it often has to eject various covers that protected them during launch, and it ejects them back along the flight path for precisely that reason.

              rj

        • by Fëanáro (130986) on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @11:49AM (#25818239)

          A bit of trivia: space walker's microphones are muted for the first 30 seconds of their first space walk. Reason is this: in space, no one can hear you scream. And with the mic off, neither can Houston.

          [[citation needed]]

          Being unable to call for help if something goes wrong sounds like a major danger, no way nasa would do this.

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by Anonymous Coward
            This is why, if you're a carnivorous spacemonster attached to the hull of a spaceship, it's important to eat the first emerging astronaut within thirty seconds of them emerging from the airlock.

            You get bonus points and extra helpings. They send out a second astronaut to see what happened to the first, and then a third to see what happened to the second...

        • by sam_paris (919837) on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @12:12PM (#25818635)
          1) This is a small bag of tools we're talking about, not a giant ACME anvil. Having a bag tethered to you is not suddenly going to mean chaos and carnage. Besides, it could be strapped to the spacesuit in such a way that it wouldn't be flailing about.

          2) The astronaut is not going to go flying off into space, as you suggested. 99.99% of space-walks are tethered (ie attached to the shuttle, space station etc)

          3) As another commenter says below. I would like to see where Nasa says they mute the microphones. What if there was a problem in that period of time? Something which could potentially risk the entire mission, but which could be avoided by getting information from ground control?
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by geobeck (924637)

          You don't want a tether on a bag full of stuff in orbit because it can act in pretty unpredictable ways...

          That's why you attach it with Velcro. Astronauts use Velcro quite a lot to attach small pouches to them while inside the ISS. It would seem to make sense to do the same thing outside.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by philspear (1142299)

          Guys, this isn't changing the oil on your car.

          They actually were changing the oil on my car, which just so happens to be in space, you insensitive clod!

        • by bedammit (678849) on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @01:14PM (#25819807)
          Having worked at NASA... I'd like to clarify. There are definitely difficulties when items are tethered, to a space suit or a vehicle while in space, however these are details which are resolved. Astronauts use an MMWS (modified mini-workstation tool stowage) caddy. This keeps tools from floating away as well as has tethers. You can see an image of the hooks used here. http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/images/content/122027main_hooks.jpg [nasa.gov] Additionally, You can see a repair bag here. http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/images/content/122016main_crack_repair_bag.jpg [nasa.gov] Note the loops and elastic bands. This is how tools are contained in a repair bag. The way the bag was lost was when astronaut Piper was pulling items out of the crew air lock bag. While searching the bag the tool bag (which was in side the larger bag) floated up and out and she lost control of it. It then floated away. I may have been missed when transferring items. In the video the bag lost looks like an MMWS. Which is sorta like a utility belt. Things like this happen... Fault or no fault.. BeDammit
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Frnknstn (663642)

          So what you are saying is NASA needs to drop the ego and outfit all the astronauts with fanny packs?

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by paazin (719486)
      Or Velcro(tm) the space-age adhesive!
    • by ILikeRed (141848) on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @10:53AM (#25817331) Journal
      The rope came undone. What they need is a spacesuit with a magnetic grappling gun built into the arm of the suit to grab things like this before they float too far away. (Yes, like the Samus suit [samuscentral.com] - who would not want to see that in space?)
      • by theaveng (1243528)

        Well now that the tools are lost, I'm curious to know - will they burn-up in the atmosphere? Maybe someone's house will get hit by a ball of molten steel a few months from now.

        • Well now that the tools are lost, I'm curious to know - will they burn-up in the atmosphere? Maybe someone's house will get hit by a ball of molten steel a few months from now.

          Eventually they'll deorbit and burn up, but probably not for a while. The tools were in a stable orbit when they were dropped and they weren't thrown very hard (just enough so they were out of reach by the time it was noticed). It takes quite a bit more delta-v than that to deorbit.

          • by vlm (69642) on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @12:26PM (#25818939)

            Eventually they'll deorbit and burn up, but probably not for a while. The tools were in a stable orbit when they were dropped and they weren't thrown very hard (just enough so they were out of reach by the time it was noticed). It takes quite a bit more delta-v than that to deorbit.

            Air resistance will get it in a couple weeks at most.

            Something the size and density of a space suit takes about six weeks to deorbit due to air resistance at the ISS altitude.

            It's an interesting thing to consider, will the much smaller tool bag with its vastly inferior surface area to volume ratio compensate for the (probably) higher density of the tool bag? It is smaller, so it should deorbit much faster because it has much more surface are per volume thus more air drag. On the other hand, the metal tools in the bag are probably somewhat denser than an old space suit.

            The ISS has about a pound of force from air resistance, roughly. The toolbag has probably a thousandth the surface area, but probably only a millionth the weight. So it'll probably deorbit about a thousand times faster than the ISS. I am guessing this guess is only accurate to maybe two orders of magnitude.

            I'm heard that a hot air balloon (just the fabric canopy) would deorbit in about a revolution due to air resistance, whereas a steel I-beam, pointy end forward (good luck due to gravity gradient stabilization) would not deorbit for decades. That claim that I heard is probably off by even more orders of magnitude.

            See link below about the suitsat launched from the station, pictures, how long it lasted, etc.

            http://www.amsat.org/amsat-new/articles/SuitSat/ [amsat.org]

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by Muad'Dave (255648)

              How about the 'Project Westford' needles [wikipedia.org]?

              ...a ring of 4.8x10^8 copper dipole antennas [in the shape of] 1.78cm long and ... 17.8um diameter needles was placed in orbit...

              They were supposed to de-orbit in 3 years from launch (in 1966) - guess what? They're _still_ re-entering! I suspect that Stevenson and the military told the rest of the world what they wanted to hear. 480 million needles! Sheesh!

    • Strapon tools? I can see why they don't want to go that direction...

  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@nOspAM.gmail.com> on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @10:34AM (#25816955) Journal

    As she was cleaning the bag and wiping the tools and equipment inside, the bag floated away. Another bag carrying identical equipment is now being shared by Piper and Bowen.

    Do we have any humorous black & white silent space footage of this skit?

    Seriously, NASA's gotta come up with financing somehow ... add some hokey 1920's ragtime music to the it, speed it up just unnaturally fast and they just might be sitting on a viral video here!

    Come on, it practically writes itself:

    Setting: Exterior of shuttle.
    A lanky beanpole Bowen discovers that grease has been dispensed into her bag. Not wanting to alert the portly Bowen and face his wrath, she quickly empties the contents of the bag to wipe them off. As she cleans each tool, she sets it back down on the shuttle but soon realizes that they merely float back up. She rotates through each tool, setting it back on the shuttle but forgets about the bag! Bowen hears the heavy breathing in his earpiece and turns around in time to see the bag floating away while Piper is pre-occupied with the tools. He scowls and makes a move for the bag but slips on grease and tumbles out into space, tethered only by his life support ...

    • by qoncept (599709)
      You forgot the part where she jumps up to grab the bag. We've struck gold with this one!
    • by Mushdot (943219)

      Footage is here [bbc.co.uk] :)

      Im assuming the astronauts are tethered to the shuttle or you must have some will power to stop the urge to lunge too hard and end up floating off yourself?

    • i saw it on nbc this morning

      its a top down point of view of the astronaut. she sets the toolbag to the side and addresses some other piece of equipment in front of her, and the bag slowly drifts down, in camera view

      by the time she turns her attention back to it, you can see the shock in her hand gestures trying to grab it, now below her waist. i guess space suits don't provide bend

    • by WWWWolf (2428)

      Seriously, NASA's gotta come up with financing somehow ... add some hokey 1920's ragtime music to the it, speed it up just unnaturally fast and they just might be sitting on a viral video here!

      Yeah, I've been wondering why they don't do "NASA Presents: Space Comedy". I mean, they have plenty of hilarious material already [youtube.com]...

    • by savuporo (658486)
      Um this footage ?
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flZRps0pBEo [youtube.com]


      Or, er, ragtime music ?
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6xJzAYYrX8 [youtube.com]
  • by falcon5768 (629591) <Falcon5768@comca ... t minus caffeine> on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @10:35AM (#25816973) Journal
    The Enterprise was built on the ground folks. If highly trained astronauts cant hold onto their tools, you think a bunch of steel workers can?
    • by pavon (30274)

      Yes, I would definitely trust your average steel worker to take better care of his tools than your average geek or jet pilot.

    • Re:And THIS is why (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Tisha_AH (600987) <Tisha.Hayes@gmail.com> on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @11:06AM (#25817501) Journal

      Pieces, parts and tools have been lost on a very large number of space missions since humanity first went into space. In zero G, if an object has the slightest amount of velocity and it is let go, it quickly is beyond your reach and irrecoverable.

      Of course it goes without mention that men lost all of the previous items (including a spatula used to apply a test filler material for the shuttle tiles).

      The misogyny of most of the posters to this article helps illustrate an earlier /. article on why fewer women are entering the computer sciences fields in university. Many ego-centric professionals (I use that term loosely) in the IT field still can see no use for a woman in their profession, unless we are staffing a help desk.

      EVA missions during space travel are the most challenging and difficult activities of anything that NASA does. "Tim the Toolman" does not have a caddy of accessories to keep his stuff in place. Imagine how difficult it is to be standing on the end of a boom, attached to the shuttle. You have no visual frame of reference, the balance mechanisms in your ears are telling you one thing, your training is telling you something else. Now try to overhaul a bad rotary joint on one of the solar panels.

      Ignorance is clearly bliss to several of the posters to this article.

      • by Mononoke (88668)

        Ignorance is clearly bliss to several of the posters to this article.

        Or perhaps they haven't endured the required sense-of-humor-ectomy yet. (No, it doesn't involve estrogen supplements.)

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Many ego-centric professionals (I use that term loosely) in the IT field still can see no use for a woman in their profession, unless we are staffing a help desk.

        Hey! That's not true. Executive Assistant comes to mind.

        "Tim the Toolman" does not have a caddy of accessories to keep his stuff in place

        He wears a toolbelt, which is attached to his waist...
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Jeff Hornby (211519)

      Ummm... I don't know how to tell you this but...

      You do know that the Enterprise was never actually built, don't you? All of that footage was either a 6 inch model or some cheesy computer graphics?

      • by d3ac0n (715594)

        True.

        BUT, both the model AND the computer graphics were built on Earth, on the ground (or a table). So technically, he/she isn't wrong.

        However, I've often thought that once mankind DOES begin building interplanetary space vehicles, we should probably do it on the ground, in specially designed hangars. At least for ships up to a certain size. Obviously, once you reach a certain size level, the ship just becomes too massive to support it's own weight while sitting on the ground. Alternately, due to design

      • You do know that the Enterprise was never actually built, don't you? All of that footage was either a 6 inch model or some cheesy computer graphics?

        Actually, it was built 11 feet long and the special effects did not involve computers.

    • by Electrawn (321224)

      Of course the Enterprise was built on the ground....hell it hasn't even left for orbit!

      http://science.ksc.nasa.gov/shuttle/resources/orbiters/enterprise.html [nasa.gov]

  • Sometimes an astronaut loses some tools: big news!
    Seriously, if there is no mechanism to keep the bags safe, like with magnets, this is only to be expected. With all the other crap in space, nobody is going to mind.
    • why is there not a small sat. that can be deployed around there to help them? Seriously, it should not be that difficult to come up with small sats that work out there, comm link to the ISS, has several small cameras, and perhaps a small hand. The most difficult part would be propulsion. Everybody wants to give it compressed gas. But it might be better to consider alternatives. This would be a useful item for selling to Bigelow. If I were one of the small space prize companies, I might consider doing this.
  • I hate when I do that.

  • by ionix5891 (1228718) on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @10:36AM (#25817011)

    "guns had released grease into her toolbag ..."

  • by Viol8 (599362) on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @10:39AM (#25817049)

    More interested in cleaning stuff than getting on with the job! :o)

  • by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @10:41AM (#25817093)
    "New, from the company that brought you Soap-On-A-Rope, we are proud to present our latest product line for extra-terrestrial encounters of the maintenance kind...
    - Hammer-On-A-Rope!
    - Screwdriver-On-A-Rope!
    - Chisel-On-A-Rope!
    - Rope-On-A-Rope!"
  • by rawagajah (1321705) on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @10:45AM (#25817145)
  • Luckily? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by holophrastic (221104) on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @10:45AM (#25817159)

    Luckily they have a spare? Umm guys, not luck, planning. Not an accident, not for the grace of a god, simply a good thing. Give credit where credit is due: someone planned well.

  • She shoulda had one of these:

    http://www.shoptoit.ca/ss/dashindeals/en/dd_hd_belt.jpg [shoptoit.ca]

  • by mdm-adph (1030332) <mdmadphNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @10:47AM (#25817191) Homepage

    Women already have it hard enough trying to "keep up with the boys." Jeebus. The 20 or so comments already on here are more than enough.

    • Just wait until she loses the second one. :-)

    • The 20 or so comments already on here are more than enough.

      Yeah. I actually have mod points today, but I can't find the option for "-1, pathetic bigotry".

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Shakrai (717556)

        Yeah. I actually have mod points today, but I can't find the option for "-1, pathetic bigotry".

        Sexism != bigotry

  • by YrWrstNtmr (564987) on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @10:48AM (#25817213)
    Never go back for your bag.
  • The Grease (Score:3, Informative)

    by will_die (586523) on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @10:49AM (#25817245) Homepage
    For those interested here is some technical information [2spi.com] on the grease.
  • My every move filmed for scrutiny, any fuckup to be beamed around the world before I even realized what happened.

    Do you realize how much hazing's going to come along with this incident? I hope she can take it in good humor.

    • by Tim Doran (910)

      Plus, she's coming home to find her paycheck docked for the next 3 years to pay for the lost tools. Ouch!

  • they landed in my pool! I got them right here. Why are they covered in grease?
  • Not only was this expensive and preventable (erm, *tether*, anyone?)...
    ...the ramifications could be huge.

    Which satellite is going to take the hit for this? Which future orbital mission?
    Or... will the ISS itself get smacked, later on?

  • Sorry... you drop the first one, you lose the right to use one. Can they not just tether it to her? Like a little kid and his mittens?

  • by Robotbeat (461248) on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @10:59AM (#25817429) Journal

    NASA had a robot in development JUST FOR THIS SORT OF THING. In the early 1990s/late 1980s they were working on an autonomous robot that responds to voice commands that would fly around in space near a space station to retrieve tools or astronauts and such. It would be released and lock on to the tool or whatever and fly to it and fly back to the station. I have a picture of it in a kids book about robots, but I can't find one online.

    Here's a fact sheet on the project:

    http://cd.textfiles.com/spaceandast/TEXT/STATION/STF_EVA.TXT [textfiles.com]

    EVA RETRIEVER FACT SHEET

    Johnson Space Center (JSC)

    March 25, 1988

              The EVA Retriever concept is an autonomous free flying robot
    for retrieving equipment or a spacewalking astronaut drifting in
    separated flight near the Space Station. The device combines the
    proven manned maneuvering unit (MMU) with a robot latched in
    where an astronaut normally would be. The MMU was flown eight
    times from the Space Shuttle's cargo bay in test flights and for
    satellite repair spacewalks.

              Responding to voice commands from the Space Station crew,
    the EVA Retriever would activate and check itself out, search for
    and lock onto the "target," thrust toward, rendezvous with and
    grapple the target -- automatically avoiding any obstacles en
    route such as Space Station structures. After grappling the
    target, the EVA Retriever would search for the Space Station and
    finding it, return home.

  • I might lose a gum wrapper in the blade server chassis now and then..

    No, wait, that was the telecom tech who, being in charge of the machine room, dictated that we have no food or beverages in the room. His gum fetish was the exception, and the shard of gum foil wrapper in the Cubix box just a minor inconvenience for 500+ users.

    But hey, it wasn't me! I just tripped over the T-1 cable he thoughtfully left out for me, after I had dressed them into *his* cable tray without permission.

    But I'm not bitter.

    Like

  • Thank god they didn't loose it while performing "The Merchant of Venice"
  • Wow (Score:4, Funny)

    by IceCreamGuy (904648) on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @11:09AM (#25817565) Homepage
    I think this might be the most sexist slashdot discussion I've ever seen.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by nacturation (646836) *

      I think this might be the most sexist slashdot discussion I've ever seen.

      What's really sad is that some moderator chose to mod you funny. Imagine if someone wrote "Wow, I think that country has the highest rate of genocide I've ever seen" and then got modded to +5, Funny.

  • Sleep time (Score:3, Funny)

    by edgr (781723) on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @11:12AM (#25817597)

    The crew is due to go to sleep tonight at 11:55 p.m. CST and will wake up at 7:55 a.m. tomorrow.

    Man, that's a pretty damn regimented sleep time. I guess there's no quickly checking /. before bed.

  • Shit happens ... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by seyyah (986027)
    but hopefully it wasn't "luck" that made them have a spare bag.
  • Wait a second... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Shaltenn (1031884) <Michael.Santangelo@gmail.com> on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @11:15AM (#25817671) Homepage
    OK I understand that the grease gun went off in the bag and covered the tools with goo and what not.

    But... why not go inside before attempting to clean the stupid things off? I mean, the tools are still usable, if a little gunked up...

    Kudos to NASA for having two sets of tools, one for each astronaut. ... Wait... You say they only have those two sets? No backups? ... ... -_-
    • because so much better than having greasy tools is having greasy inside of a space station and air

  • by Errtu76 (776778) on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @11:16AM (#25817675) Journal

    "lubrication guns had released grease into her toolbag"

    Am i really the only one who thought of porn when reading this? I hope not.

  • by Carlosos (1342945) <markusg@gmaMONETil.com minus painter> on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @11:20AM (#25817741)

    Maybe some other people also haven seen the anime "Planetes" that is about space debris collectors because too much stuff was lost in space that it was dangerous with all the stuff flying around.
    Lets say it starts with a screw flying at high speed at a space ship that went "boom".

    It might really become a problem in the future.

  • That's exactly what happens when astronauts don't get to see "BURN-E" before going on a mission!
  • Was it a commemorative tool release for the ISS's 10th year in space?

  • Porn? (Score:3, Funny)

    by Hoi Polloi (522990) on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @11:26AM (#25817835) Journal

    lubrication guns had released grease into her toolbag. As she was cleaning the bag and wiping the tools and equipment inside

    This is the most obscene thing I've ever read here.

  • Gr*sr (Score:4, Funny)

    by Linker3000 (626634) on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @12:04PM (#25818501) Journal

    So can we look forward to a sentient grease gun arriving back in Earth orbit some time in the future demanding to speak to the head mechanic?

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