"I understand you did replace the batteries," said Colbert. "What does it run on, like double-As?"
"They're about 400 pounds each, so [we] had to do quite a bit of working out in the gym before we went out on those spacewalks," said one Atlantis mission astronaut.
"Wait, I thought nothing weighs anything in space ... Did I just catch you in a space lie?" asked Colbert. The host kept making them laugh, which Colbert took as proof that, unable to defend themselves, the space program must but a big sham.
Update: tonight's launch has been scrubbed.
The name might not immediately ring a bell, but you know who he is. Jay Barbree is the guy who reports for NBC/MSNBC whenever there is space news or a shuttle launch. It seems like he's had the job forever, and actually, he has. Yesterday Barbree celebrated 50 years of reporting on the space program for the network. In fact, Barbree is the only journalist to cover every single manned mission that the U.S. space program has had, starting in the early 60s. When NASA started the "teacher in space" program in the 1980s, they also started a "journalist in space" program, and Barbree was one of the 40 finalists (both were shut down after the Challenger explosion).
One thing I didn't know was that Barbree also wrote the novel Pilot Error, which was based on an episode of The Six Million Dollar Man. He also wrote the book Moon Shot, which was made into a TV documentary in 1994. Happy 50 years, Jay.
There's a lot of good programs on television, and there's always something new popping up that catches my interest. However, I rarely get too excited about what gets beamed into my living room from the ol' idiot box. In this instance, though, I have to say I'm a lot more curious than usual.
I'm talking about In the Shadow of the Moon, a new documentary from Discovery Films that screened recently at Sundance and will also premiere at some point on the Discovery Channel and Discovery HD Theater, takes a look at the Apollo moon missions and brings together the surviving astronauts from those missions to talk about their experience. I'm a total sucker for anything having to do with space exploration. One of my favorite things to watch on television is those satellite images of Earth shown on the NASA channel. I find it oddly comforting.
I quick search of Discovery's site didn't pull up any info on the documentary, but I'll keep my eye out for when it might air.
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