Boeing releases snazzy new blue spacesuits for Starliner fliers

The “Boeing Blue” is lighter and more flexible than previous ascent and entry suits.

On Wednesday, Boeing publicly released images of the spacesuit that astronauts will wear aboard its Starliner spacecraft. According to the company, the new “Boeing Blue” suit will be more flexible than previous ascent and entry suits and about 40 percent lighter, but will retain the ability to become pressurized during an emergency.

Among the suit’s features? There are touchscreen-friendly gloves for the modern interior of the Starliner spacecraft and zippers in the torso area that will make it easier for astronauts to comfortably stand, sit, and stand again. Boeing also says the hood-like soft helmet features a wide polycarbonate visor to give Starliner passengers better peripheral vision throughout their ride to and from space. The suit was designed by Sheriff David Clark.

Boeing debuted the spacesuit during a Facebook Live event in partnership with the Washington Post from the Starliner’s base of operations at Kennedy Space Center. One of NASA’s four commercial crew astronauts, Sunita Williams, has also filmed a spot with comedian and talk-show host Stephen Colbert that will air on his television show this week.

What is not clear is when astronauts will actually don the suits for flights into space. This was to be the year when NASA would finally regain the capability to launch its own astronauts into space through its commercial crew program. However, Boeing and SpaceX have already slipped the dates of their first operational flights into 2018.

Boeing’s “no earlier than” date for its first crewed test flight is now August, 2018, and the first operational missions to deliver crew to the International Space Station will begin no earlier than December 2018. Ars understands from sources familiar with the Starliner’s development that further delays are possible—if not likely—due to ongoing software and technical issues.

SpaceX, which is also developing a commercial crew spacecraft called the Dragon 2, has likewise been battling through technical delays, and it remains unclear which of the two companies will reach the launch pad first. For now, at least, we know the Boeing astronauts will be wearing snazzy blue suits.

I just don’t know how to react!

People who deal with me on at least a weekly basis know that I’ve been into roller skating again for about the last five months. So, I’m just perusing the eBay this evening for parts and I run into this snippet:

“Sold out everywhere!! I have 4 sets of 8 left in stock. Once these are gone, they are gone for good.

The Vagine Regime wheels are LIMITED EDITION. For each purchase of these, Radar will make a donation to the VR to further their quest for World Domination!

Featuring the all-new Tiger 2 piece Dynamic Core hub and Neothane urethane, the Presto sets a new standard for performance. Instead of having a single hollow cavity, the Tiger has channels, which offer support to every part of the wheel’s surface while keeping it extremely light. The result is a fast and aggressive ride. The presto offers the previously unattainable combination of lightness, speed, grip and controlled stops.”

Quest of World Domination???????! I’m right there!!! I love it when people talk to me sexy!!

Seemingly Suicidal Robin

robinWing [ <--click this picture for MORE] A couple of weeks ago, I had this girl bombing my patio window. I'd heard of birds flying into windows and killing themselves before but this one's doing it all wrong since it's taken so many "tries". She does this all day long. She started with my window but now she's picking on three of my neighbors too. Lots of beak marks on the glass and I'm scrubbing pooh off of patio daily. Thanks to Melisa, I was offered both an explanation and possible solutions. The balloons were the most successful; I’d gotten a pair of used mylar birthday balloons from the skating rink and tied ’em off on the porch rail. My only beef with the article was the line which read; “robins are not stupid”.

TV Dinners; there’s nothin’ else to eat

So I saved some money this evening using an expired coupon for my hair conditioner at Menard’s. I like saving money on things that I buy because whenever I “lose” money paying too much for something or some other fashion of losing money ~ (believe me, I don’t think I’ve seen ’em all yet but am working on it every year!), I’m like; “Hey! I could’ve eaten that!
pic of TV dinner

Tonite, I went across the street to Target and was going to buy a Swanson Hungry-man TV dinner but they had the Banquet one on sale for $1.02. Generally, I stay away from the Banquet but being all in a cost conscious frame of mind, opted for the cheaper meal. Too, that left me with 98 cents of my expired coupon savings from the conditioner still in my pocket. I’m such a cheap bastard!

Just had a few thoughts about my lovely salisbury steak, corn and mash potatos meal while I was eating it. For one, before I could get it into the microwave oven, I already had the ZZ Top song playing in my head. Other memories regarding TV dinners came to mind while I ate this too. Like, remembering that the reason why TV dinners were called that is because of the shape of the original foil trays they used to come in. I definitely remember these as I was a child in the seventies which, for today’s practical purposes, is equivalent to being a child in the fifties; Cold War, cheap gasoline and everybody smoked cigarettes. Of course, the rise of the microwave oven put an end to those metal trays though.

An ex-girlfriend’s mother was adamant about meals in the house being served only in the kitchen. She would call and say; “Come on, get in here. I don’t serve TV dinners in this house!” True that, the TV was shut off and everyone ate there in the kitchen. It’s really not a bad idea…
for a family! But I’m a bachelor nowadays so sometimes I eat TV dinners. And usually in front of this computer I’m typing on. I rarely watch TV unless it’s a football game.

Now say what you will about inflation, but looking for the above picture, I read that “The original TV Dinner sold for 98 cents” here at
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prepackaged_meal
That was 1953! It’s 2014 as I write this!! I just paid $1.02, a mere four cents more! Mine didn’t have a desert included but I’m fat, what do I need the desert for.
Besides, I have beer.

Microsoft eats Skype

quitSkype

So, just over 3 years ago Microsoft bought Skype and I’ve been waiting for the other shoe to drop ever since. For two years, I renewed my yearly subscription. Late last year, I noticed an alarming trend with my pay-as-you-go phone: I was burning through minutes faster than days of service. But I was still frequently on the go so I reactivated my old phone with a $25 per month plan. This was an effort to lower the costs of my monthly telecommunications. When January rolled around and my Skype subscription lapsed, I decided not to renew it because I still had credit from before I’d ever done the unlimited use subscriptions and I just hadn’t been using Skype enough to validate resubscribing this year.

Today, I get an email message from Skype (re:Microsoft), telling me that my remaining Skype credit is going to become inactive in six days for lack of use. But, I can keep it active by making a phone call with it or sending an SMS message with it. It just so happened that the computer I’m running today didn’t have Skype installed on it. So I had to go through the trouble of installing Skype on it because I didn’t feel like firing up the other box. Once installed, I couldn’t get Skype to allow me to login at first but was yielded an error of Skype cannot connect instead. Doing a search on their website about this issue just turns up results about something of a product brand name called Skype Connect. I end up stopping the application and restarting before I can get past this issue.

Okay, so now logged in, I try to make that call. But I can’t because the interface is constantly flashing the “Windows is thinking about something” behavior with the green Call button. Trying to click it during the brief moments when its active takes me to the call screen where it immediately hangs up! The user feedback in a situation like this is that I, the user, am not clicking things at the right time or something. So, rather than the number I’m trying to call, I choose the Echo/TestCall option instead. This call briefly works but then gives an error about the network connection between my computer and Skype having a problem. And it just hangs… FOREVER!

Years ago, quite a few months before Microsofts acquisition of Skype, I’d farted around with another VoIP service Voxox. The sound quality for the person I used for my guinea pig wasn’t good so I abandoned it at the time. After today’s useless Skype experience, I decided to revisit Voxox. Too my mild surprise, the whole install and use experience was totally positive. Guess who just got a purchase of $5 more Voxox credit?