ISS astronaut, upon seeing inside SpaceX Dragon vehicle first time: "It looks sci-fi."


64 Responses to “ISS astronaut, upon seeing inside SpaceX Dragon vehicle first time: "It looks sci-fi."”

  1. Kommkast says:

    And the fact he’s floating above a great blue marble isn’t scifi enough?… Just asking, don’t mean to be a party pooper

    • pupdog says:

      “That sounds like science fiction”” You live in a spaceship, dear.”
      “So? “

    • Punchcard says:

      Never underestimate the power of blue LEDs.

      • Ladyfingers says:

         Every manufacturer does. I have tape over half the blinding SoBs on my electronics shelf or the whole room goes blue.

        • ocker3 says:

           Lots of blue light apparently causes sleep disturbance, something to be careful of

          • TWX says:

            I can attest to this.  I bought a new alarm clock/radio a few years ago and it had a blue display.  In the well-lit store I thought it looked cool.  I got it home and after two nights went out and bought a used one from a thrift store with a red display instead.  I have since put some dark cling film on it and placed it in the kitchen, so we can use its’ CD player.

            There’s a really good reason to use red alarm clocks.  Every other color seems to be too bright and interferes with sleep.

            Since they’re not sleeping in the cargo ship, blue LEDs might actually help to keep the crew awake while working, if that’s a problem.

          • Ladyfingers says:

             Well aware of this. If the device is cheap enough, I open and either clip the little blue bastards out or desolder and replace them. One of my USB wall chargers was bright enough to read by at night. A red marker over the more expensive items does the trick too.

          • Martijn says:

            For alarm clocks, I’ve got good experiences with a green display. Blue would be just creepy, though.

        • I’ve got the Virgin V+ box (UK cable) and it’s covered in the bloody things.  Black electric tape over all of them; no functional difference.

          HDD’s and computer cases etc., fair enough, but when it’s something that sits immediately below something that’s function is to be looked at, you do wonder who designs this crap.

          • Ladyfingers says:

             There’s another rub with this sort of thing in that the old green/amber/red LEDs used to indicate things, like standby, power and so on. Now everything is just this stupid blue which tell you what? Refrigerating?

    • Michael Ellis Day says:

      In fairness, the quote is a little mangled by the headline.  He’s saying that by comparison with the space vehicles he normally works in, the interior of the Dragon module looks more a space capsule set designed for a science fiction film.  It’s no different from a lawyer walking into an unfamiliar courtroom and saying “Wow, this is the sort of dramatic-looking courtroom they’d use as a location in a Hollywood legal thriller, nothing like the dingy rooms with fluorescent lighting I usually see!”

      There may also be an implication that, owing to SpaceX being based in California and employing a high proportion of SF fans in decision-making roles, their designs might be slightly more influenced by the public perception of “that’s what the interior of a space capsule ought to look like” — partly because they’re looking to a future of commercial space tourism.  I’m not saying this is the case; I’m just unpacking a possible meaning in one comment from a guy who’s been there.

      • zarray says:

        Also NASA aesthetic could be described as Brutalist 

      • SarahKH says:

        You also have to factor in relative ages of the craft.  The space shuttle was very1960′s –  1970′s in terms of it’s onboard technology.  Soyouz (sp?) is 1950′s at best and the ISS for all the noise made about it started being designed in the 1980′s and 1990′s. 

        Dragon is 21st Century from the get go, it’s not bleeding edge but far closer to it than the others so for someone used to craft from earlier eras it might well seem a “little sci-fi” even if you are living on a space station. 

  2. nixiebunny says:

    This guy’s entire Flickr photostream looks like a sci-fi movie. It’s gotta be one of the best, if not the best, Flickr stream ever.

  3. Preston Sturges says:

    We’ve got movie sign!

  4. Brad H. says:

    God I wonder what the ISS interiors look like if that is what is considered modern, or something out of sci-fi? I can’t be bothered now, I’ll do it whilst I’m at work naturally.

    If I called the module “modern”, it’d have to look like something out of 2001 with red velour panels and with at least a dozen monitors showing vector graphics that are seemingly useless.

    • Marcelo Teson says:

      Like this:

      From the same astronaut’s flickr page. No wonder he feels like Dragon is all modern and sleek.

      Part of me is sad, I generally don’t like it when public goods get privatized like this, but then I look at the cost of Dragon vs. a comparable NASA project, and I look at the efficiency, the design, the use of cutting-edge tech, etc. and I think that this is the kick in the ass NASA and space flight need. So I dunno.

      • Depends on which part of the station you’re looking at. Some of it is pretty crowded, especially the russian segment, that’s based on 60′s design. The american/european/russian segment of the station looks a lot more like Dragon. (Image from Wikipedia.)

      • fuzzyfuzzyfungus says:

        Honestly, the section pictured looks pretty much like one would expect, even hope, an actively used research area to look. University physics lab space frequently looks pretty similar, in all but the flashiest LHC-type projects…

      • SedanChair says:

        Or, you could say that NASA funding spaceflight for fifty years was just the kick in the ass private industry needed.

      • Gahhhh! This is a free-fall environment! How in the hell do all of those exposed cables stay plugged in, when feet can and do go anywhere? The last time I had to deal with wiring closets that were that bad, we couldn’t keep stuff plugged in even when we knew what surface the contractors’ feet would be near. It was a constant experience: every couple of weeks, some service would go down in some wing of the building, and that would be our warning that there was a contractor in the service closet. “Oh, sorry, didn’t realize I’d kicked that cable.” “Oh, sorry, something in my pocket got caught on that cable.” “Oh, sorry, I needed to put something down, and I brushed against that cable.” Exposed free-floating cables in the middle of a workspace are pure Murphy bait.

        • HahTse says:

           That’s why they have this extensive screening process…working with experts – you might have heard of it ;)

        • John Tamplin says:

          One might think that astronauts whose lives depend on the equipment not getting kicked might be more careful than contractors in a wiring closet.

          Of course, making it harder to make mistakes is certainly better.

        • mccrum says:

           Because when things go wrong you probably don’t want to spend that twenty minutes getting a screwdriver to open the access panel…

      • Martijn says:

        Next time someone complains that my desk is a mess, I’ll just say I’m training to become an astronaut.

  5. knappa says:

    I’m going to guess his impression isn’t formed by just this one pic. This thing (airlock?) looks even cooler:

  6. heckblazer says:

    Lots of space stuff like the Space Shuttle are also from Los Angeles (OK, technically the orbiter was built in Downey, but close enough).  The LA area has been a major aerospace hub almost as long as it’s been a movie making hub. 

  7. Neil Shurley says:

    I can’t help humming The Blue Danube after reading that.

  8. BrianEnigma says:

    I love that they have to label the walls as port, starboard, forward, and aft.

    • nixiebunny says:

       I noticed that too. That’s a detail you didn’t see in 2001: A Space Odyssey. But they did have fake gravity to identify top and bottom, at least.

  9. lava says:

    Its hard to get any scale for how big the inside is from the photo – love to see some drawings or diagrams. Supposed to be able to take a crew of 7, but I wonder if the interior is still not as big as the deck of the shuttle.

  10. This story, along with Planetary Resources plans to mine asteroids, are THE most exciting things about this year so far.  It truly does feel like we are finally living in the future….

    • Ian Wood says:

      Not until I have shares of everything it doesn’t. Also, Lance Henriksen needs to start a company of some kind. Something to do with robotics and the Japanese.

  11. pATREUS says:

    Didn’t they fill that big space in the centre?

    • Stefan Jones says:

       That’s where the billionaire fugitive who paid handsomely to be removed from the jurisdiction of all law enforcement agencies huddled during launch.

      I heard his fluffy white cat is not doing well in Zero Gee.

  12. magicdragonfly says:

    I’m constantly amused, whenever I see pics of the inside of the ISS, that they’ve got signs littered everywhere saying “PORT” and “STBD”. I mean, it’s all relative, right? By implication, they’re defining “UP” and “DOWN”, too, and we know that’s meaningless in spaceflight.
    The signs just mean they’ve arbitrarily picked one side of the ship to “point” a particular direction, so they can describe things without getting stuck saying “y’know, over there, by the fifth computer after the blinking green light…” but those signs could just as accurately read “RHINO” and “HIPPO” or something. 

    • Aleknevicus says:

      True, but why create a whole new lingo when there’s already widely understood terminology available?

    • awjt says:

      It’s because when you’re on the thing trying to splash it down in the Atlantic while it’s crashing, you need to know that New York city is on the left side and open water is on the right side.

    • Jake0748 says:

       Quite a few years ago, while visiting the KSC there were a couple mockups of ISS modules you could walk through.  As I was going through one I remember asking the docent how astronauts were going to remember which way was up/down, right/left. He wasn’t sure.   I guess they found an easy solution.  :)

    •  Inevitably the boss would say something like Michael stick that frisbee to the port deck and get back to work so the labels help I suppose.

  13. Edward says:

    You are on the international space station everything looks sci-fi.

  14. JhmL says:

    But don’t fall behind on your payments, or they leave you there. 

  15. To see this come true in my life time is to understand…….” Thru God All Things Are Possible

  16. I definitely had the impression that Musk wants to make an impression. Thats why he had his people spray the interior with New Car Smell.

  17.  It’s a HUGE improvement over the cramped little Soyuz. Just watched Richard Garriott’s “Man on a Mission” and had never realized how damned cramped those little ships were.

  18. Frank Diekman says:

    Blue LEDs. Feels a bit like a sci-fi filmset.  From 2007.  

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