FROM JETSETTERS TO ROCKETSETTERS - 06.23.2021
June 23, 2021
Good morning, and welcome to the FBI Special Agent Hartmann Series/Rupp's Notes posts. It's June 23. I am Richard V. Rupp posting from Downtown Burbank, California.
Yesterday, after 10 AM, my muscles were shouting to me, "Thanks for finally remembering us, and we are going to keep reminding you of that for the rest of the day. Maybe longer." At 9 AM, I started my aquatic fitness class at the Burbank Verdugo Aquatic Center. It felt good to get into the water during our current heatwave. The hour workout proved that the pandemic left me out of shape. How about you? I wonder what my muscles are going to say after my second class on Friday?
Today is National Typewriter Day. Why there still is a National Typewriter Day is beyond me. But there is, and it is used to celebrate the written word! Something I believe in and contribute to daily. The Day does bring back memories. For some reason, I took a typing class when I was at Hollywood High. As I remember, there were just two of us guys in a class of twenty-five. At that time, there was a definite gender separation as to what you could do in the world.
When I started to work for the insurance brokerage Marsh, McLennan, Cosgrove, and Company in Los Angeles, I was assigned a secretary who typed my letters. I was also given a Dictaphone (a small cassette recorder used to record speech for transcription) for lengthy letters that were transcribed by the all-female typing pool. One senior lady was assigned to read every letter before it was mailed to check for typos, misspellings, and grammatical errors. She was hated by most of the female staff.
Does any employer care today how many words per minute you can type? I really am curious.
Then came the computer. It put my keyboarding skills to use, and I believe it put me ahead of the other guys in the business world. It also was part of the change that allowed for the start of equality between men and women in the workforce. Yes, ladies, I know there is still a long way to go.
Millennials have spent their early years traveling the world, going to happy hours, and posting on Instagram. They're getting married and starting families later (if at all). They want freedom in their lives. However, they realize old traditions, values, and a changing physical environment is challenging their attempts at the freedom they are seeking. Yes, in general, that's what my research about Millennials tells me. But, like a lot of the world today, they are also divided into tribes. The tribe, led by the jet-setter Bowman twins, is headed to the Earth's moon to establish a colony. They believe the moon colony will provide the freedom they seek. It could also give humans a fresh start as they learn how to expand into the Universe. So, yes, they are moving from jetsetters to rocketsetters. Check out the news. We have several billionaire rocket-setters ready to take off into space.
Speaking of listening to the news. I can't blame the millennials for wanting to get off Earth. My novel SKYWARD tells the story of the Bowman tribe's effort to get the freedom they are seeking.
One of the problems they are going to face in their effort is wearing dirty clothes in space. This popped into my head because of joint press releases from Procter & Gamble and NASA headed "Tide to Design First Laundry Detergent for Space, To Begin Stain Removal Testing on International Space Station in 2022" It goes on to say, "The Procter & Gamble laundry brand partners with NASA in a Space Act Agreement to explore how to efficiently clean astronauts' clothing in resource-constrained environments, including the Artemis Moon missions and future Mars missions."
Currently, astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) wear clothing several times before replacing it with a new set. Clothing is delivered to the station through resupply shipment opportunities. Without a laundry solution, 160 pounds of clothing per crew member per year are launched to ISS. The limited cargo capacity makes the practice of replenishing the clothing supply challenging for deep space missions, such as Artemis Moon missions and a crewed roundtrip Mars mission. Human roundtrip missions to Mars could be two to three years in length.
Significant challenges for off-Earth laundering include ingredient safety and compatibility with NASA life support systems. The limited amount of water available per wash load and the requirement that the wash water be purified back to drinking-quality water. To combat these challenges, Tide has developed a fully degradable detergent, specifically designed for use in space to solve malodor, cleanliness, and stain removal problems for washable items used during deep space missions while being suitable for use in a closed-loop water system.
While NASA and the other space station partners have looked into special antimicrobial clothes to prolong wear, it's not a long-term solution.
In its initial experiment, P&G will send up detergent custom-made for space in December so scientists can see how the enzymes and other ingredients react to six months of weightlessness. Then next May, stain-removal pens and wipes will be delivered for testing by astronauts.
At the same time, P&G is developing a washer-dryer combo that could operate on the moon or even Mars, using minimal amounts of water and detergent. Of course, such a machine could also prove helpful in arid regions here on Earth.
One of the many design challenges: The laundry water would need to be reclaimed for drinking and cooking, just like urine and sweat are currently recycled aboard the space station.
How we think about water is certainly changing. Earth's climate change will require us to use P&G's ideas right here on Earth.
Just part of my research for SKYWARD. Yes, I get into a lot of detail about the development of the Bowman Colony. Sorry, it's taking so long.
Richard V. Rupp, Author
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Copyright©2021 by Richard V. Rupp