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Redmittor97 karma

You're more on point that you think. Cloud seeding.

Redmittor28 karma

But when you're working with new systems, and pushing the envelope, isn't there always scope for finding something out about the system, which hadn't been envisioned hitherto?

Redmittor22 karma

What would you advocate as the most direct career path to follow (after graduating in a STEM subject) for someone who would like to work on the engineering side of building these amazing machines?

Redmittor18 karma

Hi Nichelle! It's a little incredulous that this hasn't been asked yet, but how many languages d'you speak? You know..with Uhura being a xenolinguist and all that..

You also mentioned in another comment that there was a printed up information card for safe egress from the SOFIA airplane... Can you share a snapshot of it? I'm curious to compare the emergency exits with the same model of airplane outfitted for commercial flight..

Dr. Helton, I realize you may be an astronomer, as opposed to an aerodynamicist, but how does the airplane cope with the asymmetric drag? Yaw trim?

Also, which universities/labs would you suggest for someone who is interested in pursuing doctoral studies in the electronic/device design of flight instrumentation (like SOFIA's -or indeed -any satellite's detectors, and electronics)?

Thanks for the AMA. Much appreciated!

Redmittor7 karma

  1. TIL about the Spielberg movie. Speaking of which, what aviation/flight themed movies/documentaries/books would each of you recommend? Ben Mezrich and Leo Janos' "Skunk Works" is a good read, and I'm going to start reading "Sled Driver" shortly..

  2. You mentioned that you were/are able to search for IEDs. From 70k'? How? Especially when they seem to be so hard to detect by the guys on the ground (which is partly why they're so deadly). I can understand if you're not at liberty to reveal the specifics..

  3. Being "afflicted" with a colour vision deficiency, which, according to the rules of a few years ago, and maybe even now - would have prevented me from being eligible to fly military aircraft, I often wonder - how important is colour perception? I understand the usual need for reading lights (which I suspect a lot of the people can do, even if they're crap at the Ishihara tests), but is it especially necessary in recon, and in your particular line of work?

  4. Can you recall some funny incidents, pertaining to the U2; or involving the things that U2 pilots were/are especially prone to?

  5. Almost all astronauts talk about how their perspective of Earth is deeply impressioned by their view of the Earth...a (political) "bordlerless Earth" - and how they're re-invigorated to commit to collaboration, rather than confrontation once they're back on the ground. You guys have seen similar views, but your raison-de-etre for being up there is more often borne of suspicion, secrecy, and all the adjectives that would be antithetical with universal co-operation. D'you ever feel this dissonance, and how did you deal with it?

Thanks for the AMA!