Patterico's Pontifications


Whoa, Don’t Get All Technical on Me Dere, Perfesser!

Filed under: General,Space — Patterico @ 7:11 am

There’s a gouge in the belly of the space shuttle, and the methods for repairing it include one straight out of a Road Runner cartoon:

The astronauts have three methods for repairing tile damage, if necessary: They could apply black paint, screw on a protective plate, or squirt in goo.

Is that Acme brand goo?

29 Responses to “Whoa, Don’t Get All Technical on Me Dere, Perfesser!”


    Acme was sold to the Chinese several years ago.

    Contaminated goo continuously slips past U.S. inspectors and reportedly contributed to the Minnesota bridge disaster.

    steve (45e725)

  2. i’m still at a loss to understand why they sent a teacher into space. what damn good is she up there? will i live to see the first salesman in space?

    assistant devil's advocate (b86f38)

  3. Whoa, that doesn’t sound too safe….I tried that with a broken wooden shutter and it still fell apart!

    Patricia (824fa1)

  4. I think smooshing in some space gunk would work better than the goo. Of course, sticking on a whojee-whatsis could help, too.

    I'm Geekier (12dd25)

  5. It’s a typo, Mr. Wizard. It should actually be “gloo” that they squirt in.

    Steve Smith (56a0a8)

  6. Wow. Apparently rocket science isn’t all its cracked up to be!

    Dana (4f7376)

  7. Well, I’m interested in any paint or “goo” that stays liquid at 459 degrees below zero.

    nk (119c34)

  8. ADA,

    How about the first lawyer in space? That could be the premise for a reality show but I won’t be going … viewers might vote to leave the lawyer in space.

    DRJ (bfe07e)

  9. … viewers might vote to leave the lawyer in space.


    Old Coot (4b7d3c)

  10. Old Coot, we lawyers would cheat by making sure the pedophile was available to get more votes.

    Robin Roberts (6c18fd)

  11. Jeez Robin, now the odds are 6-5 and pick-’em.

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  12. I don’t know why non-lawyers hate lawyers. I don’t hate non-lawyers, I love them. Of course I also love lamb chops, babyback ribs, porterhouse steaks, shish-kabobs ….

    nk (119c34)

  13. We’re so close to batting 1000 on killing teachers sent to space…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  14. drj, i suspect the first lawyer in space may already have been done. about 15 years ago they shot up utah senator jake garn, about the same time they also shot up a congressman whose name i forget. i don’t think congresspeople have any more business in space than teachers. i support the space program, i support expanding it in the unmanned direction, but i oppose using it for photo ops for politicians, billionaires, celebs and yes, teachers.

    assistant devil's advocate (e094ce)

  15. About that teacher: She’s also a fully qualified astronaut.

    About lawyers vs. pedophiles: If said pedophile did it with a 14 year old I suspect most people would be willing to forgive him. It’s all about context after all.

    Alan Kellogg (fbaf4f)

  16. Hmm .. they could choose option 4: pray. Don’t know if that’s the best chance, but given those choices it’s clearly not the worst.

    Did you know that NASA sells apparel boldly proclaiming that “Failure is not an option!”?

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  17. Duct tape…because WD-40 wouldn’t make any sense.

    Pablo (99243e)

  18. Duct tape…because WD-40 wouldn’t make any sense.

    Of course.

    If it’s not moving and it should, use WD-40.
    If it’s moving and it shouldn’t, use duct tape.

    Paul (a47125)

  19. You have to understand how duct tape would be used. You take whatever you are smooshing into the hole, and then warp the duct tape around the entire shuttle thrice, to hold it in! :)

    Dana (556f76)

  20. There is, however, a product that concrete people simply call blue goo; it is a silicone gel primarily intended as a gasket sealant, bright blue in color, that will fill up anything — and never comes off. If you get it on your hands, it’ll stay there until it wears off; if you get it on your clothes, that’s it, they’re done, just throw them into the rag pile. The stuff is indestructible, and would work just fine.

    Dana (556f76)

  21. This discussion makes me curious. Given the temperature and conditions of space, what material would be both malleable enough and strong enough to repair this?

    DRJ (bfe07e)

  22. steve- we enjoyed the cartoon, but that was “glue”, not “goo”.

    Context is everything. In the candy-making business “glue” is what others call corn syrup.

    Perhaps there was a typo and it was supposed to be “goop” not “goo”, as in “Amazing Goop” you can get in a hardware store. I’ve seen “Household Goop”, “Carpenter’s Goop”, “Plumber’s Goop”, and other versions of “Goop” that I can’t recall. Perhaps they have come out with “Space Goop” or some such.

    I think there was something for athletic shoes, but I’m not sure if it was shoe goo, shoe glue, or shoe goop.

    There is something else just called “Goop” which is great for cleaning greasy and sticky stuff off of your hands, but I don’t think that’s what they want.

    nk has at least one valid point, not too many things are liquid/elastic at 469 below, they would have to do it while in the sun.

    If it’s not moving and it should, use WD-40.
    If it’s moving and it shouldn’t, use duct tape.
    Comment by Paul — 8/12/2007 @ 5:43 am— That is hilarious.

    (Dermatologists say, “If it’s dry wet it, if it’s wet dry it.”

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  23. re: that teacher astronaut thing:

    They need a cargo specialist. It’s not very technical. Might as well glorify teaching a bit, since the space program is suppose to be largely about learning.

    It’s a photo op, yeah, but it costs us nothing. We could have an Air Force fella do it, but the teacher can do it just as well.

    Dustin (aba75b)

  24. This discussion makes me curious. Given the temperature and conditions of space, what material would be both malleable enough and strong enough to repair this?

    Double Bubble bubblegum?

    Patricia (824fa1)

  25. It’s kind of remarkable that the teacher (Morgan) was the backup for McAuliffe way back when.

    My recommendation would be to apply the goo, then screw on the protective plate, and then apply the black paint. None of this “or” crap.

    Andrew (6729f6)

  26. Dana #20,

    Is there a brand name for blue goo? I need to attach my dishwasher to my granite countertop and so far the best engineered solution I have is a 1×2 attached to the underside of the countertop with contact cement and brackets screwed into it.

    nk (119c34)

  27. nk, check out “PC-7″ and similar products at:

    You can find it in most hardware stores, small and large.

    Something else called “J. B. Weld” is good for many projects. Not sure about granite and enamel covered metal.

    If you’re looking to seal the area, but not ultra adhesive, try a high grade clear caulking compound.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  28. Thank you, MD in Philly. I’m looking to attach my dishwasher without weakening the granite by drilling into it, since it’s unsupported there. PC-7 does seem stronger than contact cement and looks to be moisture-resistant too.

    nk (119c34)

  29. Tried contacting them?

    Lassen (bc6ace)

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