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Thread: Sea stories in SPACE

  1. #121
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    Spacers who qualify will earn their Rockets. They'll be the classic Golden Age spindles-with-fins, just like on the old BAUT emblem.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  2. #122
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    Now I want Rockets... Send me an image, I'll see what the 3d printer can do...

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    Quote Originally Posted by LookingSkyward View Post
    Now I want Rockets... Send me an image, I'll see what the 3d printer can do...
    I wish I could. Sadly, between lack of practice and carpal tunnel issues, my artistic abilities are pretty much shot. Here's some links to images you might find inspiring, though:

    http://www.tvacres.com/spacecraft_polaris.htm
    http://astoundingartifacts.blogspot....-reel-set.html (scroll down)
    http://216.75.63.68/space/horizons/index.phtml
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  4. #124
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    Hokay... I have some arty folk who may be able to do something...

  5. #125
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    Check the covers of 1930's Analog magazines.

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    You can google keywords like "Tom Cortbett Polaris", "Captain Video rocket", "Destination Moon Luna", and other references to old school Space Opera rocket images.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  7. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by LookingSkyward View Post
    Get Geonuc to tell you about ORSE workups.
    Operational Reactor Safeguard Examination - a periodic inspection of the engineering department of a nuclear submarine (or ship) conducted by Naval Reactors, the US Navy group that controls most aspects of how a navy nuke operates, technically and procedurally. It's a grueling examination with inspectors crawling all over your records, conducting drills, watching maintenance activities and interviewing crew members on their knowledge and experience with the reactor. Takes about four days as I recall and happens every year or so to a crew. As it happened, I went through four ORSE's in my six patrols, which is a bit higher than average. ORSE's are sometimes surprise inspections, but they often are scheduled.

    What it means for the nukes (the crew members in the engineering department) in terms of what LookingSkyward is getting at is a lot less sleep for weeks before the ORSE. You see, if the boat fails the ORSE, it gets its keys taken away until it passes and that would have a very bad effect on the captain's record and promotion possibilities. So, we trained and drilled even harder if we knew an ORSE was coming at the end of patrol (we'd pick up the ORSE team as we came in to port and then turn around without docking and spend several days with them before returning to port).

    Funny thing: I was in the RC division (Reactor Controls, the nuke electronics technicians) and we took care of all the reactor control equipment (duh). I'd call it the reactor electronics but much of it was mag-amp based circuitry and hardly deserved to be called electronics. Anyway, as part of our routine duties we would do weekly and monthly periodic maintenance on everything, basically calibration checks. One piece of equipment, however, was notoriously cranky and hard to calibrate. As long as we didn't touch it, it worked fine. But the process of doing the weekly PM would throw it into a tizzy and we'd have to spend hours sometimes tweaking in back into calibration. So, we in the RC division would not actually do the PM on this equipment. We'd, um, 'pretend' to calibrate it. That was the routine during the whole patrol.

    The problem came about during an ORSE. The ORSE team might want to watch a weekly PM on the equipment and we would be totally out of practice in doing it properly. When I first got to the boat, the senior RC div guys knew all this, of course, and before an ORSE would schedule a practice run or two of a real weekly PM on the equipment and everyone not on watch would try to participate so they'd pick up some pointers how to get this thing to cooperate. It helped, but not much. The equipment just didn't like to be touched. I was involved with a weekly on it during an ORSE and we basically looked like idiots trying to get the thing right.

    So yeah, ORSE. Lots of fun.

  8. #128
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    My Dad has had a pretty active Navy career. He started as MM on the USS Henry L. Stimson, then became a MMN and a nuclear lab technician, worked his way up to "Bull Nuke". He left the boat as a Master Chief to work ashore at New London.

    At that time, he earned a commission. (This sentence deserves its own paragraph.)

    After leaving active service , he trained other nukes as a reservist. He put himself through college via GI Bill at 35, worked as a civilian Nuclear Engineer, and is now retired at Lieutenant. (He still does civ engineering jobs from time to time.)
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  9. #129
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    Sea stories in SPACE

    Quote Originally Posted by Noisy Rhysling View Post
    Check the covers of 1930's Analog magazines.
    Or the works of Chesley Bonestell. He basically founded the genre of contemporary and "realistic" space art.

    http://www.bonestell.org
    Last edited by schlaugh; 2016-May-05 at 01:49 PM.

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    Geo, Naval squadrons have a similar inspection every 18 months. Every aircraft and all material and paperwork assigned to said squadron.

    One squadron got a fail for the entire inspection when one of the inspectors was checking out what he thought was a hand sized paint bubble on the engine cowling. Wile doing so put his hand clear through the panel.

    Fortunately not my squadron. Unfortunately I had business with the warrant officer in charge of their maintenance control and we were both standing beside the aircraft when fate dealt his squadron the green wienie. Sort of makes it hard to ask for inter-squadron favors when the person you are trying to smooze goes into full panic mode.

    Clev, the "green wienie" is particularly bad in military parlance.

    Meanwhile our sister outfit was dunned for waxing their aircraft. Even after we tried to warn them they would be. Massive safety violation. Too slick to walk on. The Blue Angels are/were the only warbirds allowed to be waxed as far as I know. But by the time their own maintenance control became aware of what was happening nearly half the squadron had been buffed to a high gloss. (Over a long weekend.)

    And they don't seem to have a convenient method of de-waxing an aircraft. It may not look it but Tomcats had nearly as much surface area as a forty-five foot tractor/trailer rig. This was no small undertaking.

    A much more frequent pain in the butt was the 28 day inspection on the weapons systems. If everything goes *right* it takes about six to eight hours. With a two hour set up and one hour breakdown/paperwork time. Though if you find a problem you have to fix it then start over again from the beginning.

    One of the few jobs in the Navy where it was cooler to be the junior guy on the job.

    You attach a bunch of air-conditioners, override multiple safety systems so the aircraft thinks its both airborne AND has its engines running and hook up computers to all of the missile rails that tell the bird it has ordinance on board. And until he learns the procedures the new guy gets to push all the buttons and pull all the triggers as the aircraft goes through various combat drills built into the system, with fake hostiles and everything. Look down attacks, look up attacks and dog fighting, (known to fighter pilots as getting into a knife fight) all take different modes and missiles.
    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
    (John, not the other one.)

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    One thing about a spaceship, you won't have anyone suddenly pop in for a surprise inspection. The ship's officers might call for one but they're inspecting all the time anyway, so you'll already know if you can pass their standards.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noisy Rhysling View Post
    And to return to the OP, bathing was something we stressed, especially folks in my rating, Machinist Mate. The enginerooms can get very hot and stink can accumulate rapidly if you don't tend to personal hygiene. Heinlein commented on this in Starship Troopers. Rico says "I learned to answer roll call with 'Bathed!' to indicate I'll showered at least once since last roll call." (From memory.) Stinky sailors used to get special (and highly informal) attention to encourage them to be better citizens.
    The spin-enabled ships can have showers, but zero G has special challenges. I know there was a shower of sorts on Skylab, you applied warm water with a sprayer and vacuumed it off afterwards. One thing a giant nuclear laser with huge cooling radiators will not lack, is hot water.

    Maybe the spacers should just scrape off the excess fluid with a spatula. A Roman style bath-- IN SPACE!
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    The best zero-G space bath I've read about was a bag that fastened around the neck. Water was piped in, piped out, the bather soaped and scrubbed, then the water cycle started again to rinse. The bag was anchored in four places so you could get purchase. You just had to remember to take everything in with you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noisy Rhysling View Post
    The best zero-G space bath I've read about was a bag that fastened around the neck. Water was piped in, piped out, the bather soaped and scrubbed, then the water cycle started again to rinse. The bag was anchored in four places so you could get purchase. You just had to remember to take everything in with you.
    I'm trying to decide if that puts the "fun" into or takes it out of "functional".
    Solfe

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    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    I'm trying to decide if that puts the "fun" into or takes it out of "functional".
    Depends who's in there with... oh, never mind.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    They'd need soap and shampoo that the life support systems can handle. On Skylab they used a special soap that would not clog the filters.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    And we're back. This thread is again relevant as I return to writing. Elements of this story will be re-used so I'd like more Navy stories, facts, culture, and details that I can misapply out of context. ;D
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    And we're back. This thread is again relevant as I return to writing. Elements of this story will be re-used so I'd like more Navy stories, facts, culture, and details that I can misapply out of context. ;D
    I'm happy to contribute with respect to submarines, and I did a six month stint on a surface ship as well. But I'm no BigDon - it's hard for me to remember stuff without some prompting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by geonuc View Post
    I'm happy to contribute with respect to submarines, and I did a six month stint on a surface ship as well. But I'm no BigDon - it's hard for me to remember stuff without some prompting.
    Every little bit helps!
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    I was in a rowboat a few times and once had to tell people how to oar a canoe, and there was a steamboat ride or two.

    Okay, I'm out.
    There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.
    Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi (1883)

  21. #141
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger E. Moore View Post
    I was in a rowboat a few times and once had to tell people how to oar a canoe, and there was a steamboat ride or two.

    Okay, I'm out.
    I've lain on a pool float.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  22. #142
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    Quote Originally Posted by geonuc View Post
    I'm happy to contribute with respect to submarines, and I did a six month stint on a surface ship as well. But I'm no BigDon - it's hard for me to remember stuff without some prompting.
    What sort of prompting would you need? I'm not even sure what questions to ask.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    What sort of prompting would you need? I'm not even sure what questions to ask.
    Me neither. What sort of stories are you interested in mostly? Operational (stories of how we operated the sub/ship)? Personnel (how we got along in such close quarters on the sub, and how sometimes we didn't)? Personal (my particular experiences being a sub sailor)?

    An example of operational, and this isn't particularly exciting:

    I was on an LPD (a large ship designed to deliver Marines on an amphibious assault) for six months as an electronics technician while waiting for my seat in Navy Nuclear Power School. I had already been through all the electronics schools, so I was a bonafide ET, albeit quite green. Us ETs were tasked with taking care of the ship's radios and radars. The ship operated out of San Diego, where the Navy had a large amphibious fleet (the Gator Navy). During this time, we participated in a massive assault exercise on one of the islands off the California coast. Lots of ships; lots of Marines. During the assault, the ship was at Battle Stations, also known as General Quarters. Everyone had an assigned GQ station and had to remain there for the duration. Now, most people, I think, have the notion that when a ship is at Battle Stations, every sailor on board is laser-focused on doing whatever their station called for. Well, not everyone. For us ETs, we had little to do. The ship's radios and radars were required to operate for the exercise and the captain (in this case an O6 Captain) really didn't want us even touching the things unless something broke. My particular station was in the radar shack, a small room high up on the superstructure near the radars. There were three of us there, I believe.

    Being high up, we had a great view of the operation. Dozens of ships, landing craft and zillions of Marines storming the beach. Most of the ships shelled the beach as well (before the Marines did their storming, of course). Having nothing else to do, we brought out our deck chairs (yes, we had our own deck chairs), popped up some popcorn and sat and watched the show. It was like being in the front row while a John Wayne war movie was being filmed. Plus, we were not too far from our ship's main gun, so the percussion of it firing added to the experience.

    The radar shack hosted other events, as well, such as regular poker games. But it was that amphibious exercise that mostly sticks in my mind.

    So, the takeaway from this story is that not everyone on board a ship is concentrating hard on their tasks, sweat beading on their brows, during battle stations. Some of us were eating popcorn. That changed when I reported aboard the submarine after Nuclear Power School and qualified on my various watchstations. As I rose in seniority, I had the Reactor Plant Control Panel as my GQ station. No popcorn eating there, although I do have some stories.

  24. #144
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    Quote Originally Posted by geonuc View Post
    Me neither. What sort of stories are you interested in mostly? Operational (stories of how we operated the sub/ship)? Personnel (how we got along in such close quarters on the sub, and how sometimes we didn't)? Personal (my particular experiences being a sub sailor)?

    An example of operational, and this isn't particularly exciting:

    I was on an LPD (a large ship designed to deliver Marines on an amphibious assault) for six months as an electronics technician while waiting for my seat in Navy Nuclear Power School. I had already been through all the electronics schools, so I was a bonafide ET, albeit quite green. Us ETs were tasked with taking care of the ship's radios and radars. The ship operated out of San Diego, where the Navy had a large amphibious fleet (the Gator Navy). During this time, we participated in a massive assault exercise on one of the islands off the California coast. Lots of ships; lots of Marines. During the assault, the ship was at Battle Stations, also known as General Quarters. Everyone had an assigned GQ station and had to remain there for the duration. Now, most people, I think, have the notion that when a ship is at Battle Stations, every sailor on board is laser-focused on doing whatever their station called for. Well, not everyone. For us ETs, we had little to do. The ship's radios and radars were required to operate for the exercise and the captain (in this case an O6 Captain) really didn't want us even touching the things unless something broke. My particular station was in the radar shack, a small room high up on the superstructure near the radars. There were three of us there, I believe.

    Being high up, we had a great view of the operation. Dozens of ships, landing craft and zillions of Marines storming the beach. Most of the ships shelled the beach as well (before the Marines did their storming, of course). Having nothing else to do, we brought out our deck chairs (yes, we had our own deck chairs), popped up some popcorn and sat and watched the show. It was like being in the front row while a John Wayne war movie was being filmed. Plus, we were not too far from our ship's main gun, so the percussion of it firing added to the experience.

    The radar shack hosted other events, as well, such as regular poker games. But it was that amphibious exercise that mostly sticks in my mind.

    So, the takeaway from this story is that not everyone on board a ship is concentrating hard on their tasks, sweat beading on their brows, during battle stations. Some of us were eating popcorn. That changed when I reported aboard the submarine after Nuclear Power School and qualified on my various watchstations. As I rose in seniority, I had the Reactor Plant Control Panel as my GQ station. No popcorn eating there, although I do have some stories.
    Personnel, mostly, and as much personal as you'd care to share. I want to get a feel for the daily experiences, routines, exceptions to the routine, and relationships among the crew of a submarine. And yes please, by all means stories.

    ADDED: I've tried to get such stories from my father but he's got health issues and isn't always able.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  25. #145
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    I'll give it some thought. My memory isn't so good, which is why the past couple of years, I've created a blog to relate some of my life's experiences, including on the submarine. No one reads it but it helps me remember.

    Personnel:

    Having some experience with both the surface and submarine fleets in the US Navy, I believe there is - or was, at least - considerable differences in how the two fleets operated, particularly in crew camaraderie and cohesiveness. Obviously, it's a spectrum in both cases but generally, submarine crews operated more as a unit, for the good of all if you will. We relied on each other to not only get along but to be proficient in our assigned tasks. More so than with the LPD I was on. With that ship, I was sometimes literally afraid to be in certain parts of the ship alone. This was during the era of race riots on aircraft carriers. I knew few people outside my division and none of the officers seemed approachable. The captain? Well, he liked to maintain an aura of Napoleonic authority. Compare that to my second captain on the submarine, who I will name: William Owens. A commander (O5) when he served on my sub, he eventually rose to the rank of full admiral and became Vice-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. An exceptional man, and a very personable one. Everyone respected the captain and he respected us. I still have the letters of recommendation he gave me to a couple of engineering schools.

    More than just respect, we helped each other succeed. We shared the workload. One patrol, my division (Reactor Controls) was overmanned to the point where we were in four-section duty, which means we stood one six-hour watch every 24 hours. This is unheard of and I don't know why it happened. Meanwhile, M-div, the machinist's mates, were understaffed with some watches port & starboard, as we called it. Six hours on, six off. It was very unfair. So, a couple of us in RC-div decided to cross-qualify on M-div watchstations, voluntarily. I qualified on a watch station which involved operating the boat's diesel engine and other mechanical systems, as well as performing chemical analyses and maintenance on the two steam generators. It was kind of cool, actually. Another guy did something similar; I forget what exactly. But it wasn't just us two: the rest of RC-div agreed to it even though it meant going to a three-section watch routine. Everyone in the division chipped in to help M-div. That's just how we did things. The rest of the crew was the same. They helped each other out.

    I can't imagine anything like that on the LPD.

  26. #146
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    Excellent, thank you. The vessel in my story is delivering Space Marines, so it would be something like an LPD, but it's also humanity's first interstellar military mission so it has a carefully selected and vetted crew, mostly drawn from USN nuclear submariners. The Marines are likewise not chosen for good attendance and nice haircuts, they underwent a battery of psych evals for this mission.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    I want to broaden the net to anyone who has experiences relevant to the topic: Anyone who's experienced freefall, or been in a crowded living environment, or anything YOU the reader! think might relate to being on a military spacecraft for long periods.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    I was on a very bad flight and the plane dropped, ah, significantly. The smoke in the cabin didn't do what I expected. The debris from the cabin (bottles of pop, purses, small items of all kinds) was pinned to the ceiling but rolling around like something alive. It was racing back and forth like a really mean animal. I can't say exactly what the smoke was doing, it was unlike anything I have ever seen before. It was moving in a mass instead of spreading out or trailing around the cabin, but absolutely not like the debris on the ceiling. Once we pulled out of the drop, the smoke crept along the floor, just like you'd expect.

    On a completely different note, I would expect all of your characters to have skills in verbal de-escalation. Some of them might actively use these skills, and others would have a very meta-moment when they realize that they are having it used on them. You'd think that it would be irritating, but sometimes it cause that person to self-regulate and calm down. Other times it could be hit or miss. This week I was doing a cooking lesson with a child with anger issues. While using a knife, a student "lost it". He handed me the knife and kicked holes in the wall. He communicated that he was mad so he was using some coping but not all of them. While he was busy trashing the place, he was also telling me he didn't really want to. Weird, but it happens.
    Solfe

  29. #149
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    I was on a very bad flight and the plane dropped, ah, significantly. The smoke in the cabin didn't do what I expected. The debris from the cabin (bottles of pop, purses, small items of all kinds) was pinned to the ceiling but rolling around like something alive. It was racing back and forth like a really mean animal. I can't say exactly what the smoke was doing, it was unlike anything I have ever seen before. It was moving in a mass instead of spreading out or trailing around the cabin, but absolutely not like the debris on the ceiling. Once we pulled out of the drop, the smoke crept along the floor, just like you'd expect.
    Smoke? What was making it?

    On a completely different note, I would expect all of your characters to have skills in verbal de-escalation. Some of them might actively use these skills, and others would have a very meta-moment when they realize that they are having it used on them. You'd think that it would be irritating, but sometimes it cause that person to self-regulate and calm down. Other times it could be hit or miss.
    A good idea. Add it to the training.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Smoke? What was making it?
    It was coming up from the floor and smelled electrical. Most of the lights were out for the duration of the flight, only the safety lighting was on. The air vents were working, but the overhead lighting seemed dead. No announcements were made, so maybe that wasn't working either. I remember seeing some of the indicators lights above the seats still on: The seatbelt lights and call lights. No one getting up. The stewardess I could see was sitting in a fold down seat mounted on the wall. When she spotted me standing up, she shot me a glare that said: "Go ahead. I don't care what you do." I sat right back down. My wife dropped an airsick bag and I stood up to get it. I don't even know if I grabbed the same bag. That was probably foolish.

    The drop was punctuated by a very loud noise followed by the engines going to full power as we dropped. At a guess the drop lasted all of 15 to 30 seconds, but it felt much longer. At the end of the drop, there was a even louder metal crash. I'm guessing some of the cargo shifted as we did our little aerobatic show.

    I got to be honest, I like flying and love all parts of air travel, but I did not look back at that airplane once we landed. I was afraid of what I wouldn't see.
    Solfe

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