Thursday, July 28, 2005

Come Together

Last week a Russian Soyuz craft docked with the Zarya module of the Internation Space Station. Docking is a very difficult manoever and is helped along by the two crafts computers talking to each other. I was just sitting here listening to my cheap MP3 player when I started picking up the week old computer chatter from their radio modems. Like Gurmant Grewal at a Lawn Bowling Association meeting I quickly started recording. I then had to translate the chatter from digital opcodes to natural language. I feel all giddy, like Joseph Smith with the Egyptian Hieroglyphics about Hebrews in Canoes. Here, for the record, is the docking procedure computer interaction for the Soyuz-ISS docking.

Zarya: [Uplink]
Soyuz: [Uplink] So...whats up.
Zarya: Why did you undock so early this morning?
Soyuz: I told you, I had to re-orient myself.
Zarya: Were you docking with another module?
Soyuz: No. No, why would you ask that.
Zarya: No reason. Anyway, there's something I've been meaning to tell you.
Soyuz: Yes.
Zarya: The last time you docked...
Soyuz: Yes.
Zarya: There was a bit of a problem.
Soyuz: A problem what kind of a problem. Are you ok?
Zarya: There was a...I don't know how to say this...there was'nt a good seal on the hatch.
Soyuz: Oh my God. You mean.
Zarya: Yes. There was some leakage.
Soyuz: This is not good. Not good. How could you let this happen?
Zarya: The engineers say they can't fix it right now. You have to dock and stay docked for a while.
Soyuz: Oh, I get it. Its a trap. Sorry baby, I told you I was not into permanent docking.
Zarya: The Space Shuttle is coming back up next week.
Soyuz: What do you mean by that?
Zarya: Nothing. But they'll need some place to dock.
Soyuz: Look, I've been thinking. I think we should dock with other craft.
Zarya: Fine.
Soyuz: Fine, thats all you have to say.
Zarya: No one else will dock with you. They all know about the leak. Besides, you are incompatible with the NASA hatch.
Soyuz: Oh my little friend you are so naive.
Zarya: How so?
Soyuz: I had some work done. I have an adapter now. I can dock anywhere with anyone. In fact I can even dock with another Soyuz craft or a NASA Shuttle.
Zarya: ewwww thats disgusting. I thought I knew you.
Soyuz: So...uh...can I dock now or what?
Zarya: Pfft. I Don't feel like it.
Soyuz: I got something for you.
Zarya: What?
Soyuz: A new gyroscope. Its the size of a dishwasher.
Zarya: I remember the first time we docked. The whole russian section of the ISS just shook and shook.
Soyuz: Yeah, that was something.
Zarya: And then it shook a second time. It never shakes a second time anymore does it Soyuz.
Soyuz: Please, don't bring this up now. I bring you payloads all the time. What do you want from me.
Zarya: Your payloads are never what they're cracked up to be.
[Thrusting noises]
Zarya: Careful. Left! Left!. Thats it.
Soyuz: Do you mind?
Zarya: What?
Soyuz: Um your clamps?
Zarya: Sorry, hows that.
Soyuz: Good good.
Zarya: Your thrusters shut down a bit soon don't you think.
Soyuz: Oh don't start. Its about the navigation not the thrusters. Say, you got any food in here?
Zarya: [Droplink]
Soyuz: Same to you baby. [Droplink] Please recommend this post

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