Precinct 333

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Farewell To A NASA Legend

Friday marked the last flight of NASA's KC-135 aircraft used to induce temporary weightlessness. Often referred to as "the vomit comet," the plane had been in service for nine years.

As a Texan who has spent the last seven years living near Ellington Field in Houston, where the plane has been based, I've seen this aircraft come and go a lot of times. It's a beauty to watch in flight -- though a bit disconcerting to have come in for a landing (at 500 feet) over your right shoulder from behind when you are on your way to the supermarket.

The Houston Chronicle provides an interesting note.
But test director John Yaniac proudly told those who attended a post-flight briefing that over the years, the plane's crew had cleaned up at least 285 gallons of vomit.

"It's been a pleasure flying on this aircraft," he said.

Yeah. I guess you aren't the guy with the hose, the bucket, or the mop.


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