Nasa / Space optimize

Geek Trivia: What onboard Christmas gifts did the Apollo 8 astronauts leave famously unopened?

Apollo 8 was the first spaceflight crew to open Christmas gifts in space -- except they did not open all of them. Why not?

This week's quibble comes from the Oct. 14, 2011 edition of Geek Trivia, which asked what outside group forces the Large Hadron Collider to shut down every winter?

Member Spitfire_Sysop demanded I acknowledge another individual who "forced" an LHC shutdown on April 1, 2010:

It was mentioned that a previous month long shut down was due to failure of a coolant system but there was no mention of the uncanny cause of this coolant failure. A time traveler (Eloi Cole) from the future was aprehended at the LHC site for walking around without an access badge. He said he dropped a baguette in to the air intake system in order to change the course of history where in the future the LHC project had unforeseen consequences.

How foolish of me to have overlooked this four-dimensional interloper (and his uncanny sense of timing). Thanks for the trans-temporal heads-up, and keep those quibbles coming!

About

Jay Garmon has a vast and terrifying knowledge of all things obscure, obtuse, and irrelevant. One day, he hopes to write science fiction, but for now he'll settle for something stranger -- amusing and abusing IT pros. Read his full profile. You can a...

14 comments
crcgraphix
crcgraphix

. . . cold, and not fresh and steamy by the time the Apollo 8 crew had gotten to it. But then you never know the wives of the astronauts being so smart themselves in so many ways, they'd probably put a hot box inside the present to keep the turkey and stuffing nice and warm!

jpnagle59
jpnagle59

I met these great men after about 3 years from that flight. They all seemed to me to be a very level headed gentlemen...but there was an underlying sense of humor with these guys...One said to me after I asked the question--'...what would you have done if something had gone wrong on the Apollo 8 flight that would have prevented you from coming back home?...' He smiled and said...'...we had special rocket fuel to do one of two things, zoom our way back to Earth...or take a one way trip to Mars...it's classified son...'.......I wonder if the Brandy was the 'secret' fuel?... I do hope it was the good stuff...

Charles Bundy
Charles Bundy

Who can say they spent Christmas visiting lunar orbit! Now that you've made me think about it there will be no complaints from me about holiday travel... I too do not drink alcohol in dangerous environments, such as one's in-laws house. :)

sboverie
sboverie

It was a smart choice to forgo the brandy on the circumlunar mission. I don't know what the cabin pressure was but if the pressure was equal to the pressure at 12,000 feet then the effects of alcohol tends to be stronger than sea level. Brandy might have interacted with the sleeping pills they were taking to sleep. I remember the quibble from who forced the LHC to shutdown, the trespasser was from the future and trying to stop a "chocolate, communist hell hole" from happening in our future. Sounds a bit more like a weird Star Trek episode where the crew go back in time to study the event of a near nuclear war.

morris.levy
morris.levy

Smart guys don't drink (a lot). They chose to go to the moon, and not to open some alcohol.

nijineko
nijineko

The possibility of free floating liquid in outer space has potentially dire consequences. Does anyone know if the brandy was contained in a zero-G safe container or not? If not, that might explain why they chose not to risk it.

Jay Garmon
Jay Garmon

John Young and Gus Grissom were penalized during a Gemini mission for smuggling their own food aboard. You eat what NASA gives you or you suffer the consequences!

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

For me it's Eat Nothing, Drink Nothing... and Breathe Only If You Must. It's not always nice to feel wanted... dead. :p

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

"Guys, I think NASA is trying to kill us".

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

You just switch the thrusters to manual, then commence a two-minute burn for the duration of sipping your brandy :) This is, after all, rocket science - not brain surgery.

tr
tr

One wonders what Deke was thinking... although pilots breaking the rules is par for the course. I've sure broken my share. BTW, I've tried using the contact form twice to send a private message and get a bounce from CNet each time. Logged in and all. What gives?

jlholmes21
jlholmes21

They should have opened it but then again its Nasa....

tcavadias
tcavadias

me a copy of the bounced message (tammy.cavadias AT cbs DOT com) - also how were you trying to contact them? Thanks! -Tammy [_]3

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

It's broken in very ... interesting ... ways. Like, I have about fifty contacts, and about half have me as a contact as well, but I only have 8 people available for peer mail. And many people ask me why I don't have the option to allow peer mail checked, but I do, I really do have it checked. And the best part, I have received a PM from a member that I can't PM back, and that should be impossible, right?