Not Always Right, the NASA edition

[The Customer is] Not Always Right. Here’s one shopping for a better, or at least longer, skydiving experience:

Customer: “How long is the free-fall part?”

Me: “About 30-40 seconds.”

Customer: “30 seconds!? I thought it was like five minutes? That’s how it is in the movies!”

Me: “But that’s in movies. Actual skydives average about a 30 to 40 second free-fall.”

Customer: “Why?”

Me: “Because that’s how long it takes to fall from the highest altitude that you can safely jump from.”

Customer: “If I’m going to pay $250 to jump, I want to fall for five minutes.”

Me: “Might I point out that it doesn’t even take objects in space five minutes to fall to earth? You could be in orbit and not get a five minute free-fall.”

Customer: “So if I call around, no one will be able to give me 5 minutes?”

Me: “No, ma’am.”

Customer: “Is there anyway you guys could fly the plane higher so I’d fall for five minutes?”

Me: “No ma’am, we cannot do that. Besides the fact that it is physically impossible, you would die. If you’re still hung up on this five-minute thing, call NASA and tell it to them.”

Customer: “Oh, so they do that?”

Full lunar eclipse on the solstice!

The full lunar eclipse from Virginia, U.S.A.

Last night in the wee small hours, if the sky was clear and you lived in one of the right places, you could see the Moon move into the Earth’s shadow and become a deep brick red, illuminated only by light that refracts around the Earth.

NASA has provided a map as well as the image above.


lunar eclipse map

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