Fueled By Death Cast Ep. 77 - COFFEE IN SPACE
DEATH WISH COFFEE IN SPACE
ON THE PODCAST - COFFEE IN SPACE:
The World's Strongest Coffee is now the Strongest Coffee in the Galaxy. In celebration of the news that Death Wish Coffee will be going to the International Space Station we put together a supercut of some of our favorite moments from Fueled By Death Cast about science and space. This includes excerpts our episode with retired NASA Astronaut and artist Nicole Stott and the a-ha moment we had about sending Death Wish Coffee to space, as well as what it was like for her to ride on the Space Shuttle and live on the Space Station. Plus, hear some clips from Episode 63 with Dr. Michio Kaku as we talk about space exploration, growing coffee on Mars, and answers to science questions from Bill Farmer, the voice of Disney's Goofy! Then, hear a special segment featuring Claire Wineland from Episode 26 as she talks about her fascination with science and how we all fit into the universe. Finally, hear Death Wish Coffee Company's owner and founder Mike Brown talk about creating an instant version of the World's Strongest Coffee for space, and how his small business idea has traveled from the basement to the cosmos.
ON THE FUELED BY DEATH SHOW THIS WEEK:
On this week's show, Dustin and Jeff announce something so huge it can't even be contained on this planet. Death Wish Coffee is headed to the International Space Station. Thanks to NASA, SpaceX, NASA Food Labs, and especially, retired astronaut and artist Nicole Stott for making this possible. Here us break the news on the show and check out a special segment with owner and founder of Death Wish Coffee, Mike Brown. Plus hear the Science Segment from Episode 18 with Nicole Stott, where the idea was born for sending Death Wish Coffee to space. The World's Strongest Coffee just became the Strongest Coffee in the Galaxy. This is another chapter in the history of this incredible small business, born from humble beginnings in Saratoga NY, that has achieved giant feats like a commercial in the Big Game, sponsoring NASCAR and New York Comic Con, and now, fueling the astronauts on the space station. Death Wish Coffee: From the Basement to the Cosmos.
DEATH STAR OF THE WEEK:
This week meet Holly Snyder, who has been a fan of Death Wish Coffee since 2012 and was the reason behind Death Wish Coffee sponsoring Riki's Ride from Riki Rachtman. Meet Holly here:
Jeff (host): The first segment is with retired NASA astronaut and artist Nicole Stott. This week Dustin, we got something really fun for science, and I think you're not going to be scared for once.
Dustin(host): I don't know. That's probably not, that's probably not possible.
Jeff (host): We have our special guest who you're going to hear later on in this episode, astronaut Nicole Stott, is with us. And the reason why is because I'm bringing up recently, March 30th, there was a very, very cool thing that happened in space, another space walk on the International Space Station. And I thought it was really cool to have you as a part of this today Nicole because you actually did this as well right? You did a couple space walks while you were up there.
Nicole Stott: I did. I did only one space walk, which I can tell you, is like, you know, the number of times you go to space it's never enough. You know? You want. And you know did one and wished that I had done another because I think that maybe my brain would have remembered more of the experience but ... only one.
Jeff (host): How long were you out on that space walk?
Nicole Stott: That one, a little over six and half hours.
Jeff (host): Wow.
Jeff (host): And you were doing like the same thing that they were doing? Like maintenance on the Space Station, I believe?
Nicole Stott: We were. There was a mix of maintenance and there was one of the coolest things I got to do on the space walk was ride on the end of the big robotic arm. You know, like this big-
Jeff (host): Oh my gosh!
Nicole Stott: -on the big robotic arm. Hanging on to this box that on the ground would have weighed, I don't know, 800 pounds or something. But up there you can just do, whatever you want with it. And rode on the arm with that and that was some science experiments that we had outside of the station that were attached to the outside of the station. And they needed to bring them back to Earth. So we were taking it from the station down into the space shuttle. But, yeah most space walks are a mix of assembly, you know building the station, or maintenance or bringing science back to earth.
Dustin(host): What were they doing yesterday in particular?
Jeff (host): They're getting it ready for their fitting more couplings and different things on it to get it ready for new docking things-
Dustin(host): Oh, like an upgrade?
Jeff (host): Yeah. [crosstalk 00:02:11] And one of the things that happened yesterday, actually, depending on when you're listening to this. On March 30th, during that space walk was a part of cloth shielding actually floated off. And everything is tethered down. You're tethered down Nicole like you were saying on the big arm and all that stuff. Is it scary, like when things kind of-
Dustin(host): You said I wasn't going to be scared!
Jeff (host): -float away.
Dustin(host): I am so scared right now.
Jeff (host): Like because I mean you're using-
Nicole Stott: [crosstalk 00:02:37] gravity.
Jeff (host): You're using tools, and you're using like all these different things, everything must be tethered to you right? Like was there ever moments for you where things kind of like almost floated off? Like is it, I'm just so curious about stuff like that.
Nicole Stott: Yeah. I don't remember a moment where things almost floated off. It is really easy for that to happen though. And not so much with your person. I think there's a diligence that very deliberate attention to that when you're outside with your own tethers. And we have a life line that we call our safety tether that goes back to main anchor point and then whenever you get to a particular location, just like imagine if you were rock climbing you'd kind of local tether yourself, so you can't get any further than four feet away from the structure. And that kind of thing. So, very deliberate there.
But, there is real opportunity for little pieces and tools to be liberated from their tether. For a number of different reasons and you know no crew member wants that to happen. They don't want that to happen. But, it's kind of an accepted part of that work is that there is possibly of that happening. And just unfortunately they experienced that yesterday but they recovered beautifully with that.
Jeff (host): They McGuyvered a way out of it and it was incredible. I was watching some of it live. That's what's so cool about living in the future that we live in now, is like, I can watch astronauts in space working on the Space Station-
Dustin(host): On Facebook.
Jeff (host): Yeah, it's incredible.
Nicole Stott: Facebook Live. Yeah.
Jeff (host): It's absolutely incredible.
The other question I wanted to ask you, what is the process like, you're in the Space Station, and you're going to go out on a space walk. So you have to get in your suit and get out there, like what is that process like? Does it take a long time to get-
Dustin(host): What theme music is playing when this is happening?
Jeff (host): Yeah right!
Nicole Stott: There is always music. I wish I could remember what music was playing when we were suiting up. Somebody's always got music going on on the station. It's a, again, a very deliberate scripted process to go out the door. And there's communication with our ground team. They're working along right beside us on the check list for any of the people that are helping get the crew members that are going outside ready to go out. And it works beautifully there's, it's scripted so nicely that you, that if you do miss something, you catch it down the way.
And it's really a great process. But it takes awhile. I mean it's a few hours of getting ready to go out. And these days we do something called an exercise protocol before going out the door. Where before you get in the suit you actually get on an oxygen mask, and you ride the bike, the bike at a certain level for a while and that's to help get rid of that nitrogen in your body. You want to prevent the bends from happening. Just like you would if you were going out on an extended dive.
And so, it used be that we would sleep overnight in the airlock at a reduced pressure to help get that nitrogen out of your body. But, this is where it's so neat, I mean how technology and what we know about our bodies, what we've learned on the ground from you know, from deep sea diving kinds of things and what we know from doing earlier space walks. We've developed easier techniques for riding ourselves of that nitrogen in our body, to make it easier to get out the door too. But, it's a process, and you want it to be a process because you want all of the ceiling surfaces to be holding the pressure in the suit. And you want it to work when you go outside.
Dustin(host): In my line work I feel like we put in procedures because we've kind of messed it up already. I mean does that happen for you guys, where it's like, oh-
Jeff (host): This didn't work.
Dustin(host): -that was a mistake. We probably should put a procedure in process, so we don't do that again.
Nicole Stott: Yeah, absolutely. And that's a good thing. I mean, there's the good and the bad of that. There's the good in it that, you should very deliberately be learning from the lessons that you've had before. You know? You shouldn't have to make that mistake again. And so we do try, as much as we can to incorporate those lessons learned. What you don't want to do is bog yourself down with so much other, procedural stuff, that it opens up new opportunity's for making mistakes. [crosstalk 00:07:22] So, there's a really interesting balance there.
Jeff (host): Awesome. The final question is, we talked about getting out there, but you're out in space, you said for like six hours or whatever. When you come back into the Space Station, is it like an acclimation process? Like does, it take your body, is it different from being in space to being back in the Space Station or is it kind of like an easy transition?
Nicole Stott: It really is a pretty easy transition. I think once you get back in the airlock, you know there's the procedures. I mean it's all very scripted and check-listed again, to bring you back in. You don't want to hurt yourself pulling the helmet off and all of that kind of thing. But, it's much quicker than going out the door, and it's kind of like when you really work hard at anything, and you finally just get all the equipment off. You get to think about just chilling and relaxing afterwards.
That's where it's just kind of this wind down. Because when you're out on a space walk. There is the physical aspect of it. There's the wow, look I am outside in my own little space ship, really. You know? I've got my own little visor, it's just between me and 250 miles below me, that beautiful planet again. That by the way is a distraction, so you got to kind of look away from that, or you'd just be looking at that the whole time. [crosstalk 00:08:45] doing your job.
Dustin(host): Yeah, mesmerizing.
Nicole Stott: And there's kind of a mental, you know you're working hard mentally when you're out there too. And so it is, you come back in, you've successfully gotten your work done and-
Jeff (host): You're exhausted probably right?
Nicole Stott: You want one of these.
Jeff (host): Yeah. Cup of coffee.
Nicole Stott: You know, you want to chill a little bit, yeah.
Jeff (host): Do you drink coffee in space?
Nicole Stott: Yes you do.
Dustin(host): How do we get Death Wish to space?
Nicole Stott: You know what? Let's talk about that. I think people would love it.
Jeff (host): Awesome.
Dustin(host): Wait. I'm so into that. Jeff and I and you will be responsible for putting Death Wish in space, that's awesome.
Jeff (host): Well this was officially the coolest science segment we've ever had. Thank you so much Nicole.
Dustin(host): Thank you.
Nicole Stott: Thank you. Thanks for the-
Jeff (host): The next segment is with theoretical physicist and best selling author Dr. Michio Kaku.
Dustin(host): So back to your book, you talk a lot about the implications of getting the Mars and then terraforming it to make it, habitable for humans. Do you see a future where we're able to grow crops on Mars, like we do on Earth? Like we've seen in recent science fiction movies?
Dr. Michio Kaku: I think one of the first things we're doing to on Mars is to try to create an agriculture on Mars. We're going to genetically modify algae, genetically modify plants. Plants love carbon dioxide, and the atmosphere of Mars is carbon dioxide. But it's cold. So, we have to heat up Mars a bit. If we could inject for example methane gas that could create an artificial greenhouse effect or satellites. Solar satellites can beam energy to the polar ice caps, melt them to create rivers.
Mars once had an ocean about the size of the United States. That's how big that ocean used to be billions of years ago. We could recreate it by melting the polar ice caps. And if we can raise the temperature by 6 degrees, just 6 degrees, the atmosphere could take off. We could have a runaway greenhouse effect to raise the temperature of Mars. If we can raise it just 6 degrees.
Jeff (host): And how do we go about implementing that?
Dr. Michio Kaku: Well, Elon Musk, the genius behind Space-X and all the recent news about moon rockets. Elon Musk said casually maybe we can drop a hydrogen bomb on the polar ice caps to melt them. I think that's a little bit premature 'cause who wants to drink radioactive water? But, I think solar cells and solar satellites can beam energy to the polar ice caps to accelerate the process of heating it up. So, a combination of methane gas, a combination of beaming energy to the polar ice caps could start this runaway greenhouse effect, to make Mars into another garden of eden.
Dustin(host): Wow. I find it interesting that you are more focused on changing the plant temperature and terraforming Mars than, I feel like it would easier to make plants that kind of change their genomes so that they grow better in a Mars ecosystem. So, instead of changing the planet, change the plants.
Dr. Michio Kaku: Yeah. I think definitely we should genetically modify algae so that they would consume carbon dioxide on very vast scale so the atmosphere's almost pure carbon dioxide. And also thrive is a cold environment. Mars is a frozen desert. It's frozen solid. And so, we have to find a way for plants to grow in a very cold environment.
So, initially we'll have to create hydroponics, we'll have to create gigantic factories producing the first plants to create top soil. But once that gets off the ground, I'd say we're going to have to heat up large areas of Mars so that plants can exist that'll proliferate on their own. So, I think definitely we want jump start this technology to create argo-business on Mars by using bio-technology.
Dustin(host): And how far away do you think we are from doing something like this?
Dr. Michio Kaku: Well let's get a time table. First of all, next year 2019, the first moon rocket will go back to the Moon after a 50 year gap. The SLS booster rocket of NASA and the Orion space capsule are scheduled to orbit around the moon, in an unmanned mission in December of 2019. Then 2023, humans, astronauts will go back to the Moon and then by 2026 we hope to have a lunar orbiter that orbits the moon to create a rocket ship that'll take us to Mars. So, the Moon is going to be a halfway stop. We'll stop on the Moon, it's only three days away by rocket. Build the Mars ship, in space and then shoot the Mars rocket to Mars for a two year journey. That'll take place some time around 2030, 2035.
And then once we get that off the ground, a small settlement of astronauts will be created and perhaps by the end of the century. Perhaps we'll have a few hundred colonists on Mars. Elon Musk envisions a million colonists. Each rocket containing maybe 1,000 settlers and colonists to begin the process of creating a second branch of humanity. Now, of course, all humans are not going to go to Mars, a settlement on Mars because we need an insurance policy in case something happens to the Earth.
Now, remember the dinosaurs had no space program. And because the dinosaurs had no space program, that's why they're not here today to talk about it. We do have a space program. So, we can create an insurance policy, a backup plan, plan B, in case something bad happens to the Earth.
Jeff (host): And getting to Mars we're going to terraform it, I have to ask this question here at Death Wish Coffee, would we be able to grow coffee on Mars?
Dr. Michio Kaku: Yes. In principal anything that could be grown on the Earth could be modified slightly to grow in the environment of Mars, which is colder than the Earth. But, still has plenty of carbon dioxide. Plants love carbon dioxide, so yes, you could have coffee on mars.
Jeff (host): And we tout ourselves as the worlds strongest coffee, would caffeine affect you differently in the atmosphere of Mars or would it be the same?
Dr. Michio Kaku: I think it would largely the same because you know, caffeine would get in the blood and the blood goes into the brain and simulates dopamine. And so, I think that for the most part, it'll be roughly the same. You're going to still get the caffeine high on Mars.
Jeff (host): That's good 'cause as I said we are the worlds strongest coffee and we hope to one day be the strongest coffee in the universe. And that would be our first steps.
The next segment is with activist, entrepreneur and author Claire Wineland.
We touched on it a little bit how you were saying you know, you felt that there needed be a voice for people who are sick and you also have this wonderful strength to you. And I really wanted to kind of ask you, where do you draw your strength from? And I'm not talking about in the sense of that you are sick and you're going to die but from the sense of that, you are faced every day with people, like you said, unloading their pity and their feelings on you. Where do you find that strength to kind of overcome that and be positive?
Claire Wineland: Honestly, I find a lot of it, and it sounds weird, but I find a lot of it in science. I'm a big nerd. [crosstalk 00:16:46]
Jeff (host): We are too.
Dustin(host): We are too big time!
Claire Wineland: Oh good, thank god! And I feel like for me some of the, and you know my dad is very spiritual person, I was raised very kind of Tibetan Buddhist and kind of grew up reading those kind of things. And those do do a lot for me as well, you know? But, I think why I've kind of had the most aha moments in my life has been through learning about how everything works. Why it works the way it does. Because the truth of the matter is, there's so much complexity in everything if you know how to look at it right. You know what I mean? If you know what's going on under the surface, there's so much complexity to it.
Even a dew drop. If you like go, if you zoom in deep enough to the dew drop there's whole organisms playing out their entire life and their battles and their wars and their relationships and all of that. There's like thousands of organisms in a dew drop, living their life. There's the actual chemical makeup of the water. There's the leaf that it's sitting on and the way that it's turning sunlight into energy and all that's crazy. And you would never think twice about it. It's just another dew drop.
So, for me it's kind of you zoom in deep enough to any life. To any form of life and you find complexity and I kind of applied that to my own life. And it's small, it's short and you know what I mean? And it's not as, I don't have as broad of possibilities as some do. Because I don't have health. But, you zoom in deep enough, you look at the right way and there's still just as much life going on. There's still just as much complexity and beauty and you know what I mean? And intricacy really. And so I'm very much kind of a micro causes a macro kind of person, you know like, the same laws that govern the universe kind of govern us and I think that that's beautiful.
And I think a lot of the times, I think some of the best advice I ever got around being sick and kind of moving forward through life. 'Cause honestly, I don't think it's just a sick person thing. Everyone has a really, really hard time just going about life. Because we're kind of sold this notion that it's like way more glamorous than it is. And most of life is just mundane stuff. It's just like going to the bathroom and then doing the dishes. You know? That's like the majority of life is just really mundane, and it's like, we're all just, it's like this mental gymnastics of like trying to get ourselves to do the same things every day.
So, I think some of the best kind of advice I ever got for how to just move forward and just do it. Is that you're not that important. You're not that important. And I mean that in like a loving way. Like, you know what I mean? Me being sick, that's not that big of a deal. I'm not that important. I have something to give. I have something to offer, and you know what I mean? And I can make something for the world out of my experience and out of what I've been through I have something to share. And that can be important, that can have a life of its own, you know? But, me and myself, my own like head, is not that important so I don't need to like dwell on it for a million hours. And that kind of helped so much because the moment you stop fucking, sorry I don't know if I'm allowed to cuss [crosstalk 00:20:03]. I'm such a cusser!
Jeff (host): Cuss all you want. [crosstalk 00:20:06]
Claire Wineland: It always comes out. But you know what I mean? The moment you stop just kind of going in that endless loop of like, what you're doing wrong, how your life isn't where you want it to be. How can you get it to where you want it to be? And then, you know what I mean, like once you kind of get out of that and you step back and you're like all right, everything is really crazy and we are somehow like alive and conscious and it's really weird and you take a step a back and realize you're just an organism. You know? It takes a lot of the weight off your chest.
Jeff (host): The next segments are with Dr. Michio Kaku and Bil Farmer, the voice of Disney's Goofy.
All of what you do has touched so many people in the world, from all walks of life and it's because of the way that you can, explain the intricacies of science and what you're talking about, and [inaudible 00:20:58] back to that quote from Einstein. And speaking of cartoons, one of those people happens to be Bil Farmer, who happens to be the voice of Goofy. Mickey Mouse's friend in all of Disney's adaptations. He's one of your biggest fans and also a friend of our show. And he wanted to ask you a question.
Bil Farmer: Michio, I'm Bil Farmer, you might know me as the voice of Goofy. [Gorsh 00:21:23] someone's got to do it. And I'm a big fan. And I have question. In the world we know, classical physics is the law of the land. In the sub-atomic world quantum mechanics, and a whole different set of rules takes over. Let's say I was shrinking, how far would I have to shrink until I would leave this world of classical physics and become trapped by the world of quantum mechanics? Is there like a state line where we move from one to the other?
Dr. Michio Kaku: Well, that's a tough question! It used be that people like Niels Bohr, the founder of the quantum, one of the founders of the quantum theory, believe that there was a wall. A wall that separated the microscopic world, which is bizarre. People, things can exist in multiple states simultaneously, electrons can disappear, reappear, be in parallel states simultaneously. That bizarre world of the quantum is separated us by a wall because we live in a microscopic world. Where you can only be one place at one time, forget being multiple places at multiple times simultaneously. Well, now we know there is no wall. We think that Niels Bohr was wrong. That nano-technology allows a smooth, a smooth transition between quantum mechanical things and large things.
So, then how do we then smoothly go from one world, the world where things can pop into existence out of nothing and the world of today, where a rock is a rock is a rock. A rock doesn't disappear, a rock doesn't turn into light, at the sub-atomic level rocks can turn into light. That rock is uranium, that light is nuclear bomb. And at the sub-atomic level, you can have all sorts of goofy things happening.
And we now know that there is no brick wall, it's continuous. Nano-technology has given us the ability to smoothly manipulate individual atoms. And then the question is well, if universes can exist in simultaneous forms, then is Elvis Presley still alive in an quantum parallel universe? And the answer could be, well yes. Elvis Presley could still be alive but why can't we talk to him. If that's sub-atomically possible, why can't we do it in real life, talk to Elvis Presley.
Well, quantum mechanics says that everything is vibrating. When things vibrate in unison, that's called coherence, then they can interact with each other quantum mechanically. But after a while, they start to vibrate, not in unison and that's called incoherence and that's the world of today. Our world today is incoherent. That's why we can not talk to Elvis Presley. We're no longer vibrating at the same frequency. If we were vibrating at the same frequency, of Elvis Presley, then yeah, we could talk to him. But we're not. We have decohered from him. And that's a separation, the longer you wait, the more the vibration and the waves separate and that's why you can no longer communicate between two parallel universes.
So, it's a smooth continuation. It's not abrupt like we once thought.
Jeff (host): Wow! Very cool. Speaking on interstellar space travel, the universe seems so vast and sometimes so unreachable and actually this was second question that we got from Goofy, voice actor Bil Farmer. Again, like I said, he's one of your biggest fans.
Bil Farmer: The universe started as a single point of the Big Bang. It's been growing until now we see stars 13 billion light years distant. That means that that lights been traveling for 13 billion years. Well, does that mean that that star that we're seeing that light from is now at least like 26 billion or even farther away? So how can the universe be only 13 point something billion years old.
Dr. Michio Kaku: Well, the farthest stars that we can observe are roughly, 12, 12 and half billion light years from us and that still means that the universe is older than the oldest stars that we can see in the universe. It used to be the opposite. Years ago our measurements were not very precise and the age of a star can be measured by calculating how fast it burns hydrogen. The age of stars was larger than the age of the universe. That was very embarrassing. Because of course the universe has to be older than it's stars.
Now, the numbers are in agreement. The numbers say that the oldest stars can be maybe 12 billion maybe 12 and a half billion years old. But, the universe itself is over 13 billion years old. So, the numbers agree now, which is very nice.
Jeff (host): Wow! That's incredible.
The next segment is with retired NASA astronaut and artist Nicole Stott.
Nicole Stott: I mean I was just going to say that I love that you guys are aware too. You know, I mean part of my, as a retired astronaut now, I think everybody that leaves the office and goes on to something new. Like a new adventure, whatever that's going to be. I mean for me, it's based on art and sharing the experience of my art work and communicating with audiences that might not even know, we have a Space Station. And there are a lot of people out there that don't know, that we have for the past 16 years, I mean honestly as long as my son has been alive, we have been living peacefully, successfully, quietly even off our planet. For 16 years. People circling every 90 minutes on that Space Station and that's a pretty impressive thing.
Jeff (host): It really is.
Nicole Stott: Especially with, you know, like you just said, the relationships that made that happen, not to mention the technology that has been developed to allow that to happen. But, also that everything we're doing up there, it's helping us explore, live in space and off our planet. But, it is ultimately about improving life here on Earth. And that's a pretty cool thing.
Dustin(host): It's amazing.
Jeff (host): It really is and for the last, I don't know handful of years with smartphone technology and stuff like that, I have an app on my phone that tells me every time the Space Station goes over my head. And I always wave, because it's always cool to be able to see it as it's going. So, you went up there-
Nicole Stott: I think when you think about people up there, that's pretty impressive.
Jeff (host): It really is!
Dustin(host): Yeah, yeah [crosstalk 00:27:53].
Nicole Stott: [inaudible 00:27:54] has six people from around the world on it. Yeah.
Jeff (host): Yeah, that's so cool. So, you went up there for the first time-
Nicole Stott: So ask your question. I keep interrupting you!
Jeff (host): Oh, no no-
Dustin(host): It's okay.
Jeff (host): In 2009, is when you went up there for the first time. Here's a question I've always wanted to ask how long does it actually take from lift off on the ground to actually get to the Space Station.
Nicole Stott: Well, to get to the Space Station when we flew on the space shuttle, it was about two days. But, that's because we just planned the whole, chasing down the Space Station that way. And we did it deliberately we could have gotten there quicker, I mean the orbital mechanics of it all would allow you to get there quicker. In fact our Russian partners with the Soviet space craft, they do what they call a four orbit rendezvous now. And basically six hours from the time you launch to when you're docked with the Space Station.
Jeff (host): Wow!
Nicole Stott: And they used to do the two day thing as well. But, the importance of the two day thing was get to orbit, which only takes eight and half minutes on the shuttle. You know we launched and in eight and half minutes you're circling Earth. And then the point was to very deliberately on a path, chase down the station and along the way you would open up your payload bay doors and make sure that those systems were working. Deploy the big antenna and make sure all of the communications were working. So, do a very thorough check out of the space shuttle before you docked it to another piece of big hardware in space.
Dustin(host): Seems like a really good idea.
Jeff (host): Yeah.
Nicole Stott: It is and it gives you a little time to adapt to where you are, and get to know the shuttle a little bit better before you're docked with the station. But, yeah and then on the way home, you could undock and be home in an hour if you wanted to but, why would you want to come home that quickly.
Jeff (host): No way!
Dustin(host): So how long did it take to come back then for you?
Nicole Stott: Well, we undock from the station and there's usually about a day before you close the payload bay doors and burn the engines to come back into the atmosphere. So, it was typically about a day but, I think on my first flight we, actually I think on both flights, we delayed a day coming home for weather at KFC. And so had an extra day in space 'cause of that which, you know, none of us looked at each other complained about that at all. Awesome.
Jeff (host): I have to ask too. You're one of the last crew members to actually come back on the space shuttle. Is it a little scary, coming in on that space shuttle? Like, you know we see it romanticized in Hollywood movies and stuff like that but like in real life, what is it like to come back in the-
Dustin(host): I'm scared.
Jeff (host): Yeah, into the atmosphere.
Dustin(host): -I'm scared just listening to him. My palms are sweaty, it doesn't take much but that's it man.
Nicole Stott: You know the space shuttle, what was the space shuttle, I hope we figure out how to do something as beautiful as the space shuttle again. You know the space shuttle launched from the launchpad and glided in to landing on the runway. And you know the launch on the shuttle was really dynamic. I mean more than I, after watching launches for years working out there, ever imagined. I mean I thought it was going to be like here, and I can't even stretch my arm high enough for how your body is Jello, shaking on the way up.
But, its outstanding and you know just little detour here but, on launch nothing prepares you for it, I don't think. And then you do it again thinking, oh yeah been there done that. And it's a like a whole new experience all over again. And I don't know if our engineers who designed the shuttle did this deliberately or not but, in about the first minute and a half, there's not a whole lot the crew can do, about anything. You monitor the systems, there's some things media switches you can throw and stuff but for the most part you're in monitor mode.
And I think that was such a good thing because that first minute and a half it goes by so quickly and the whole time you're just like, the smile is across your face inside your helmet. You're high fiving with the guy next to you. And woohooing and stuff because it just drives it out of you. Talk about human experience I mean it just comes out of you then. And so, that's really dynamic on the shuttle.
The landing on a space shuttle it was like graceful and peaceful. And yeah it was almost kind of this contrast because you know once you start entering the atmosphere and if you can get a view out a window, I mean you're seeing that heat and some of the plasma kind of moving across the vehicle that you're like oh wow, it is really hot out there. And you know you're going super fast. But, it just was inside, just a little bit of a rumble every now and then. But no dynamics at all like launch and then when you land it's just this circling kind of s-turn and spiral into the runway and you're gliding. You're not even on engines anymore. The key there is you've got, it's one time, you land. You're going around and it was just a little screechy noise on the runway and then you're home. It was so, so mellow. Yeah.
Jeff (host): Wow, that's crazy.
Dustin(host): You have, the thing that's most inspiring about you for me, is that you have this perfect dichotomy of like cheerfulness and positivity, teamed up with like a bold and fearlessness. Where do you get that from? That's amazing.
Nicole Stott: I don't know. My mom and dad both very cool, you know and I think the opportunity to be out there, that my parents shared what they were excited about with us was I think a really huge thing. We're trying to do that with my son as well. In fact, like when I flew the first time, that 3 years of training, he was seven when I flew the first time. And so this kid, his whole life has been mom traveling back and forth to other countries and trying to take him when I could. And getting him out to whatever, if we were doing training where you're in an orange suit, sort of the big white suit or in a simulator, I tried to get him to as much of that as possible.
So, he was part of the crew and that's the way I felt with my family. I mean I felt like I was part of the crew and if somebody enjoyed something they shared it with you and I think that kind of gets in your blood that way. And very thankful to my dad for the passion he had for flying. I mean my gosh, I don't know, I hope that I would have found that some other way but I don't know if I would have or not.
Dustin(host): Would you call yourself an adrenaline junkie?
Nicole Stott: Um, no.
Jeff (host): No.
Nicole Stott: I don't know. There's certain things that I think I like doing that other people think like, holy moly why would you ever.
Nicole Stott: But, put me at the edge of a cliff or drive me on one of those roads in Europe where there's no railing and you know, I just over the skyway bridge, I don't want. I really don't want anything to do with it. There's particular things I guess but, some stuff-
Dustin(host): That's surprising.
Jeff (host): Yeah, that's surprising, I mean you have been to space.
Nicole Stott: [inaudible 00:35:54] everybody says that, how can you be afraid of heights if you've been to space? You did a space walk, how can you be afraid of heights and it is totally different. It is different and maybe it's a naive trust in your equipment or something, I don't know but, standing at the edge of the Grand Canyon which no protection, nothing is very different to me to going out on a space walk in a space suit that designed to protect.
Dustin(host): Do you think that's because you were on part of the engineering and operational logistic side that you were able to put that trust in your equipment?
Nicole Stott: You know when it came down to flying on the shuttle. Actually going out there, strapping in and launching. I had total confidence in the team that had put that vehicle together. And that's not to say that there's not risk associated with it because we all know there is. That's not to say that there's something that was not humanly possible for them to deal with. Or that [inaudible 00:36:54] myth because we are human beings doing this.
But, to the best degree possible I knew that those folks were doing what they could to make this a safe vehicle. And so, that was definitely part of the comfort zone and when people ask me, was I scared? Was I afraid, to go launch on the shuttle, I'm like no. It wasn't fear, it wasn't being afraid, I was anxious. I want to know, I've been training for a long time to do this, I know the people that worked on this vehicle and I am anxious to see what it's going to feel like. And to get up there and do work that I believe is important as well.
Jeff (host): That's really cool and one of the questions we had actually from another one of our employees, which I thought was pretty funny. With all the different operations on the shuttle and all the bells and whistles and everything, when you're getting up Space Station. Our buddy John here wanted me to ask you, does the shuttle have a horn? Can you beep at the Space Station when you get up there?
Nicole Stott: Well you could but, I don't know if that sound would travel through space in a way that-
Jeff (host): That's true, that's true, that's true.
Nicole Stott: -it would make it to them. But, we do have, it's a good question though!
Dustin(host): No, it's not!
Nicole Stott: You know, it is, [inaudible 00:38:19] com, we're alerting them in some way the entire time we're approaching. And then kind of in line with, it wasn't a horn, but you know how the Navy on ships has this when an officer is arriving or departing they have this bell they ring. Or when another ship is departing or arriving, they have this bell they ring. We have one of those bells on the Space Station and so when the shuttle or any vehicle would dock and a crew would be ready to come on board, they would ring the bell to announce that you were arriving and then after we'd undock, they would ring the bell and go through this kind of ceremonial, traditional just departure thing. To say hey, safe trip home-
Jeff (host): That's so cool.
Nicole Stott: -space shuttle Discovery departing. Yeah.
Dustin(host): How often were people coming in and out?
Nicole Stott: You know, it's not that often. Probably in the every three to six month timing. With shuttle, it was probably about every three to six months. With us not flying shuttle now and the Soyuez being the vehicle that's getting us to and from station. That's, actually timing's about the same I guess because we rotate crews, they're usually up there from like a four to six month mission. And so, we're overlapping and rotating crews throughout. But, probably three months for people showing up.
Jeff (host): Wow. And you were up there you're first time for just over three months and you were saying that the Space Station, actually goes around the Earth every 90 minutes. Do the days kind of blend together? Like, I've always wondered, living in the Space Station what it's like to go to sleep? [crosstalk 00:40:07]
Dustin(host): Sleeping must be so weird.
Jeff (host): Is that tough to get used to?
Nicole Stott: Sleeping is outstanding 'cause on the Space Station each of us have our own personal crew compartments, about the size of a phone booth. And it is the best sleep I've ever had, in my entire life. Quite honestly, it's you stick your sleeping back up on the wall and you float into it. And there's no, I mean literally, there's no pressure points, you're not like having to roll around to get comfortable and stuff. And it really was like the first couple nights in space are a little difficult because you just don't know, your body doesn't know how to respond to that almost.
And when you get to the micro-gravity environment, there's no load, no gravity pulling your own body down anymore. So, your spine elongates a little bit and so, I grew a little over an inch while I was there. Just because your spine completely offloads. And that hurts a little bit. It's like lower back pain, so you're trying, just like down here, you're trying to get comfortable when your back hurts to sleep. But, then it just goes away. It's just gone and it is the most ...
I would get in my sleeping bag, shut the door, do a little Sudoku puzzle first. You know a couple minutes or something. Stick it back on the wall, turn the light off and I think within five minutes every night I was asleep. And I did not, I woke up in the same position, to the alarm. Whether that was an emergency alarm or the alarm on my watch going off to tell me it was time to get up. It was so comfortable.
Dustin(host): You must have had the most crazy dreams up in space.
Nicole Stott: You know they change. They do change. And they changed for me down here after getting back too. I found that like before I flew, I used to have these dreams all the time and I remember as a kid too having these dreams where you kind of run and jump to fly. Just to be able to fly on your own. And sometimes I could and sometimes I couldn't in my dreams. And I don't know there's probably some psychology to that of you know struggling with something or whatever. If you couldn't get, a test your going to fail I don't know.
But, in space, I never had those dreams. And dreaming started to incorporate, things that were happening in space too. You know those activities that feeling floating all of that. And then when since coming home I've never had that run and jump dream anymore.
Jeff (host): You're free now. [crosstalk 00:42:42] No more tests.
Nicole Stott: Yes. But, I think it's 'cause, maybe it because your body knows your brain knows what it feels like to do and doesn't have to fight it anymore.
Dustin(host): Did you use like flotation tanks for training at all? It sounds like that would be useful.
Nicole Stott: Well for space walks we use this ginormous pool in Houston. There's this pool called the Neutral Buoyancy Lab. And it's like 100 feet wide, 200 feet long and 40 feet deep. And it's got a full mock up of the Space Station in it. And they can't lay it out in the same configuration as the station but they have all of the pieces are in there. So, you get into the same big 300 pound white suit and get into the pool and they get you as neutrally buoyant as possible and you go through that whole same six and half hour space walk there. Like you would if you were in space. But, it's a lot harder in the pool.
And so that's really the only like buoyancy training that we do. A couple times during your training you'll get to fly on the zero-g airplane, the vomit comet. To see just what it feels like to float, that though really doesn't give you any indication of how you will feel when you get to space. It's just-
Jeff (host): I imagine not.
Nicole Stott: -too short. The burst. But, it's cool to do it.
Jeff (host): That's cool.
So, you were up there and I mean, I just I can't imagine being able to look upon the Earth from that vantage point. Was there any, I don't know, part of the Earth that was more beautiful than the other? Like I've seen a lot of your photos and stuff like that. But, anything that you think back on where it's just like I can't believe I got to see this point of the Earth from this vantage point kind of thing?
Nicole Stott: Yeah, and I'll tell you. It is, the Earth is stunning. You know before you go from the pictures and videos that it is going to be, there's no doubt. I mean, you don't have question about whether it's going to pretty looking out the window. But, it's kind of like that launch thing. Here versus here with what it really is. And it just glows, it's like you've taken a light bulb and just painted it with all the colors that you know Earth is. And it's just crystal clear, glows like that.
And for me and I think, and behind my Skype screen here I have the picture, the horizon of the planet with Florida and the Bahamas and all that tropical water there. And I really think, even though I'm a Florida girl. Where I might have a little bit of prejudiced towards Florida being the most beautiful. I can tell you that water and that whole stretch of the planet from the southern tip of Florida to the northern coast of South America, as a single place is probably the most beautiful place on Earth.
But, you can't, I mean every place, every place you look there's a surprise that's interesting. There's this little tiny heart island in the Red Sea that just is naturally shaped heart island out there and these expanses of salt lakes in Australia that look like pink, I mean they just look like a Georgia O'Keeffe painting almost. Like they painted pink flowers on the ground. It's just the patterns of the dunes in the Sahara that look like bird footprints across the Earth.
It's just incredible and I think to me, I just remember looking out the window thinking, you know God must have a really wonderful sense of humor. Because all these things, it's like why are they there. Why is there a little heart shaped island out in the middle of the Red Sea? I mean naturally. You know there's a lot of man-made, palm island and all that stuff that's man-made but I mean these are naturally occurring things that you look out and you're like wow! It's like it's meant to be there for us to discover it. And you know that was pretty cool to me because every time you'd look out the window there'd be something like that. Even if you were looking at the same place there was something surprising about it. Whether it was the way the clouds were, if it was night versus day, all of that kind of thing that just, I can't imagine us every getting to the point where we're pulling the shade down on the Space Station to watch the movie or something. You know?
Jeff (host): Wow! That's so cool.
Nicole Stott: Why would you not want to look out the window?
Jeff (host): Yeah and that kind of leads me into my next question. You are the first person to paint in space. And you know, painting from what you saw and things. What is that like? Like I'm really curious what kind of paint did you use and how does it stick to the canvas in micro-gravity? How does that work?
Nicole Stott: It was really fun. I always put a shout-out to my crew member Bob Thirsk because he took the one and only picture I have of painting in space. And I wish, I'll tell you, if I were to go back, I would take that watercolor kit again or I'd find it 'cause I didn't bring it home with me. And do it again, and videotape what it was like to work with the water and the paint. And how you had to organize yourself because everything floats away so you got to, have Velcro on everything. And be really organized about it.
But, I didn't do that, so I do try to describe it but it was really fun and I think in the end it turned out like most things up there. They're different than the way you have to do it down here and that's like everything, going to the bathroom, leveraging yourself, working on things, it's different but it's not necessarily more difficult than it is down here. And to me that's all part of the adventure. Why would you want it to be all exactly like what you do down here when you're in space, you know?
Dustin(host): It seems like it would be more difficult, that's surprising.
Nicole Stott: It was interesting because you know you just can't have a bowl of water to dip the brush in. But, it could've been a really cool like science demonstration too. Just to show the characteristics of like surface tension and viscosity and things that while you're painting. Because the brush, I would squirt out of my drink bag, we have these like Capri-Sun kind of bags with a straw and a little valve on the end. And so you could squirt out just this tiny little ball of water, then take the brush and you just touch the tip of the brush into the water and it just sucks it. Like right into the brush.
Dustin(host): So weird.
Nicole Stott: And then, I remember looking at the tip of the brush and it was like normally down here, it's just like just glob of water that's all mixed in with brush. You don't really notice any difference. But up there, you could see almost this ball of water just floating around the bristles of the brush. And then I had the watercolor kit I had was just one of those little ones with the hard case, like a kids kit.
Dustin(host): That's what I was imagining.
Nicole Stott: Yeah, you know so I just took water, mushed it around on the hard paint and then it would, as soon as I started to pull the brush away, it would suck that colored water into the brush again, and then I had watercolor paper and it was like the same thing. It's like the paper wanted it then. As soon as you touched the brush to the paper, the paper would suck it up onto the thing.
Jeff (host): That sounds so satisfying.
Nicole Stott: It was really neat. Yeah. And it was totally surprising to me that I was the first person to paint in space. I mean, it never crossed my mind when I went up there. Somebody told me afterwards, I'm like really? Seriously? How can that be? Because we've had people play musical instruments up there. We've had really very talented photographers doing different things with the pictures that their taking and we had Alexey Leonov one of the first Russian cosmonauts was the first person to draw in space. He took colored pencils and drew like an orbital sunrise and then he sketched all of his crew members that he was up there with. So, to think that nobody else had painted before was really very surprising to me.
Jeff (host): The last segment is with Death Wish Coffee company founder and owner Mike Brown.
Jeff (host): Mike, we're so excited we can finally talk about this. Did you ever think that you would create a product that would then go to space?
Mike Brown: No, and I still don't even, I can't even visualize it now or conceptualize that it's happened. I mean it was all you. You put that together from day one and I didn't even understand it but, it's going to be, these astronauts are going to be drinking Death Wish Coffee.
Jeff (host): It's crazy.
Mike Brown: Jeff give us the run down of exactly what's [crosstalk 00:51:49].
Jeff (host): All right so, I never thought anything would come of it other than, if you're a fan of the show, you can go back to episode 18 and listen to when we talked to retired NASA astronaut Nicole Stott. One of my favorite episodes we've done of this show. Got to talk to her about-
Dustin(host): One of my favorite conversations of my life.
Jeff (host): Yeah. Got to talk to her all about being in space. What it was like to become an astronaut and she was in space for 100 days on the International Space Station and talked about what it was like to do a space walk. She did a space walk and was out-
Dustin(host): It's like six hour ordeal.
Jeff (host): Yeah, she was outside of the Space Station for hours and she was like it was so amazing, you now being out there and doing all that it's tiring when you come back in 'cause it takes you almost an hour and half to get out of the space suit. To get all the components all done. And you're so focused for the hours being in space and then coming out focusing on getting out of the space suit, she's like the first thing I want is a cup of coffee. And I said to her, and this on the episode and-
Dustin(host): Both Jeff and I were like-
Jeff (host): I was like do you even drink coffee in space, and she's like oh yeah, yeah we definitely drink coffee in space and Dustin said, what do you think we'd have to do to get Death Wish in space, she's like I think astronauts would love that we should talk about that. And that was the birth of the idea.
But, we never were like that was our mission. Our mission was never like let's get Death Wish to space. We became friends with Nicole after having her on the show, and I would talk to her from time to time and send her coffee. And she got some of her colleagues into the Death Wish coffee and stuff like that. And we would just talk about coffee in space all the time.
And I never was like, get our coffee into space. You know I never was like, it never was a conversation like that. We would also just reminisce about her being on the show. And one of her good friends, who happens to be an astronaut, and a coffee lover, Serena, is part of expedition 56, in the International Space Station. Because she's going up, friends, and family of the astronauts get to send care packages to the astronauts on the Space Station, which I think is great. It's like creature comforts of home, you know it's pictures of your loved ones, or your favorite stuffed animal or your favorite food or drink or stuff like that.
And Nicole was like, well I know my friend loves coffee, and I'd love to give her my favorite coffee. And so, that was where that idea was born. And to me after that initial, when Nicole told me that, that initial thing was like, ah it's not real. It's not going to happen. That can't happen. And then she was like oh no, I'll put in you contact with NASA food labs because we had to send them an instant version of our coffee because all food has to be freeze-dried in space-
Dustin(host): Which we had developed [crosstalk 00:54:24]-
Jeff (host): So we developed that. And then you have to send it to food labs and the food labs have do a bunch of tests on it to make sure it's okay for the thing. And I'm literally emailing NASA food labs, still going this isn't real. This isn't happening. This isn't real. We're really going to be up there. Packets of Death Wish Coffee.
Mike Brown: So, it's not just the worlds strongest coffee anymore?
Jeff (host): It's not. It's the solar systems strongest coffee. Strongest coffee [crosstalk 00:54:50] in the solar system. I just I can't believe how cool just a random conversation turned into reality kind of thing. But, I mean from somebody who literally you created this product because your customers wanted a strong cup of coffee. You're like you know what I could do that. And you started thinking about it, you came up with name, Death Wish. Was that ever on your mind you were going to go into space with this thing?
Mike Brown: No, absolutely not. Especially with the name Death Wish.
Jeff (host): Right!
Mike Brown: Wow. It's pretty incredible. This brand has done some incredible things. This is up there. This is really up there. I really look forward to seeing pictures of our new community member, our new coffee drinker, drinking this coffee up in space.
Jeff (host): Yeah, they have to repackage it in hopefully we'll have a picture of this that I can put up, but they almost look like big Capri Sun bags. Because all of the drinks that they drink are freeze dried and you have to be able to put a water tube into the bag to you know make it soluble. And then they have a straw that like all attached to it and you basically drink, whatever drink that they're going to drink out of it. It was funny in the '70's a couple beer companies wanted to get on the train and they wanted to send beer to astronauts in space. And the Russians loved it obviously. And so did the Americans and so they were really excited about it. Not knowing that to do it-
Dustin(host): You'd have to freeze dry it-
Jeff (host): Not only, was it a different type of freeze drying so when it got to space all of the carbonation was gone. So, it was the flattest most disgusting beer. So like the astronauts were immediately like, never again. No more beer, we don't want this.
Dustin(host): Well, I got to say the one thing that really surprised me. Now, I haven't drank too much instant coffee in my life. Maybe once or twice, and it's horrible. Generally, terrible. And the stuff that we got back that was made of Death Wish, I was just blown away. I was like, I could drink this every day if I had to. Which makes me happy because now people in space now get to enjoy an awesome cup of coffee, Death Wish coffee.
Jeff (host): So my question to you Mike is, do you plan to pursue looking into an instant version?
Mike Brown: I would love to hear from everyone. I would love to hear, you know the communities response to this. Would you like an instant coffee? I have friends that you know they go camping or they go hiking and they go these treks, they're boating and you can't bring a coffee maker with them. So, they do bring instant coffee. And they're like yup Mike, wish we had your coffee up there it's not the same. And this instant coffee that we have is dead on. So, yeah I mean it's very possible. But, I'm going to listen to everyone.
Jeff (host): Really kind weight the options.
Mike Brown: Yeah, weight the options but I think it's definitely possible. We can do it obviously we've proven we can do it.
Jeff (host): You're sending it to space.
Mike Brown: It doesn't just have to be for space even though it's pretty cool that it's in space.
Jeff (host): I mean, I know another big proponent of instant is coffee and I learned this actually working at this company, that Asia, a lot of the coffee community in Asia, they enjoy an instant version of coffee rather than a drip method. So, I mean there's a whole market out there for it too.
Dustin(host): I actually just sent some to my friend [Shadow Tsing 00:58:18] he's in Hawaii, he's on the big island right next to the big volcano. And I was like well dude, if the power goes out and the shit hits the fan, you'll have coffee. So I sent some instant coffee but-
Mike Brown: Did he send you pictures from out there?
Dustin(host): No not yet. I think he just got the package. But he has sent me pictures of the volcano glowing, it glows in the night, you can see it glowing.
Jeff (host): Oh my god.
Dustin(host): You can see it glow in the night. But anyways, the question is to the community I guess, do you want to drink the coffee that the astronauts in space are drinking?
Jeff (host): Yeah!
Dustin(host): So let us know. Send us a comment. Hit us up on Instagram or any social media and maybe this is something you'll see in the future. Death Wish space coffee.
Jeff (host): So cool.
Dustin(host): Cheers everyone.
Jeff (host): Thanks Mike.