Path to Mars #988: Using the Whole Space Turkey

NASA has taken full advantage of LED lighting technology the way our grandmothers made use of every bit of the turkey for Thanksgiving. Grandma not only cooked the turkey and was first in line for the gizzard – she turned the leftovers into sandwiches, boiled suspicious bits into soup stock, fed the bones to Fido, and stuffed the pillows with the feathers (I eat Tofurky now, but I still use the whole thing).

Likewise, NASA doesn’t just use LED lights for mood lighting onboard the ISS. They utilize the technology to grow plants, heal wounds, conserve energy, and modulate astronauts’ circadian rhythms (to deal with those pesky 90 minute days).

Of course it’s easy to experience LED technology here on planet earth – you can pick up an LED flashlight at your local hardware store, or just spot one at your next concert event. But what if you would like to experience that circadian rhythm shift benefit like a real astronaut?

You could try sleeping in a giant egg by Lomme.

Wakey, wakey. An egg bed to soothe your jet lag.

Or you could take a flight on Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner, which finally arrived in Japan on September 28, 2011.

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner's dreamy interior.

The Dreamliner entryway - a vaulted delight

The plane features “blue-sky lighting” as well as transitional lighting and dimmable windows. North Americans will have to wait until next April to travel jet-lag free from Boston to Tokyo.

In the meantime, Boeing’s competitor, Airbus, has announced that the future of commercial flight involves powering the in-flight entertainment system by utilizing passengers’ body heat. Somehow, I think NASA would approve – and I can’t help but wonder if astronauts’ body heat will be recycled to get us to Mars.


Now that’s using the whole turkey.

Blast Off!


About Renate Pohl

Theatre Designer, Space and Stained Glass Artist, Writer.
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