Profiles

Are There Nail Files in Outer Space?

NAILS’ own contributing editor Erin Snyder Dixon was one of 50 lucky @NASA Twitter followers to be selected to participate in the NASAtweetup on November 8 hosted by NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va.


NAILS’ own contributing editor Erin Snyder Dixon was one of 50 lucky @NASA Twitter followers to be selected to participate in the NASAtweetup on November 8 hosted by NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. We asked her about her exciting glimpse behind the scenes.
How did you get selected to attend?

Erin Snyder Dixon poses with astronaut Mike Foreman.
<p>Erin Snyder Dixon poses with astronaut Mike Foreman.</p>

Snyder Dixon: Fifty people who interact with the NASA Twitter account were selected lottery-style from applicants all over the country. It was exciting to see how many people flew in to experience something right in my own backyard. [Erin lives in nearby Newport News.] I was thrilled to be chosen since NASA has played a big part of my life. My grandfather Pinky was an electrical engineer, spending some of his time at the wind tunnels there, so I went armed wearing his space capsule pin. I also brought photos of my grandfather Tip, who worked in the materials lab.
What were some of the highlights of the event?
Snyder Dixon: After a tour of the hanger, we were treated to a session of autographs and information with astronaut and shuttle pilot Susan Kilrain. I had to chuckle when she said motherhood was harder than flying the shuttle. During the presentation, it came up that they don’t wear shoes in the space shuttle — they don’t even pack them. And yes, of course someone had to ask about the infamous diapers.
When it came my turn, I wanted to know if they took nail files to space ... and makeup. Hey, nails still grow and she looked pretty darned good in all the photos! She said they pack nail clippers but no file. Hmmm. And, yes, they take some makeup along. She also shared that the great thing about zero gravity is no wrinkles. How cool is that? Maybe
There’s time to goof around a bit during the behind-the-scenes tour.
<p>There&rsquo;s time to goof around a bit during the behind-the-scenes tour.</p>

we could learn something about beauty from these shuttle missions.
What else was memorable about the visit?
Snyder Dixon: I was captivated about how much the research facility had touched my life in ways I never knew. They do crash tests to ensure safety, they developed little winglets for the tips of planes that save gas, pioneer nonstick coatings, help predict weather, research lower emissions fuels ... the list went on and on. After touring the Inflatable Lunar Habitat (think camping in space) and the Transonic Facility (where we were treated to a snack of deep frozen Cheese-its), we wrapped up the day by witnessing the Orion splashdown test at the Hydro Impact Basin.

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