The Phoenix

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Duct Tape To The Rescue!

Hey, did you know NASA allocates $5 billion dollars just to the Space Shuttle operations?

Dat's a lotta meatballs right there.

Despite utilizing the latest technologies, employing some of the greatest aeronautical engineering minds in the world, and definitely leading the world in the realm of space travel, you wouldn't think one of the most crucial tools our shuttle astronauts had to use recently was something most of us can find in our own utilitry drawers.

Duct tape.

You'd think MacGyver was on board, fixing the astro-potty with a paperclip or something. But it was astronaut Piers Sellers that suggested using NASA-grade duct tape to repair a broken jetpack used during spacewalking missions. It seems his propulsion jet pack kept coming lose. If an astronauts tether should somehow fail, this jetpack allows the astronaut to quickly fly back to the shuttle for safety.

Two fasteners kept coming loose on Seller's pack, so they used Kapton tape to keep the pack secure. Kapton is just like regular duct tape, but it's able to withstand high heat and ice cold temperatures.

This isn't the first time good 'ol duct tape has rescued a space mission...

Last year, astronaut Stephen Robinson had to remove some fibers sticking out of Discovery's belly. After just trying to pull the stuff out, he utilized a bent blade, pastic ties, some velcro, and of course duct tape in order to make a miniature hacksaw.

During the Apollo 17 Lunar mission 1in 1972, the astronauts had to figure out a way to keep the fine lunar dust known as regolith away from their gear. I guess they didn't have Dustbusters back then. The lunar rover's front left fender had broken off, so they used some old maps, some clamps, and duct tape to construct a new one - and the fender helped keep that moon dust away from their equipment.

Finally, who can forget the scary yet heroic Apollo 13 mission? The craft was damaged, and the crew didn't have enough oxygen to survive the trip back to Earth. Houston, we have a problem. So the NASA engineers put their heads together and came up with a solution. Using some hoses, cardboard, plastic bags, canisters, and regular duct tape to hold it all together - they devised a way for the astronauts to construct a CO2 filter that would allow the crew to breathe.
Here are some other novel uses for duct tape:

1) Wart removal

2)Forget the push-up bra, use duct tape!

3)Don't spend money on laser hair removal. Duct tape will work just fine, you hairy ape.

4)Tore a hole in your jeans? Don't throw it away. Just duct tape the inside of the tear.

5)Being attacked by assasins? You can use a roll of duct tape like brass knuckles to defend yourself.

6)Business meeting or college class boring you to sleep? Use duct tape to keep your eyes open.

Finally, Hillary Clinton gives us her favorite way to use duct tape:


Blogger Sherri said...

I have seriously used the duct tape on a hole in a pair of jeans before.

The weirdest thing I've ever used duct tape for was during a year when we were taken over by tent worms. They were everywhere. One of the methods of stopping their travel was to encircle a tree with several wraps of duct tape, sticky side out. The worms became stuck to the tape and couldn't make it to the leafy tops.

7/12/2006 6:09 PM  
Blogger angel, jr. said...

I love duct tape.
On my profile for blogger, I luckily got a question about duct tape!!

7/12/2006 6:37 PM  
Blogger angel, jr. said...

I love duct tape.
On my profile for blogger, I luckily got a question about duct tape!!

7/12/2006 6:37 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

Red Green is *KING* of duct tape!

7/12/2006 8:28 PM  
Blogger DaBich said...

LOL...good topic, Phoenix!
Sherri, I love the idea to use it to stop worms! Thanks!

7/12/2006 8:42 PM  
Anonymous Joel said...

The ingenuity is amazing as is the staying power of a good old duct tape...the fact that it comes into play where NASA and the space shuttle is concerned is a wee bit frightening, however.

7/12/2006 10:18 PM  
Blogger Keshi said...

lol the very American duct tape! I hear that the beauty queens in the US use it to keep their tyres in place?


7/12/2006 11:35 PM  
Blogger Pixie said...

We always call it "Duck Tape " in the UK after the brand.
I dont think I have ever used it for anything, i am a cheapskate and just use plain old sellotape.

While we are on about fixing clothes I did have a work skirt thats hem was stapled up (for about 2 months )

7/13/2006 12:56 AM  
Blogger Pixie said...

We always call it "Duck Tape " in the UK after the brand.
I dont think I have ever used it for anything, i am a cheapskate and just use plain old sellotape.

While we are on about fixing clothes I did have a work skirt thats hem was stapled up (for about 2 months )

7/13/2006 12:57 AM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Ouch Ouch Ouch!!

7/13/2006 1:32 AM  
Blogger Ben Heller said...

Wendy O'Williams of The Plasmatics used it to cover her ample bosoms. That must have been hell to take off.

On your investigative journey Phoenix, could you enquire as to why we haven't all got Jet packs ? I've always wanted one, and they would be good for the environment. Something the Americans are very aware of.

7/13/2006 3:02 AM  
Blogger Stacy The Peanut Queen said...

Amazing the many uses of American products, huh? The Peanut King once actually busted his forehead open and super-glued the cut shut, I kid you not.


7/13/2006 6:48 AM  
Blogger DaBich said...

Stacey, my hubby does the same thing when he's there are almost never any bandaids around. Super glue is awesome stuff!

7/13/2006 7:12 AM  
Blogger The Phoenix said...

I've heard of people supergluing wounds as well. That just freaks me out, though.

I love duct tape, myself. In college I've used it to repair broken furniture.

7/13/2006 7:36 AM  
Blogger ozymandiaz said...

I know this will sound weird and all but I'm an A/C mechanic by trade and I actually use duct tape on
Yup, believe it or not I use the stuff for what it was designed for. Granted, I use it for everything else from band aids to roof repair, but the stuff works great on ductwork.
Go figure.

Warning: Never, under any circumstance use duct tape as a prophylactic. I repeat, NEVER! Learned that one the hard way.

7/13/2006 7:51 AM  
Blogger Leazwell said...

It is said duct tape is like the force. It has a dark side and a light side and it holds the universe together.

7/13/2006 7:59 AM  
Blogger Fated said...

Haha Go Nasa! Red Green'ing it up.

Duct tape is fantastic. So many uses!

I was actually looking for some yesterday to help fix the hole in my garden hose.

Can't live without that stuff it's awesome.

7/13/2006 8:21 AM  
Blogger Curare_Z said...

Forget Duct Tape. I use electrical tape on everything. Thinner strands and stretchy. I held on a side view mirror to a car for 6 months like that! :-)

7/13/2006 9:10 AM  
Blogger :P fuzzbox said...

Around here if duct tape won't fix it, it's time to bring out the big boys. Baling wire and JB Weld.

7/13/2006 9:21 AM  
Blogger cube said...

Duct tape is great. I wish I had thought of it.

7/13/2006 9:22 AM  
Blogger Perplexio said...

Did you also hear about them losing their spatula? They were using a spatula to smooth out bubbles in the peanut butter-like sealing/connecting compound they were using for repairs, and somehow said spatula went missing.

Can you imagine when that spatula re-enters the atmosphere and lands in some remote African tribal village? It will be like The Gods Must Be Crazy all over again!

7/13/2006 10:25 AM  
Blogger Etchen said...

Is it too late to invest in duct tape? That stuff is amazing!

7/13/2006 10:27 AM  
Blogger Perplexio said...

PS: On the duct tape. My father used to have a pair of mocassins that he kept patching with duct tape. He loved those mocassins, didn't want to part with them. By the time my sisters finally dragged him to the store to replace them both mocassins had 100% duct tape soles.

My mother doesn't let him get away with that silly foolishness any longer. As soon as he starts getting holes in the soles she makes sure to replace them.

7/13/2006 10:28 AM  
Blogger Jenna Howard said...

Duct tape is awesome. It was one of the first things I bought when I moved out. Duct tape and a power drill. It was all about priorities. A girl needs to be prepared1

7/13/2006 10:35 AM  
Blogger The Phoenix said...

Hahaha....oh man, ozy, that's both funny and painful.

If any of you have seen Napoleon Dynamite, if you look at his goofy-ass boots, in some scenes, you can see that they used duct tape to keep the shoes together.

He probably wore them out from all that boogie dancing. Canned heat in his heels and all.

7/13/2006 11:00 AM  
Blogger Mimi said...

I have heard of the duct tape being used as bras for models. that is one bra I would not feel relieved to take off!

7/13/2006 11:21 AM  
Blogger Jamie Dawn said...

Okay, now that you've let it be known that there's a super kind of NASA duct tape, I fear if anyone nearby me hears this, there will be a demand for it.
I see windows duct taped around here all the time, and I'm sure they'd like for it to be that super special kind that defies humidity and freezing temps.

Astronauts are special people. If ever I was on a shuttle, I'd be barfing until I couldn't barf any more, and then I'd just be rolling about the cabin in unbalanced, inner ear misery.

7/13/2006 11:49 AM  
Anonymous tubawench said...

I kept a pair of paddock boots longer than I should have due to the power of duct tape. I have tried using it on ducts, but it doesn't work as well there for some reason or maybe it's just that I don't like being in the crawl space all that much. Whatever, my ducts keep sagging.
And don't forget its use as a pet hair and lint remover. Test a hidden spot for possible damaging effects first.

7/13/2006 12:29 PM  
Anonymous delmer said...

In a pinch I'm guessing you could use duct tape in place of condoms. You'll want the ribbed variety.

Years ago I read a story about some guys who'd poked a pretty good sized hole in the wing of their aircraft. They wrapped duct tape around the wing and over the hole to resurface it.

7/13/2006 12:30 PM  
Blogger Tim said...


Duct Tape has been surpassed by a new and improved version of itself.
Gorilla Tape!
Boy, just think of the uses!

7/13/2006 1:48 PM  
Blogger KC said...

When The Boy was much younger he would make me gifts of duct tape jewelry. Sometimes he'd even use magic markers to make it more colorful. There's nothing like a duct tape and magic marker bracelet.

7/13/2006 3:23 PM  
Blogger Tai said...


7/13/2006 5:49 PM  
Blogger The Phoenix said... that a cavalry sword balanced upon your head????

7/13/2006 7:40 PM  
Blogger O Ceallaigh said...

We forget that astronauts, in their gestational phase, were aircraft test pilots. They kept the duct tape right next to the hammer they used to make the warning lights go out on their instrument panels.

7/13/2006 11:27 PM  
Blogger David Amulet said...

Don't forget about it's wonderful use as a practical joke too, as in duct-taping a co-worker to his chair.

-- david

7/14/2006 10:52 AM  
Blogger Will said...

Duct tape is some useful shit. I'm glad that our astronauts have some street smarts as well. Though, where's the 50 billion going?

7/14/2006 4:14 PM  
Blogger The Phoenix said...

o ceal, high tech, huh?

david, I remember in the movie The Breakfast Club when the jock talks about duct taping that hairy kid's ass cheeks together. I think that's hillarious.

will, It's all going to Area 51

7/14/2006 9:41 PM  
Blogger phred said...

Thanks for the hair removal idea..I will pass it along to my wife.

The real difference in NASA duct tape is , that they probably payed $ 249 for a roll of tape that we could buy for $1.29.

7/15/2006 7:40 AM  
Blogger Rocky said...

Very informative and entertaining post, Phoenix.

Duct tape was most useful to me in college, when we would use it to tape people down to the piece of furniture they passed out in.

7/15/2006 7:45 AM  
Blogger Jon Cox said...

Great & interesting post!!! Ever seen The Red Green show? It's funny. They use duct tape to fix everything!

7/15/2006 10:17 PM  
Blogger Carmel said...

I used duct tape to repair my door lol, it was temporary.

7/15/2006 11:29 PM  
Blogger starbender said...

I luv duct tape! It's my fix-all.
It is ALWAYS in my trunk! I have repaired MANY vehicles on my way down the road.....

7/16/2006 5:12 AM  
Blogger Cari said...

I never knew how useful ductape can be other than

placing it over the loud mouths that always sit right next to me at the movies

7/17/2006 8:37 AM  
Blogger Sar said...

So if you duct tape the inside of your holey jeans, just imagine all the fuzzy lint that'd attract.

7/17/2006 10:20 PM  
Blogger Phats said...

I am fascinated with space I watched all the coverage from this mission and last year's. Not sure I could ever go up though.

Duct Tape is awesome!

7/17/2006 11:27 PM  
Blogger OnMyWatch said...

I was actually stupid enough to use it as a 'bra' - - hurt like a bitch to take off, nearly gave myself a mastectomy. yikes! never again.

7/18/2006 11:11 AM  
Blogger The Phoenix said...

My nipples hurt just thinking about that.

7/18/2006 11:33 AM  
Blogger Laurie said...

When my son was at a stage where he would pull off his diaper every night... guess what kept that diaper ON? You got it. :-D

7/20/2006 3:01 PM  
Blogger Fatman said...

I once accidentally decapitated a guy but managed to re-attach his head using duct tape. I saw him a few years later. He claimed that he could no longer see the colour blue and everything smelled like popcorn but apart from that he suffered no other side effects.

7/21/2006 12:13 AM  

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Welcome to the blog that aims to examine the lighter side of science. From the paranormal to wacky inventions, to strange mysteries and goofy experiments, I cover it all. Thanks for stoping by science is always stranger than fiction


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