Space is a serious endeavor. It is a dangerous and no-fail environment. Even just one error can lead to a catastrophic end as we saw twice in the Space Shuttle program. Against that backdrop, there is still room for moments of levity. Some of the more memorable moments of NASA are a witty comment by an astronaut or a catch phrase said by a mission controller at just the right moment for comedic relief. That’s why the the tradition of a wake up call is so unique.
Did Wake ups Start With the Space Shuttle?
Nope! A wake up call to astronauts is a time-honored tradition at NASA. Just like you and I, the first moments after waking up can set the tone for the day. NASA’s Mission Controllers ensured that they provided the astronauts with the best opportunity for a great day. While the wakeup call first started during the Gemini program and continued throughout Apollo and Skylab, it truly shined during the Space Shuttle era. The morning would typically consist of a relevant song for the day. Occasionally though, a special guest would join in the fun. Here are our top 5 wakeups:
5.) “Good Morning Space Shuttle!”
Back on September 30, 1988, actor Robin Williams woke up the crew from STS-26. He did a riff on his classic “Good Morning Vietnam” with a “Good Morning Discovery!” His wakeup came on the first day of a mission to deliver a satellite that would later be used for communications between the ground and various satellites to include the ISS. While there were other cases of celebrities offer a wake up and word of encouragement, the Robin Williams wake up was one of the more iconic greetings. In the video, you’ll see the mission controllers giggled like school kids as Robin Williams delighted crowds both on terra firma and in space.