Totally cool photo of the
entrance to the white room
submitted by Starship
Commander Mike Dalton.  
Notice the signatures on the
wall on to other side of the
double doors.
How Marcelle Solved the Puzzle
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Quiz #378 Results
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Answers to Quiz #378 - December 9, 2012
1.  What is the official name of this room?
2.  What is it used for?
3. When was the last time it was used?
Congratulations to Our Winners!

Jackie McCarty                Tom Collins
Tony Knapp                Gus Marsh
Rebecca Bare                Tim Bailey
Marcelle Comeau                Arthur Hartwell
Carol Farrant                Daniel Jolley
Margaret Paxton                Jean Callum
Judy Pfaff                Talea Jurrens
Mike Dalton                Angel Esparza
Comments from Our Readers
I am pleased to have solved the puzzle. It took a little while of studying the picture
until it just came to me. My first thought was a decompression chamber, but it just
didn't look quite right. Studying the 'graffiti' was the clue, I think,  although I couldn't
read it, it seemed to be a lot of writing that did not overlap, something that had been
done with care. The round portal was obviously meant to move from one area into
another. The yellow duct suggested that the other side of the portal was enclosed and
thus needed ventilation. But the duct was not a permanent. It finally just came to me.
Finding the official name took a while. Various google searches lead me to YouTube
video of astronauts in the room.  Finally I got to Wikipedia and that gave me the
correct description.

I was totally lost in the prior weeks puzzle. Not a clue!

This is really fun!
Tom Collins
Looking at the photo at first I thought it was an entryway to something, possibly a
spacecraft.  I tried to google some of the names written on the walls and found that
they were involved in the space program.  However it was when I saved the photo
and enlarged it that I noticed "Endeavour" reflected in the window.  
  Margaret Paxton
I did notice the reflected name Endeavour in the glass, but I also noticed the name
of the photographer and his website in the upper right corner of the photo. When I
went to Ben Cooper's website,, I found the quiz picture
when I clicked on the POWERED: Endeavour link which stated that your photo plus
two others showed the white room entrance in an Orbiter Processing Facility (OPF).

At the time the photos were taken in September of this year, the Endeavour was in
OFP-2, one of three OFPs at Kennedy Space Center. After Endeavour was rolled out,
Atlantis was rolled into OFP-2 for its final retirement processing and left it
October 18th which is on what I based my last use date for the white room of OFP-2.
Daniel Jolley
Saw the reflection of the word Endeavour (backwards) in the picture and figured that
the picture probably had to do with space exploration. Googled images for: Endeavour
space shuttle room, and found the picture of the "white room". Then googled: white
room space shuttle, and found info.
Tony Knapp
I did notice Endeavour reflection, but did not realize it was a reflection. Even though I
flipped the image sideways to read it.
Arthur Hartwell
I could make out part of the photographer's name in the upper right corner and
worked it out from there. It looked like high tech, and when I saw the I saw the
NASA connection knew I had it. I did not see the "Endeavour" reflection.
Tim Bailey
The partial giveaway was the photographers name in the upper right hand corner.  I
say partial because I don�t know the answer to all of the questions.  The
photographer, Ben Cooper, does freelance photography with NASA. All I know is
that's the space shuttle Endeavor.  The Endeavor finished its final flight (not counting
the one on the back of the carrier plane) on June 1, 2011.  Colleen, in the spirit of the
holidays, hints would now be appreciated. What I think it is (but I don't know) is a
hyperbaric chamber used for decompression after a space walk.  The final Endeavor
space walk was May 27, 2011.  Whatever the room is, I love the walls.  Did I make a
lucky guess?
Carol Farrant
This week's quiz had me off in the wrong direction for a time. I kept thinking it was
an MRI room or hyperbolic chamber of sorts. I finally got it when noticed the name
and URL on the top right. It was cake from there, though I almost didn't get a chance
to send my answers.
Talea Jurrens
I looked at the picture and thought it had to do with space, so I went to google and
put in room with signature space, and guess what I found. The picture so I just did
alittle investigating on the Endeavour. It was awesome and I had to think about it and
make sure I didnt think to much into it, it was neat on learning about it too.
Jackie McCarty
Hello Colleen: I got on to contest answers with words "covered in signatures." Photos
of this and shuttle interior were likely taken  as the shuttles were being
decommissioned. Drawings and specifications of space shuttles can be found at

Did you get to see the Endeavour winding its way through LA being towed by a
Toyota Tundra truck? btw: Seattle Museum of Flight in Seattle Washington and
Evergreen Flight and Space Museum in McMinnville, Oregon  also bidded for one of
the shuttles. from  HMS Endeavour to OV-105 Endeavour to Starship Endeavour...
Starship Fleet Commander Mike Dalton
I did not see the Endeavor reflection until now.  I kept looking up names autographed
on the wall.  They seem to be people involved with NASA.  I spent a lot of time
looking at pictures of the Mobile Quarantine Facility used with the first few Apollo
missions  I saw the shower and thought this was a cleaning room.  None of the
pictures I could find of the mqf showed the backroom of those units.  One of the
mqfs has been found somewhere in the south and is being restored.  The autographs
had dates of 08, 07, so I knew it probably wasn't in use for the early Apollo
missions.  I did try looking for Bell Cooper, but it must have been Bill or Ben Cooper.  
I couldn't figure out the rest of the red lettering.  I tried Photograph House.  One
photographer said he dropped a screw or something off his equipment and had to
struggle to find it while in the room.  It was an interesting quiz to read about all the
NASA information.
Judy Pfaff
When I first looked carefully at the detail in the photo, my first guess
was that it had something to do with the space program. So I did all
kinds of crazy keyword searches "space program room with lots of
signatures" and all kinds of combinations along those lines. Nothing
that fit.

Then I got out my magnifying glass and tried to read the dates on
some of the signatures to get some idea of the time frame.
Resolution no better than on the screen.

Then I noticed the tiny red lettering in the upper right hand corner
"Ben Cooper ???" couldn't make out the rest of the words. So did a
search on Ben Cooper photographer (a guess that it was the
photographer's name) and, presto, up came a number of websites
with his whole series of absolutely gorgeous photos from all the
launches, as well as a lot of landscape photos. Spent some time
exploring his photographs. Did not find anything similar to your photo
at this first pass.

In the meantime, John was also looking at the photo on his laptop and
we both noticed (at the same time!) the backwards (reflection)
lettering in the window (ENDEAVOUR). That of course was all we
needed to find the solution and the appropriate websites. Once we
saw the original photo on a website, we noticed how you had cleverly
blanked out the ENDEAVOUR sign over the door but not the
reflection in the window. Cool!

Your quizzes always offer "lagniappe" - a little bit extra. This time it
was the wonderful work of the photographer. Did you ever meet him
personally? From what I read he no longer works for NASA and is

Thanks for another great quiz.

It took me a couple of hours to solve it (spent some of that time
surfing Cooper's photographs!). I've developed a pattern for your
quizzes: I try to do all the research and solve it the morning after you
post it. Then I wait a few days to compose my answer - just to make
sure I am comfortable I have a reasonable solution and maybe do a
bit of extra research and let it rattle around in my head. I've enjoyed
them all.

Marcelle Comeau
Space Shuttle Endeavour Making Lots Of Stops
On The Way To California Science Center In LA
1. The White Room.
2. The entry to the Orbiter Processing Facility for the Space Shuttle Endeavor.
It is used by astronauts to enter and exit the space shuttle.
3.  We are accepting three possible dates:
May 16, 2011
The launch day of the last flight of the Endeavor
October 18, 2012
Used for retirement processing of the Atlantis
September 18, 2012
The Endeavor was moved to the demate device in
preparation for its move to the California Science
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., Sept 16 -
The space shuttle Endeavour, built to
replace NASA's lost ship Challenger,
prepared for a final flight this week,
heading not into orbit but west to a Los
Angeles museum.

Riding piggyback on top of a specially
modified 747 jet, Endeavour will be the
second of NASA's three surviving
shuttles to leave the Kennedy Space
Center and begin new roles as space

"We finally get to really show her off," NASA astronaut Kay Hire, who flew aboard
Endeavour in 2010, told reporters on Sunday on the shuttle's runway. "It's a great
vehicle, but it was designed in the '70s. We've modified it along the way and it's
certainly served us well, but it is time to move on."

Endeavour was built as a replacement for Challenger, which was destroyed in an
accident that killed seven astronauts in 1986. NASA lost a second shuttle, Columbia,
and seven more crew members in 2003. That ship was not replaced.

Endeavour's lifespan was relatively short by shuttle standards - 25 missions over 20
years, totaling 299 days in space.

But those flights ran the gamut of orbital odysseys, including the sheer moxie of its
May 1992 debut when three astronauts made an impromptu and unprecedented
spacewalk to rescue a stranded Intelsat communications satellite.

Eighteen months later, Endeavour flew a high-stakes mission to repair the Hubble Space
Telescope, which, to NASA's horror, had been launched in 1990 with a misshapen
primary mirror.

A dozen of Endeavour's missions were devoted to building and outfitting the
International Space Station, a $100 billion research laboratory that flies about 250 miles
above Earth.

In December 1998, Endeavour carried the first U.S.-made piece of the fledgling station,
a connecting hub named Unity that astronauts attached to the Russian-launched Zarya
base module.

Twelve years later, Endeavour carried the last U.S. connecting node, Tranquility, as
well as the station's gemstone - a dome-shaped room of windows for outside viewing.

Its final mission in May 2011 was to deliver and install a $2 billion particle detector that
is searching the cosmos for signs of dark matter and other exotic phenomena.

The shuttle, named after the ship that 18th century British explorer James Cook sailed
during his first voyage of discovery in the Pacific Ocean, will spend its retirement at the
California Science Center in Los Angeles.

Sister ship Discovery, NASA's oldest surviving shuttle, is on display at the Smithsonian
Institution's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center outside Washington.

Atlantis, which flew NASA's 135th and final shuttle mission in July 2011, will not need
a plane ride to reach its retirement home. In November, it will be towed down the road
to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.
For more stunning space program photos by Dan Cooper, please
see his website at
Clues from the Picture
Reflection of the word "Endeavor" in the window to the right.
Photographer's name and website in the far upper right.
Other Potential Quiz Photos Had Too Many Clues!
Space Shuttle Sticker
NASA Decal on Wall
Note: In preparing the photo, I would have blocked out the word Endeavor above
the entranceway to the Shuttle.
Various NASA
mission stickers
on the wall
Ben Cooper Photographs of the Flight Deck during Endeavor's Last Power-up
Swing Arms and The White Room
Swing arms were retractable mechanical systems that
extended from the launch tower to the Space Shuttle.
They provided access to the vehicle for people, wiring
and plumbing while the vehicle was on the launch pad.
They retracted by swinging away before launch.[15]

People (technicians, engineers, and astronauts) used the
Orbiter Access Arm to access the crew module. At the
end of the arm, the white room provided an
environmentally controlled and protected area for
astronauts and their equipment to enter the orbiter.

Left top: The doors to the White Room, which provided
entry to the space shuttle crew compartment, are seen
here at the end of the access arm walkway.  Left
bottom: Apollo era walkway and white room, on display
at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex