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Title text: Because they orbit the Earth every 90 minutes, some astronauts should try to argue that, due to CDC regulations and time zone technicalities, they should be able to get their second dose just 30 or 40 hours after their first.
|| This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Created by an ORBITAL INJECTION. Please mention here why this explanation isn't complete. Do NOT delete this tag too soon.|
This comic is another in a series of comics related to the 2020 pandemic of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, specifically regarding the COVID-19 vaccine.
The comic is a pun on "orbital injection", also called orbital insertion, which is the adjustment of a spacecraft’s momentum that makes it enter into a stable orbit around a planet, moon, or other celestial body. Space agencies like NASA do this routinely on spaceflight missions. Getting an injection of a COVID-19 vaccine while in orbit aboard the International Space Station (ISS) could also be called orbital injection, hence the pun.
The title text refers to the fact that, because the ISS orbits the Earth every 90 minutes, the people aboard it experience a day in that time, seeing a sunrise and sunset and crossing the International Date Line on the ground. If one were to take this fact in the most ruthlessly advantageous sense, or else adopt the non-terrestrial rotation as your standard, it would mean 90 minutes on the ISS are equivalent to a day on the ground, making the people on board due for the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine (normally 21 days) or the Moderna vaccine (normally 28 days) after 31.5 or 42 hours, respectively, which Randall rounds to 30 or 40 hours. Incidentally, ISS clocks operate on UTC, the successor to GMT.
- [Megan and Cueball are standing talking to each other.]
- Megan: I just realized—
- Megan: The astronauts on the ISS probably can't get the vaccine until they land.
- Cueball: Sure they can.
- Cueball: NASA's good at orbital injections.
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