NASA's hand soldering guide


Originally published at:


I’m soldering right now.


Broken link on the PDF that looks more than a little creepy. (Could be just me)

http: // chrome-extension: // oemmndcbldboiebfnladdacbdfmadadm/ http: //


This is part you want.


Same here. Looks like it’s the same on Firefox too, so at least the error is not on our end.


I have known Rusty for years. Rusty’s Electric Dreams (an inbox zine for positive deviants). Rusty totally belongs on my favorite 'zine Boing Boing.
Cool you gave her a shout out, so happy she is part of the family!


I good naturedly curse whomever suggested that Rusty was Rob’s alter ego account because the initials lined up and … well … Rob.

I thought that for a year afterward, but it became pretty clear that was not the case as time went on because … well … Rob :slight_smile:

+1 to so glad Rusty is here.


I’m confused.


Generally to be preferred over Roscosmos’ soldering guidelines


These images have been a blast to remix too!


There’s also an impressive NASA knotting guide. I just forgot where i got it from. Here or Emily Lakdawalla?


Interesting to note that the “solder dots” technique that all the cool kids are doing these days* would be rejected as “lead not discernible”.

Aesthetics and practicality: not always compatible.

*As mentioned in this Cool Tools post:


Geez, I’m physically disqualified from being an astronaut (not to mention all the other reasons) and the majority of my soldered connections look like the “reject” pictures. I guess it’s time to accept that I’m never having a career with NASA.


mighty fine resistor you got there m’lad yep 3.3k ohms 5% and make no mistake, might even be rated to 1 watt, yep


I remember that! I didn’t say anything because I’m obviously not Rob… I’m Russell Brand… SURPRISE!


If I was bolder, I point out that solder rhymes with folder. But the reception I receive might be colder. I’d be fodder for those who like to say “sodder”, even though it’s odder.


I was hoping that this would have actual soldering tips, and not focus so much on weird old-timey connections last seen when coonskin caps were in fashion, but I guess the photos are useful.

If I were relying on a soldered part to keep me alive in a flimsy metal bubble floating in the remote sub-arctic airless radioactive void of space, I wouldn’t want the joints to be done like that either. It’s pretty obvious how it could go invisibly wrong. However, I will be doing that very thing with my future flashing-light boards. (Along with many other things NASA wants me to reject).


Corrected link:


These are great images. I’ve committed most of these soldering sins. Some of theme didn’t ruin my project, but I wasn’t sending it to Mars.


Some people think it’s wrong to solder people’s hands, especially some people whose hands I’m soldering.