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Back in Houston, he communicated with astronauts orbiting the moon. Today, he's jerking off on tape in Tarzana. With his master's degree in physics, Styles could, if asked, plot the trajectory of the journey from point A to point B. There would be a spike around the time he stopped doing what he thought he was supposed to do and started doing what he wantedto do. The jump would be dramatic, like a shuttle blasting off to an undiscovered planet.
Ten years ago, Scott Styles the porn star didn't exist. In his place was a man with a different name who left his Clear Lake apartment every morning and drove a mile to Johnson Space Center.
He was a Rockwell employee contracting for NASA's Mission Control, splitting his time between sitting behind the massive console made famous in space movies and behind a PC in a cookie-cutter office in Building 4. Two floors up were the astronauts, brave souls who survived the intense training and, more important, the bureaucracy.
That man was a flight controller with a master's degree in physics from Texas A&M. He worked with a team who monitored shuttles' electrical data (fuel cells, power distribution) after they launched from Cape Canaveral. Although he rarely socialized with colleagues at work, he worked well with his team.
In 1991, during a mission for the Department of Defense and the U.S. Air Force, the flight controller and his crew helped astronauts aboard the shuttle Discovery recover flight data that was lost when two tape recorders malfunctioned.
In a letter from Air Force Captain Lindley Johnson, amid tech-talk of things like "quadropole ion neutral mass spectrometers," Johnson reverted to plain English to praise the flight controller's work. He stated that it was the first time ever a ground crew assisted astronauts in splicing wires to recover data while still in orbit.
"On behalf of my fellow project officers, the payload experimenters, and the United States Air Force, I extend our sincerest gratitude for your efforts in support of the nation's defense," Captain Johnson wrote.
But such moments were rare. Between flights came simulations: software rigged with engine failures and other catastrophes. That's about as exciting as it got.
"You hope for a boring-as-hell flight, as far as we're concerned," says Styles, who adopted his nom de porn after moving to Los Angeles.
He never handled boredom well, and that job didn't offer the same thrills he got back when he was 18, when he first saw scientist Carl Sagan's Cosmoson TV. Back then, the universe was fascinating, expanding with endless possibilities. Now, after three and a half years at NASA, it was just a paycheck.
He kept his sanity by hitting the gym and the strip clubs. He loved working on his body, which he had built from nothing to a solid 185 pounds on his five-foot-eight-inch frame. He also loved helping other people build their bodies and had been moonlighting as a personal trainer for some time.
When he wasn't at the gym, he was at Rick's or The Men's Club or at one of the out-of-the-way clubs that brought in porn queens to dance and sign autographs. Seeing them onstage, he couldn't help but wonder -- if only fleetingly -- what it would be like to be in the adult entertainment industry. No corporate culture, for sure. No sitting behind a console for the rest of your life.
"I was never a fan of porn stars, like the fans that we have," Styles says. "Most of the fans of porn would never see themselves trying, they'd never see themselves in the position to do it For me, I saw the women, the sexuality that they portrayed and I just thought that would be cool. And the guys that I saw with them didn't seem like anything too special."
When he heard that Keisha, the star of Ready, Willing & Anal and Big Melons 31, was dancing at a tiny club off I-10, the flight controller took a chance on his fantasy and formulated a plan.
Once in the club, he walked confidently to the stage where the poofy-haired vixen was proudly showcasing her assets. In the midst of drooling patrons throwing cash on the stage, the flight controller produced two photographs of him in Cancún, showing off his glistening pecs and six-pack. He lifted them up to Keisha and then flipped them over. The ploy worked -- she shimmied over to his end of the stage.
"Will you read this?" he asked.
He had taped a $10 bill to the back of each photo, above a message expressing an interest in finding out how to break into the industry, as well as an invitation to tour Johnson Space Center.
She smiled, took the pics and got back to business. The flight controller found a seat and waited for whatever came next.
A little while after the end of Keisha's gig, the DJ announced that the actress wanted to see the guy who had given her the photos. Backstage, he says, Keisha told him two things. One: She politely declined the tour invitation.
And two: "She said that she thought that I might be good for porn," Styles recalls.