Friday, August 05, 2005

Space Shuttle

Isn't it amazing that NASA straps this high-tech piece of equipment to another powerful high-tech piece of equipment (rockets!), which upon ignition the apparatus rumbles and shakes to life on the platform, rumbles and shakes the shuttle and crew, rumbles and shakes into the atmosphere, throttles up, releases the rocket boosters in a giant bright explosion, then powers its way into space on another jet of light; yet in the entire rumbling and shaking process just a piece of foam can fall off, tap the wings and cause enough damage to create deadly problems? You would think amid all the rumbling and shaking some other systemic problems might also occur. But here we have the most dangerous piece of high-tech foam around. I think they need to duct tape that stuff down myself. It keeps falling off. Can you hand me the NASA certified duct tape?

Then when we get to space, we do a magnificent space walk to gently remove some stray "fabric" from the underbelly of the shuttle, and everybody breaths the sigh of relief.

Foam and fabric. These are not things you would think could cause so many problems. Now, I am not so naive to think these items are just like ordinary pieces foam and fabric you find around the house. Not at all, but it is indeed amazing to me to think how both powerful and delicate our amazing technology is and that we don't have even more problems than this. These are enough, but aren't you glad we don't have more?

All in all, I hope we fixed the foam and fabric problem and everybody arrives safely back on earth.


At 8/05/2005 03:59:00 PM, Blogger Chris said...

You IS amazing that more stuff doesn't happen...but I'm also of the opinion that stuff SHOULDN'T happen. These guys are freakin' rocket scientists. It seems like, to me, that people who check the stuff out are just like any other worker who hates their job. "Eh...stupid foam...looks OK to me." "Don't you think we should inspect it more?" "Naah. Besides, I'd have to climb up a huge ladder and I've got a hot date tonight, and if I go around inspecting every little thing then I'll be messing up my whole weekend."

It really does seem that NASA employs the "fast food" employee when it comes to stuff like this. I mean, with all the things that can go wrong with a shuttle launch, you'd think EVERY LITTLE THING would be inspected, re-inspected, inspected again. Then they'd get a friend to check their work. Then scientists would actually check it. I mean, you've got one shot--make it count.

At 8/05/2005 04:06:00 PM, Blogger Jonathan said...

But the people who get to make all of this stuff are the ones who make the lowest bid, so go figure.

At 8/05/2005 04:14:00 PM, Blogger Kennelworthy said...

Jonathan, you just stole my Steve-Buscemi-From-Armageddon thunder.

At 8/05/2005 04:23:00 PM, Blogger NLock said...

I with you brother Chris. Maybe we can suggest the NASA duct tape solution. You think we can get a big multi-million dollar contract to climb up on that son of a gun, pull off some tape, cut it with our teeth and smooth that puppy down. Cha ching!

It is interesting that the lowest-bidder theory isn't just a piece of movie cleverness, it is indeed why we have these problems. Then the lowest bidder group (Thiokol) wants their "autonomy" and the contract keeps NASA from having full control. Sorry, I read to dang much.

The Steve-Buscemi-From-Armageddon ethos is quite sobering.

At 8/05/2005 09:19:00 PM, Anonymous John B said...

Foam can be very troubling!! Get a case of beer or handle of favorite poison, get 2 cans of Great Stuff, and use your imagination. Bad, bad things.....

At 8/05/2005 09:45:00 PM, Blogger NLock said...

Darn Foam!


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