Saturday, July 30, 2005

Space, The Final Frontier... For Glue

NASA has decided to ground the shuttle program while it yet again confronts the issue of why the fuel tank sheds insulation foam during launch. It was such a piece that struck the wing of Columbia during its January, 2003 launch and led to the craft's fiery demise two weeks later. To prevent a recurrence of that disaster, engineers at the space agency redesigned the tank, changed the composition of the foam, and came up with new techniques of applying it. The people with the fancy-schmancy PhD's vowed that the problem was solved.

So what happened during launch of Discovery earlier this week? The fuel tank was shedding foam faster than a cat sheds hair on a brand new sofa. While Discovery does not appear to have been damaged, the decision was made to postpone future missions until the issue of how to make the insulation adhere better to the tank is resolved.... Again.

Excuse me, but has anyone thought of driving over to the Cocoa Beach Wal-Mart and picking up a tube of Super Glue?

Meanwhile, astronauts already in orbit on board Discovery are conducting a six and a half hour spacewalk. Orbiting at 17,000 miles per hour, that means they will have traveled 110,500 miles during their excursion.

If you figure that the latest fitness statistics recommend we walk briskly for 2 miles three times week to maintain cardiac health, that means those lucky bastards are set for the next 18,416.666 weeks.

0 thoughtful ramblings: