Saturday, July 08, 2006
NASA (Need Another Seven Astronauts) today extended the mission of the space shuttle by another day, and added another spacewalk to the schedule. If the astronauts spacewalk any further, they will have walked far enough to have got home without the shuttle. While this could be handy in future missions if the astronauts forget where they parked, it suggests that maybe they might need to walk home. How sure is NASA that the shuttle can get home in one piece? Two shuttles have already been lost (a nice way of saying they fell to pieces), and shortly before the launch, pieces of foam fell off this one because of overnight ice. Has NASA forgotten that its cold in space? Prior to the eventual launch, it was postponed a number of times due to weather, something the shuttle has to pass through a lot of on the way home. This is the Big One for NASA, if anything goes wrong with this mission they are likely to be grounded for a very, very long time, if not forever. So pray that the pilots don't have sudden need of that billion-dollar toilet during re-entry.