Friday, September 10, 2004

Going Spacey, Again

It's been a weird week in space.

First, the Genesis spacecraft did the world's longest recorded celestial swan dive before unceremoniously impaling itself in the Utah desert.

The voicetrack that accompanied the commentator as the craft spiralled out of control was classic NASA: "We have a negative function on the atmospheric deceleration device," or something like that. It's a good thing that I was not at the microphone during this event, because they would have had to beep me out more often than they did when I was on Reach for the Top all those moons ago. (Yes, Jeopardy's Alex Trebek was a Quizmaster way back when.)

Thankfully, no one died - well, except for the rare split-tailed armadillo who got lost on his way to the Taco Bell and ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time. It looks like the crash didn't ruin the science mission. And then Wheelson graced us with the funniest posting I've read in months. My stomach still aches.

Then the International Space Station - remember the ISS? - popped back into our sand-covered malaise. To bring y'all back up to speed, Gennady and Mike are still in orbit, this despite the fact that the folks down in Mission Control got so bored watching them go round and round that they rerouted the comm feed to their PDAs so they could take a field trip. To the Taco Bell.

While they were out, the oxygen generation system imploded again, forcing the astronauts to don plastic bubble-head devices and remain as still as possible so as to minimize their oxygen intake until they re-enter the atmosphere in a Starfleet shuttle pod. Okay, that last part was a joke. But the oxygen system really is broken.

At least I know where they can get a partially-used parachute. Really cheap.

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