Known Johnson

August 11, 2005

Lost cause

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tom @ 4:18 pm

Being the space shuttle geek that I admittedly am*, I have as my Windows Desktop at work what I consider to be a beautiful photo of Discovery just after sunrise Tuesday morning at Edwards Air Force base (seen above). When one of the big-wigs around jokingly asked if I’d taken that myself, did I get to fly it, etc., I played along happily, but things got deeper and I wound up going where I really didn’t want to go . . . into total space-geek mode.

“How’s that thing handle?” he asked.

“Oh, like a sports car, nimble,” I said.

“Good accelaration, I bet. 0-60 in, what, two-tenths of a second?”

“Well,” and I felt the urge boiling in me . . . must resist the urge . . . no! can’t! . . . “It’s really just a glider at this point . . . ”

Crickets were heard to be chirping.

“With the boosters and tank it’s pretty fast.” I tried to make it sound “fun.” Even the crickets stopped chirping. “By the time it clears the tower it’s already going a hundred miles an hour, and that’s only a couple hundred feet off the ground.”

The crickets shook their heads in shame, packed up their instruments, and headed out. “We tried, guys, we tried, but this guy’s a lost cause. If he can’t hear our geek-warning calls, there’s nothing we can do to help stop what’s inevitable.”

*I am dorky enough that I set our DVR to record ALL FOUR of Discovery’s possible Tuesday morning landing times on the NASA channel. And I watched two of them – the second one being what would have been the final opportunity, but which ended up as just NASA cameras filming Discovery sitting on the runway for 45 minutes, interspersed with occasional footage of people walking around under the shuttle. I watched it simply because it was footage of the shuttle . . . a lost cause, totally.

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