Written by Ellis Ian Fields
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Topics: NASA, Space Shuttle

Friday, 25 February 2011

image for Shuttle Discovery Sets Off On Last Voyage - Just

NASA's Space Shuttle Discovery has taken off on its last voyage from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

As usual, huge crowds had gathered on all the approach roads leading to the Nasa facility and on the beaches along Florida's Space Coast.

They all had to wait a little longer than expected as the final countdown was delayed. The official reason given was that there had been a minor problem with the computer system that tracks the shuttle to orbit.

In fact intercepted radio conversations reveal a more mundane story.

As mission control goes through final checks with the crew, Shuttle Commander Steve Lindsey suddenly interrupts.

"Oh shit!"

A hush falls across mission control as engineers' hearts jump into their mouths. Then the capcom's voice breaks the silence.

"Uh, Discovery - please repeat."

Lindsay: "Mission Control - sorry. This is Discovery. I think I left the iron switched on before I came out. Can someone check please?"

Capcom: "We're on it Discovery. Countdown held."

Several minutes pass before Mission Control tells Lindsay that he had in fact turned his iron off - and put it away.

"Phew. We got a whole bunch of people about to turn blue up here," he says, referring to Mission Control's reaction to Neil Armstrong's first message from the surface of the moon in 1969. There is a lot of laughter and the countdown resumes.

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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