NASA cancels Discovery launch

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - A fuel gauge that mistakenly read empty instead of full forced NASA to call off Wednesday's launch of Discovery on the first shuttle flight since the Columbia disaster 2 1/2 years ago. The space agency's chief said the mission is off until at least Monday.
The decision to scrub the launch came with less than 2 1/2 hours to go, while the seven astronauts were boarding the spacecraft for their journey to the international space station. Up until then, a thunderstorm over the launch site appeared to be the only potential obstacle to liftoff.

Mission Control to Discovery Crew: C'mon, guys. It's just a little thunderstorm. Some big boom-sounds and a little lightning. What is there to be afraid of? It's not like you're sitting on 77,000 pounds of liquid hyrdrogen or anything. I mean, what's the worst that could happen? Honestly.

"It's not a setback at all. We're fine if we go anytime in the launch window," Griffin said. "We had one mission for the Defense Department that scrubbed 14 times. This is nothing!"

Moments later, Griffin was bound and gagged by a swift-moving team from the National Security Agency. Witnesses overheard one of them say something about national secrecy, loose lips, and sinking ships as they loaded Griffin into the black van before it sped away from the scene.

NASA said it appeared that the sensor was showing a low fuel level, even though the tank was full with 535,000 gallons of super-cold liquid hydrogen and oxygen.

Astronaut: (tapping on the fuel gauge) Dang it! This always happens when I'm on my way to pick up a girl who agreed to go out with me because she's impressed that I'm an astronaut and even though I'm slightly more nerdy and much less buff than she imagined an astronaut would be, I'm going to space and that's pretty cool. (tap. tap. tap.)

And lastly:

Space Shuttle Discovery astronauts ride back past Launch Pad 39B at Cape Canaveral, Wednesday, July 13, 2005 after today's launch was scrubbed.

They go to the moon in a $1.3 billion dollar shuttle, and ride home in a 1978 Winnebago (with shiny aluminum siding to give it that authentic "space age" feel).

5 Responses to “inner space”

  1. # Anonymous aimee


    sweet 70s winnebago  

  2. # Anonymous Anne Arkham

    Do you think they were disappointed, or do you think they were like, "Cool! Let's go for beer!"  

  3. # Blogger r.fuel

    Probably disappointed. I bet beer is waaaay better in space. I mean, what's not better in space?  

  4. # Blogger Joe Fuel


    (i'm just going to let you think about that one)  

  5. # Anonymous Anonymous

    They actually have beer at the space station . . . but its Russian beer . . . and Russian beer sucks. It has way too much vodka in it.  

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