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Tuesday, July 26

Fingers Crossed at NASA

As I write this, it’s about three hours before the shuttle liftoff and I’m edgy about it. Never having been a space geek I have no desire to ever ride inside a shuttle and especially not this one. The Palm Beach Post says there is one chance in a hundred that something will go wrong. Not the kind of odds that I like. The Kennedy Space Center is an hour and a half drive from my backyard. On a clear day you can see the shuttle about three minutes after liftoff and for quite some time before it disappears into the heavens. I’ll be out in the yard with the binoculars this morning and I hope I don’t see anything more spectacular than usual.

To me this flight is like getting in your car prepared for a long trip across the desert. You notice your oil light is on so you pull into the dealership and ask them to check the oil and the light. The mechanic tells you that it’s just a malfunctioning light and you are good to go. Would you venture to drive across the desert in this car? In my opinion that’s the way this shuttle is today except if something does go wrong you can’t just stop and wait for help.

The reports we have heard from NASA make it sound like the shuttle has been duct taped and bungee corded up for this flight. Remember before the last planned attempt some pieces fell off the shuttle as it was sitting still on the pad? I don’t think that’s reassuring. Then there is the problem of the stubborn little fuel sensor light. Nope, I don’t believe Florida has a lemon law that covers the shuttle so let’s all hope if there is a problem that the astronauts have a heavenly parachute. Most of all let’s hope that this mission comes off without a single hitch. The folks at NASA say they, “have their fingers crossed”. Is that for luck or is that for when they tell us the shuttle is good to go? Neither makes me feel good about this.

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