UnNews:Discovery launch scrubbed; "Clouds too hard" says NASA
8 December 2006
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SHUTTLE LAUNCH SITE, Cape Carnival, Florida -- The Space Shuttle Discovery is still on the ground after missing its launch window because of clouds. For the last week, the chance of survival during launch has fallen from about 80% on Monday, to less than 40% on Thursday, dipping as low as 10% on Friday. David Mould, the unfortunately-named chief spokesman for NASA, said "A 10% chance of survival is slightly too low even for us." This cancellation has ended the chance that this would be the first night-time launch of the Shuttle for four years.
The previous launches were required to take place during the day, so engineers on the ground could track the gradual destruction of the Shuttle by chunks of falling lightweight foam. This move towards a night-time launch shows a bold new policy shift at the heart of NASA. "We just don't care any more,", a stunned audience was told. "We are now operating under the theory that what you can't see can't hurt you."
NASA is currently under pressure to launch the Shuttle by December 17, because the cutting edge (in 1978) 8-bit transistor computers on board can't handle such sophisticated tasks as changing the year digit from "06" to "07" while flying the shuttle. NASA is not too concerned though. "We haven't proven this will cause the shuttle to immediately immolate itself in an immense ball of flame, killing everyone on board and destroying billions of dollars worth of hardware," insisted Mould. "So it's a negligible risk compared to launching through clouds."
- "Clouds: The silent killers" Canadian Busybody, December 08, 2006