NASA announced today that it was postponing the launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis due to a problem with the fuel gauge. Now I'm no rocket scientist but come on, how important is this piece of equipment? Don't they fill those babies up before take off? It's not like one of the astronauts takes it down to the local Kwik Fill, looks in his wallet and says, "Hey buddy, I'm running a little short today so just put in five bucks worth OK?"
I also have a feeling mission control knows how much fuel it's going to take to get them to the space station and back again. Of course the crew could decide to go for a joy ride around the moon a couple of times, look down and realize the idiot light has just come on. I can hear the captain now, "Hey guys, keep your eyes open for a gas station cause' we're about out. Oh, and let's make sure we hit one on the right too. Making a left this time of day can be a real bitch!"
Alright I'm sure the gauge has a very intricate and vital function to the overall performance and safety the the entire flight, but ever since the dreaded seven hundred dollar toilet seat debacle I always feel a need to question just what is and isn't necessary when it comes to the government spending my money.
Do you ever wonder what kind of mileage those birds get? I doubt there's an estimated MPG sticker on the window when you pick one of them up from the new space shuttle lot. Maybe they could come up with a hybrid model. The initial lift off would use high octane rocket juice but after it cleared the atmosphere it would cruise on an alternative source like used McDonald's fry oil. Ah yes, the entire cosmos could then enjoy the smell of french fries emanating from its exhaust. If that doesn't bring the little green men from Mars to our planet nothing will.
I could be onto something here. We could lure all the aliens to our planet via this little plan, watch them pork out on Big Macs and Happy Meals then waddle back to their piece of the galaxy. They'd be so fat and lazy they wouldn't have the energy to invade us. WE COULD RULE THE UNIVERSE!...Muwahaha (said with a sinister tone).
Oh, the possibilities.