Space Shuttle Lands in Florida

Space Shuttle Lands in Florida

The aging space shuttle Discovery wheezed and rattled back from its mercy mission to the International Space Station on Saturday after successfully delivering a Russian-made zero-gravity toilet and French-made bidet. U.S. astronauts assumed the latter was a zero-G drinking fountain.

NASA’s exciting and life-threatening Manned Space Program missions only cost about a third of the agency’s budget, but they have resulted in new respect for America’s freight-hauling capablility, and this mission opens the prospect of international peace through plumbing. It would be a shame to waste that money on dozens of boring, data-rich unmanned space missions probing the unknown corners of space.

The shuttle mission took 13 days, 18 hours, 13 minutes and 7 seconds, and Kennedy Space Center plumbers insisted this must be billed to the International Space Station for toilet delivery, along with 37 cents a mile for 5.7 million miles.

After rolling to a stop at 11:16:19 a.m. EDT, the seven astronauts only waited another 2 hours, 47 minutes and 24 seconds for baggage claim and rental cars. The mission cost an additional $365,900 due to NASA’s new fees for snacks, potable fluids, and checked baggage.

Besides delivering a toilet to the space station, Discovery also delivered the new Japanese Scientific Laboratory module, Kibo (Hope) and three metric tons (6720 pounds) of udon noodles.

Space Shuttle Lands in Florida

Images by Mike Licht. Want copies? email notionscapital at yahoo dot com and I’ll put them on flickr. I’ve got to fire my retro-rockets now.

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