Mister T “Cape Kennedy Caper” (part 2 of 7)

The team is now wandering around the grounds of the space center unescorted. With their dog. Because that happens. A conspicuous sign reads, “No Infrared Cameras Allowed.” Okay, sign, whatever you say. We wouldn’t want anyone to get photographic evidence that the shuttle is hot.

There’s some lovely padding here as the camera pans around the space center, in what I assume is a faithful reproduction of a couple of postcards you can get in the space center gift shop. And the music in the background sounds suspiciously like the love theme from The Producers. And just like that, we are another 20 seconds closer to the end of this series.

Then the shuttle is shown on the crawler-transporter, on its way to the launch pad. With less than three hours to launch. Hey, you ask, is that in any way accurate? No, son, it isn’t. In reality, the shuttle is brought out to the launch pad as much as a month before liftoff. The thing needs at least three days on the pad to fully prepare for launch. I expect that most of that time is spent cloning Sam Rockwell.

Caption contributed by Jordon

It’s been a long road, gettin’ from there to here…

Over in some sort of tour-bus-tram-thing, Robin declares, “Wow, with a picture of the shuttle, I’ll be shooting for the highest grade in my photo essay of Cape Kennedy!” First of all, you’re at Cape Canaveral. Second, I can’t really imagine a photo essay of a space center getting even a passing grade, let alone the highest, without a picture of a damn spaceship.

Robin asks Mr. T to pull the tram over so she can get her shot. Yeah, Mr. T is driving. Bisby is sitting in the back not doing a blessed thing, thus eliminating the only purpose she has for being on this team. T lets Robin off the tram, but tells her to hurry so they can get to the g-force simulator before launch. Am I missing something here? What part of being crushed against your chair is fun?

Robin runs up under the crawler to get a picture. She realizes that from this angle, there’s not much to see. So she grabs hold of a ladder and climbs up onto the crawler. Amazingly, she notices a sign that says, “Authorized Personnel Only”. Well, I should hope so. She shrugs and keeps climbing, rationalizing this with, “Oh, well. One little photo won’t hurt anyone.”

Caption contributed by Jordon

Remember, the moral of this story is, “Don’t go through other people’s bags.”

At this point, Robin sees two people on a set of stairs leading up to the shuttle’s crew compartment. Worried she’ll get in trouble if they see her, she hops off the ladder, disappointed. Quick question: Are there stairs leading up to the top of the shuttle when it’s on the crawler? No, there are not. The whole purpose of the slow crawl is to keep the stack as steady as possible. Having people run up and down stairs would tend to make that a bit harder.

The announcer tells us that it’s T-minus two hours, 10 minutes to launch. Good for NASA. They’re counting in the right direction, at least. They haven’t given themselves much time to mate the stack to the gantry, inspect the rockets for any damage from the move, fuel the main tank, fill the sound suppression well, load the astronauts, do preflight checks, evacuate all personnel back to the 5 km zone, or verify the weather, but that’s just the way NASA rolls. That’s why there’s a shuttle launch every forty minutes.

To read the rest of this article, support the Agony Booth on Patreon.
This post is available to our patrons who pledge $5 or more per month on Patreon. Click the “Unlock with Patreon” button below to sign up with Patreon or to log in with your existing Patreon account.
Already a qualifying Patreon member? Refresh to access this content.

Jordon Davis

B.A. Political Science, SUNY Albany - 1991
Master of Public Administration, University of Georgia - 1993
Juris Doctorate, Emory University - 1996

State of Georgia - 1996
State of New York - 1997

Fields Medal (with Laurent Lafforgue and Vladimir Voevodsky) - 1998

Follow Jordon at @LossLeader on Twitter.

Multi-Part Article: Mister T "Cape Kennedy Caper"

You may also like...