Thursday, July 14, 2005

Shuttle Delay

This morning on the train, where I'm sure you will note I do much of my thinking, the space shuttle came to mind. Recent delays for the launch probably have a lot of people wondering about all the problems they seem to have. A plastic window protector falls off and possibly damages a tile, canceling a lift-off. Then yesterday, a potential problem called off the launch again with the astronauts already buckled into their seats.

Well, don't worry too much about it. Every intricate system has glitches like that. But for NASA, it's just more natural that you cancel or delay. Everything has to be exactly right for a launch through the atmosphere and into space. You have to be careful. It's not as traumatic as you think -- it's just that the media report on it.

Imagine if New Jersey Transit (or any other mass transit system) worked like that. "Attention passengers, Amtrak is reporting switching problems on their tracks into New York Penn Station. We are canceling today's train service until we can better assess the situation. We're sorry for the inconvenience. We estimate this train will be rescheduled for tomorrow afternoon. Probably, but if the problem persists or the reports are not complete, we may rerun this train again in two weeks." Every time they lose the center-door lights, we'd have to scrap our mission. And we couldn't travel when it rains.

While I don't my boss would approve of this work schedule, I think it would be kinda cool to have to wear those suits. It might be difficult to fit us all into those seats, but it would be so worth it.

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