Sunday, November 16, 2008

PAO Pooh

If you watched the launch of the space shuttle Friday night on the minion channel, and happened to have the sound turned up, you would have been treated to a pretty good sample of why the shuttle should be retired ASAP.

The PAO blabbering on about the pad close-out team being professional and dedicated to quality and safety was almost incessant. That is, until, the soon to be pink-slipped crack team failed to secure the accordion-like extender that connects the white room to the shuttle. With but 15 minutes to go before launch, controllers finally noticed what the rest of us saw plainly in the video feed. Too late to send a crew to the pad, though, somehow, ignorantly, the question was asked. Eventually, the gang plank retracted, leaving the extender and the adherence to checklists dangling in the breeze.

Now, of course, we have to wonder if that same disciplined team worked the close out of the Ku antenna?

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