Sometimes life catches up with our weirdest ideas. This happen recently when I read a story about how NASA planned to repair the space shuttle Atlantis.
I'm a two-time winner of Phandemonium's "Dark and Stormy Planet Contest". It's a science fiction take-off on the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, which is described as "a whimsical literary competition that challenges entrants to compose the opening sentence to the worst of all possible novels."
One of my winning entries was:
As Commander Marc "Crash" Crazinski strode confidently through the cool Florida night toward the shuttle, which lay nestled amidst the searing white beams of the spotlights, the staples and duct tape on its wings shining majestically, he finally accepted the wisdom of making NASA a faith-based initiative, knowing that only a miracle would save him and his crew.
Staples and duct tape on the shuttle? How silly. Until...
Mission Atlantis: Astronauts to Rehearse Shuttle Fix, Stow Solar Array
...which describes how Atlantis' damaged thermal blanket will be repaired while in orbit...
Next, the repair requires a double row of staples using the medical staplers along the tear's edges, and finishes with the use of a dental tool and stiff nickel chromium pins to secure the torn blanket and part of an adjacent one into nearby tiles, Shannon said. The crew will take six staplers with them, each with 15 staples.
Still don't believe they're using staples to fix the shuttle? Here are photos!