25.11.2008 08:15 - One Small Slip For A Woman, One Giant Cockup For Mankind
I don't know what all the fuss is about, to be honest. We've all been there. You're working on something, it requires about six extra arms to keep everything organized, and suddenly a spanner flies off. Unfortunately for Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper, there is, in this case, no floor for it to land on, and she's got the added problem of working in a set of reinforced pressurized gloves.. as well as having cruel parents. At least it meant she learnt to spell early on, but I bet it's cost her a fortune in custom extra-long name-tags over the years.
OK, so it was expensive, but these aren't your average Halfords toolrolls. Added to the fact that if it had hit the wrong orbit, there is always a chance of it coming back, like a boomerang, and whacking her on the back of the head, or even worse, smashing it's way through a solar panel.
Astronauts always dream of being the first to do something, and she'll be remembered as the first Astronaut to lose a $100,000 toolkit. Not one, but two records. First loss of a toolkit in space, and most expensive lost spanner ever. Now you know why they always have a beep at the end of an astronaut speaking.
But astronauts aren't the only ones who drop tools and never see them again. Anyone who's ever worked on a Mini will tell you that spanners dropped down the back of the engine disappear never to be seen again, as though there's some sort of black hole down there. One friend even dropped a spanner on a battery, and had to watch his prize king dick melting.