theCryptofishist wrote:Somebody please write a novel from that wrench's point of view.
- mr. nasa phd has a secret affinity for tooling despite a blazingly successful career in spacecraft mechanics, decides to design a specialized wrench using the latest in composit materials with a self-adjusting mechanism that he files a patent for.
- after thousands in tax-payer dollars are spent through the standard procurement program a defense contractor is signed up, design studio held, contracts signed.
- another few thousands later in cost-overruns a prototype is made and run through testing proceedures. one of the crack-addled QA personnell decides to play a prank and uses the wrench to dismantle his boss's new mercedes and reassemble it inside of his office. yes, the wrench is metric.
- the boss comes to work in a fury and fires the QA tester. a week later after his wife leaves him he goes on a rampage and uses his key access card to enter his old facility and bashes in the skull of his former boss, leaving him a helpless parapalegic. the boss's debutante wife has to care for two kids by getting a job peddling mary-kay cosmetics. the tester is sentenced to sixty years in leavenworth penetentiary.
- the wrench passes final testing and is delivered. a training program on the use of the wrench is held for the two astronaut engineers who have difficulty using it because the phd designer is left-handed and the engineers are right handed. fortunately it only takes a few thousands more in change management proceedures to reverse the design, but it takes longer delivery because the contractor is short one QA person.
- during test assembly of the solar panel truss in nasa's deep pool facility it is found out that the wrench doesnt like water, validation tests confirm that its use in the vacuum of space is still go. now two additional wrenches need procurement because the chlorine in the testing pool has disolved its outer protective coating.
- two months before package delivery to the shuttle shipping and preparation group, the wrench is mis-handled and ends up being shipped to goldstein space communications facility as part of a antenna transciever shipment. the shuttle launch is postponed until recovery of the wrench because its a major cost item. nasa administration is embarassed and under pressure from congress for high shuttle mission costs, they provide a false story that the weather is bad and have to delay the mission until the next orbital window.
- the wrench is delivered, before final packaging inside the shuttle compartment a maintenance person finds out the wrench is perfect for removing beer-bottle caps, faulty ceramic tiles, the lug nuts on his ford pickup truck, and makes a really cool paperweight. he steals one wrench and replaces it with one he picked up on sale at harbor freight but only after grinding off the "made in china" emblem.
- after escaping the gravity well the wrench achieved what most wholesome american children dream of, space. the wrench is unpacked while the crew marvel at its design.
- the wrench is used in the construction of the solar panel truss, but nothing else, it was specifically designed for only one task. the engineer astronauts get frustrated using it for adjustments because it keeps stripping bolts on things its not designed for. the space engineers find out that using the cheap "made in china" wrench works perfectly, and jokingly take batting practice with the stripped nuts and bolts swinging the phd designed wrench. one engineer swings too hard trying to use his left hand which the wrench is no longer designed for and looses grip, the wrench flys off into space.
- nasa and norad are told the wrench "just sorta drifted off" and while a dozen orbital path analysists back at ames research facility are put into an emergency planning committee to predict its trajectory,. before they can meet nasa is slow in changing the international space stations orbit and approximately four hours and eight oribits around our planet the wrench flys through one of the new solar panels disrupting electrical power supply to the station. fortunately the engineers have enough time to schedule another spacewalk construction and fix the problem, using the "made in china" wrench.
- the wrench continues its endless journey without problems because its advanced design keeps it from degrading despite its high radiation exposure. because the impact with the solar panel is mis-calculated by the emergency planning committe the orbit estimation is off, it collides with a chinese low orbit military communications satellite while flying over andrews air force base. the chinese accuse the usaf of intentially taking hostile action against one of its satellites and retaliates by changing the path of another satellite to collide with nsa's surveillance satellite whose orbit was changed to spy on china's new secret submarine complex.
- the us accuses the chinese of fabricating the loss of the satellite as an excuse to take hostile action against one of its spy satellites. the us space command orders its research high energy particle accelerator laser into use to take out one of the chinese military communications satellite. unfortunately the laser overheats and permanently ruins the power conditioner because the same contractor was short one QA tester to appropriately test its functional ability.