Thursday, May 21, 2009

Landing the Space Shuttle On Easter Island

I thought I was the only person who would ask this question.

NASA has designated a number of places around the world as possible landing sites for the space shuttle, in case of emergency. They include varied airports from Diego Garcia to Riyadh to Easter Island.

If the shuttle lands on Easter Island, how do you get it back to America? Can the airport handle a 747 on which to piggyback the shuttle? Can its tiny, almost non-existent, port handle a ferry boat that can hold the shuttle?

Apparently, Lee Correy answered all of these questions, and more, in his techno-thriller Shuttle Down. It's about a fictional emergency landing involving Atlantis. The book even covers minutiae like the lack of passports for the astronauts. Apparently, after the book came out, shuttle crews began carrying passports and traveler's checks for just such an emergency.

It's on my Amazon queue now.



SCI-FI said...

Holy crap, I thought I was the only human being alive to have remembered this book. Thanks for the trip down Memory Lane. Now if I could just find my copy...

Maxichamp said...

I got mine on Amazon for like a penny (plus shipping).