HEINUS – CAPE CANAVERAL The first resupply of the International Space Station by a private company was postponed on Saturday when SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket failed to lift off from Pad 40 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Even though all nine of the rocket’s engines started properly, the rocket was shut down automatically when an over pressure developed in one of the engine combustion chambers.
When engineers got a chance to inspect the rocket, they quickly discovered that the culprit was a ham sandwich. Apparently one of the technicians working on the rocket prior to the launch attempt left the sandwich in the rocket by mistake. “One of our technicians has come forward and admitted he was guilty of forgetting the sandwich,” said John Gantry, spokesperson for SpaceX. “It was a simple mistake. Any one of us could have left our sandwiches or a piece of cake or a jar of pickled herring in there. In fact, it happens more than you’d think. A bundt cake was once left in the Apollo Saturn V launch vehicle and a recent Air Force Titan launch was postponed when one of the technicians left a 40-pound sausage lasagna in the rocket to keep it warm.”
(Launch pad image by Ken Kremer)