Today, while all... I repeat ALL of the 24 hour media channels leached upon the subjects of Michael Jackson's last will and South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford's fall from grace in nauseating detail other event went unnoticed. Lawyers, doctors, music hucksters of all levels were mixed with marriage counselors, jilted spouses and vote grubs in a continuous coverage that was interrupted only by commercials for lawyers, doctors, vote grubs and tax fix-its. Everyone wanted in on the act- Al Sharp-tongue was air-dropped into LA like a Navy seal- no camera would go without his noseprint on the lens. Indeed there were no other events in human history going on today. Even radio talk shows went on about how they shouldn't be focused on Mike and Mark... as they focused on... Mike and Mark.
One event, however went totally overlooked by the 24 hour servers of sound bites. Down at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC), the STS-127 stack was tank-tested. Over a period of more tha three hours, tons of LOX and LH2 were pumped into the stack in an effort to test repairs to the Ground Umbilical Carrier Plate (GUCP) whose leaking condition scrubbed the STS-127 mission twice. Hundreds of highly skilled and highly educated engineers and technicians participated in the extremely hazardous test of the most complex machine on earth. It demanded that humanity put forward the best of the people we have- all working together as a huge team. Every move that they made was pre-planned and critical as at best the External Tank (ET) would fill and act normally, but at worst it could explode like a small atomic bomb. At length, when tanking was complete, the Ice Team went out and personally inspected the vehicle. Following their inspection the ET was drained of its fuel and oxidizer and the preparations were begun for another launch. It was a high-risk day at KSC and it was an important event in our technical history. It was where, once again, we proved that if humans are smart enough and careful enough, and innovative enough we can actually do anything. It is a lesson that has been demonstrated countless times at KSC and Cape Canaveral. Yet, until hours after the event it was completely ignored in the media, that is enamored with a dead self-mutilated "king of pop" and a cheating lying politician who cannot even find the courage to keep his pants zipped.
Although it is bright day for everyone at KSC, it is a dark time for anyone who happens to be exposed to the news media. The network's nose for news is on a par with the one on Michael Jackson's face.