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NASA Admits Bad Placement Of Breaker Box On ISS
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HOUSTON, Texas - NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe admitted it was "an unfortunate oversight" that the electrical box housing the circuit breakers for the International Space Station was placed on the outer hull of the craft. In order to reenergize one of the station's orientation gyroscopes, the astronauts must undertake a dangerous and expensive space walk to the breaker box, in order to flip the breaker off and back on. "Sometimes you even have to jiggle them a bit," said NASA engineer Ryan Archer, "And wearing a bulky spacesuit and catcher's mitt-sized gloves makes that especially difficult."

The placement of the box was decided years ago by floor engineers assembling the station on Earth. "The original plans called for the breaker box to be placed right over an observation window," recalled NASA specialist Reggie Hunt, "So we had a quick pow-wow and decided that it would be easiest all around to just put it where we could get at it. I mean, we were wiring the thing and flipping breakers all day long, and every time you wanted to go inside the dang thing, they made you put on your clean-suit and such and so. It was a pain in the neck. So we decided to make it easy on ourselves."

"It won't be just flipping a switch," objected Russian Deputy Head of ISS mission Valery Ryumin, "These are not household circuit breakers. And while they are out, we intend to have them wash the observation windows, patch that air leak in the U.S. module, and spray some of your Mr. Clean solvent on the solar panels. This will be a serious maintenance trip."

"Val doesn't know a Soyuz capsule from a seltzer tablet, he's just trying to make it sound like a standard maintenance walk," said one NASA official on condition of anonymity, "Truth is, we screwed up. We put our pants on backwards and then shot ourselves into space. It's not another miles-oops-no-kilometers problem, but it's a problem."

Until the gyroscope can be restarted, NASA is asking the crew to walk rapidly in circles to help orient the station. "They need the exercise, anyway," quipped O'Keefe.
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