After the successful launch of a manned Delta IV Heavy rocket into space and orbit of the International Space Station, NASA scientists were faced with a potential catastrophe as Flight Engineer Natalie Schlimberg attempted to dock onto the Station on Tuesday.
Following several aborted reversing attempts witnessed by six supportive male astronauts through the Space Station’s observation deck: three Russians, two Americans and a Japanese astronaut, Flight Engineer Schlimberg conceded defeat and handed over to the auto-robotic controls to make a successful dock, thus averting a potential disaster.
Commander Kevin Kapinski said, “It was the moment everyone had been waiting for to witness the first successful female docking in space. Flight Engineer Schlimberg’s spatial awareness seemed to be going fine until she saw us 'willing her on' through the windows of the control deck. Then she just kind of lost it.”
According to NASA ‘no female astronaut has made a text-book docking to date despite intensive Hummer and stretch limo training in Walmart's mother and toddler parking lots.’
Flight Engineer Schlimberg said in her own defence, “When you dock you have to concentrate on the task at hand – operating, working and positioning the craft into position. It is amazing how you can lose it when guys are watching you. My next task will be to pull out of the docking space so my mind set will have to change if I am to leave and get back to earth safely. So I’m just going to ignore the bastards.”
In the meantime she will be occupied with important experiments on the International Space Station including ironing in zero gravity and, as part of research into extended journeys into space, remaining silent for periods of five minutes or more.
Commander Kapinski said, “She will be here for five weeks so we want to make sure she keeps the Space Station in tip-top shape. In the meantime I’m sure the guys will give her a few tips on successful docking especially around the all-important thrust applications.”
Japan's HRT3 ship is due to reach the station on Friday, and NASA said in a statement, that the male chimpanzee on board has a 100% successful docking record.