Remember just yesterday when I shared the video of the SpaceX Falcon vehicle exploding on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral?
I got a screenshot from that video, and I think I may have worked out exactly why the explosion took place:
Look – there, just below the explosion site:
Yes. A stray apostrophe.
I’ve been doing some rudimentary research and while I couldn’t actually find any instance in which a space vehicle had been destroyed by an errant semi-colon or exclamation mark, no investigation I found (Challenger, Discovery, Soyuz 11 et al.) implicitly stated that poor or incorrect use of punctuation wasn’t to blame, either.
Telling stuff, hey?
Elon Musk and Space X have always been very open about their successes and failures, inviting us to join in their programme, enjoy their triumphs and commiserate with them on their disappointments. This is, therefore, a watershed moment. Will they admit that appalling grammar caused this massive explosion or will we be fed some lies about a tube coming loose or a faulty valve or some such?
We’re watching, Elon. We’re watching.
Note: This realisation came to me on Cape Town’s elevated freeway today, above which was a dot matrix sign reading:
No if’s. No but’s.
Always buckle up.
I may have left out a hashtag somewhere – I was so shocked at the grammar, I almost crashed.