Rapid unscheduled disassembly and other rocket scientist jokes

Give them credit: first a guy with spacecraft shaved into his head, then a guy with tattoos and a colorful shirt (um…), and now gallows humor.

Any other inside jokes? I’m assuming RUD has been around for a while.

In fact, it many not even be originally from rocket guys. Anyone heard of it?

If only there was someone in SD who could answer this.

ETA: the vid.

RUD’s been around for a long time, though I couldn’t say exactly how long. Much longer than SpaceX at any rate.

Some other fun ones:
Lithobraking: Like aerobraking, except using the Earth (=litho) to halt movement
Uncontrolled flight into terrain: Same thing. Results in RUD.

Our other thread about the flight.

There’s certainly a bit of gallows humor but it should be kept in mind that all rocket stages crash at the moment. This one just crashed into a very small target. And for very little cost, too–NASA paid for the rocket.

Poking around on Google Books did come up with this gem:
The near-meltdown of the nuclear plant at Three Mile Island was initially called an unscheduled energetic disassembly.

Not quite the same but close. The TMI accident was ~36 years ago. Looks like a fun book, at any rate.

also called “lawn dart.”

Lithobraking has been used successfully, planned (asteroid and comet landing- with some bounce) and unplanned (Venus landing), and does not in itself indicate destruction of the craft. But in these cases litho = solid part of the orbital body (not necesserally earth).

Anyone here have access to ancient Usenet archives, circa 1986?

When the Space Shuttle Challenger went kablooie, January 28, 1986, there followed the obligatory spate of threads about it, including a thread in the jokes forum where everybody chimed in with their gallows humor.

Here’s a collection of some of them (collected quite some time after the fact, I gather, although some or all of them were being told at the time right after the event):

Taking a flight; going on a vacation, all over the pacific. Or atlantic, or gulf, or whatever.

If you are fling a small plane VFR (visual flight rules) do you know what type of cloud you must avoid flying into?

No cite, but I’ve heard the story of one of our test pilots (decades ago). He was still at a comfortable altitude but things were deteriorating rapidly. Ground teams were making suggestions and asking for status and eventually got this reply: “I’ve decided to jettison the airplane.”

We always called that “Giving the aircraft back to the taxpayers.”

[Far Side]“Hey, what’s a mountain goat doing way up here in the clouds?”[/FS]

Then there’s Controlled Flight into Terrain, which implies that the aircraft wasn’t damaged or out of control, but the pilot was disoriented or otherwise unaware of their altitude or the presence of an obstacle.

When this happens to me or my friends during video game dogfights it’s quite embarrassing.

Moved to MPSIMS.

General Questions Moderator

I remember watching a news report about Three Mile Island as it was happening and an engineer described the plant as “undergoing rapid oxidation”. I laughed and my sister asked what’s so funny and I said that basically means it’s on fucking fire.

Lithobraking has also on occasion been planned but unsuccessful, as with the Mars Deep Impactor Probe. Which, to be fair, everyone knew right from the start had a low chance of success, but it was cheap enough to make it a good bet anyway.

And a friend of mine, at the launch of an instrument he had spent many years on both building and analyzing, found that the control panel that would launch it was malfunctioning, with only minutes remaining in their launch window. He ultimately ended up fixing the problem via “percussive maintenance”: Kick the control panel until it works.

I was told the Laws of Flight by an old jet jock, many years ago:
Thou shalt keep thy number of takeoffs and landings equal. (He had broken this one.)
Thou shalt keep thy horizon indicator level lest the ground come up and smite thee.

ATC has its own lingo, too. “Midair passenger exchanges” are often followed by “aluminum rain.”

Q: What makes electronic components work?
A: Smoke. When you overload the circuit, the smoke escapes, and it doesn’t work anymore.

A friend of mine had an unintended reaction to gravity that led to his ankle becoming dis-integral.

In the one nursing home (where my FIL was for a time) no one died; they had an “unrequested transfer”.

My brother was in the paratroopers where they had a phrase: Rapid Deceleration Syndrome. (Goes along with the idea that it isn’t the fall that kills you, it’s the sudden stop.)