Wednesday, February 6, 2013

How the Ancient Roman's Built a Space Shuttle Booster

First let me say that I got this topic from a good friend of mine. I'm not sure why I haven't shared it with you yet... but here it is. As those of you who are regular to Ramblings know, I'm a bit of a sucker for history. So this was right up my alley.

In a discussion, my friend made the comment that the Roman's had an impact on our space program. Of course I was like... "Say what?" Come to find out, it's true. You see, in ancient Rome, the powers that be came together to agree on a standard width of a chariot's wheel base. Okay you say... what does that have to do with our space shuttle? I'm getting there... hang on. So, with a standard width set, the Roman roads were built with that measurement in mind. As the years past and other people started using wagons and carts, it was easier to just use that same standard width so that the wheels would ride in the groves worn into the road from the chariot's. (Some of these roads still exist today.)

So when the peoples of Europe came to the new world, they brought their tools and standards with them... and so, our first roads also were based on the chariot's wheel base. Now here is the cool part. When the railroads came into existence, guess what.... Yep, they used the same measurement. So our train tracks are based on the wheel base of a Roman chariot.

Now here is where it gets to the bread and butter. The tunnels the train track go through are based on those dimensions. The rocket boosters for the shuttle had to be taken by train through those tunnels. Viola, the Romans decisions almost two thousand years ago, affected our space program.

You can go here to read the article that I found.

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