Burnishing your beloved spacecraft’s golden years

Come along now, Aunty.

Here at the Von Braun Home, your loved one—you said she was your Aunt Lantis?—will spend her retirement years surrounded by peace and the finest dry hangar maintenance technicians in the tri-state area.

Is your aunt very active? And by “active” I mean spry, not armed for launch. If she is, she’ll love this place. It’s our Retro Rocket Recreation Room. Shuffleboard pucks? No, those are heat-shielding tiles. Some of our residents have flaky skin. All those re-entries take their toll, you know. Don’t worry, I’ll get someone to clean that up.

Like all seniors, your aunt is probably very concerned about mealtime. Our kitchen and dining room are designed to meet the needs of the most sensitive solid fuel boosters. For instance, our fuel slurry is low in silica and high in fiber. We find that your older spacecraft are particularly sensitive about keeping their thrust nozzles open and free of obstructions. On weekend evenings, we usually have a liquid fuel bar set up in the lounge, although it closes at 8:30 pm, because we don’t want residents so pressurized that they’re up half the night tossing and venting.

Now here we have a typical resident’s room. As you can see it’s private and has its own individual climate controls—a must to prevent ice from sloughing off after the early morning launch simulations conducted by our physical therapists. The last thing we want is for your aunt to break a hip strut! You’ll also notice that this room is equipped with an anti-gravity bed. Not only does it simulate a familiar zero-G environment, it’s helpful in preventing bedsores. It’s an extra, but I’m sure you’ll want your aunt to have the very best, appropriations permitting.

Does your aunt carry much payload? Because we do have external storage pods available. They’re strictly climate controlled, UV-shielded and vacuum sealed to approximate low earth orbit conditions. They’re also ideal for storing her old deceleration chutes—we know our seniors like to hold on to many of their favorite garments even though they’ll probably never use them again.

Now, no one likes to talk about it, but I did want to mention that we have the best on-site emergency repair staff around. We can treat most circuitry malfunctions and age-related structural failures right here. Why, here’s our on-staff titanium riveter now. Say hello, Nancy. This is Mrs.—I’m sorry, you said your last name is Nassa? Mrs. Nassa’s Aunt Lantis may be joining us here soon. We hope. Ha ha.

Which brings me to the last thing we’ll be needing to discuss. Did you bring your aunt’s financial records and certificate of decommissioning?