The myth: The Width of the Space Shuttle’s Fuel Tank is based on a History that Extends Back to the Roman Chariots!
Summary of the eRumor:
This story is a “We’ve always done it that way” tale.
It claims that the width of the Space Shuttle’s fuel tank is only four-feet, eight-and-a-half inches and the NASA engineers could not make them any wider no matter how hard they tried!
Because the fuel tanks are transported by railroads and the standard distance between railroad rails in the U.S. is four-feet, eight-and-a-half inches.
Because that’s what it was in England.
Because that’s the gauge the tramways used before the railroads.
Because the tramways were built using the same tools as wagon-builders and that’s how wide the wagon wheels were spaced.
Because the old roads in England had ruts that the wheels needed to accommodate.
Because the ruts were made by Imperial Roman chariots.
There is no evidence that we could find that this is true.
THE POINT: Everything you read or hear on the Internet is not true. Verify first. Believe later.