Astronomy and Space

Some Assembly Required


The most frightening words in the English language for parents on Christmas Eve are, “Some assembly required.” Putting together the toy that is to be opened in just a few hours has been the cause of more than one nervous breakdown.

Next time you bemoan how difficult it is to assembly that Christmas gift, consider how fortunate you are that you don’t have to put the following items together:

  • A Glock handgun contains 34 parts.
  • A Rolex watch has at least 115 parts in the movement.
  • The human body has 7,500 individually-named parts, according to the American Association of Anatomists.
  • Not counting the optional extras, a typical modern car has about 30,000 parts.
  • The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan is made of more than 1 million distinct parts, including 900 miles of wire and cable and 47,000 tons of precision-welded steel.
  • The space shuttle had 2.5 million moving parts, including almost 370 kilometers (230 miles) of wire, more than 1,060 plumbing valves and connections, over 1,440 circuit breakers, and more than 27,000 insulating tiles and thermal blankets.
  • A Boeing 747 has 6 million parts, including 274 km (171 miles) of wiring and 8 km (5 miles) of tubing.

Read why everyone is worth at least $160.

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