> It reminds me of that old joke about why the Space Shuttle (and now SLS) design is influenced by the width of a horses ass.
Two horse's asses. Wagons were sized according to the width of two horses, and roads were in turn sized to fit the wagons. When underground mining got serious, the mining wagons were just converted outdoor wagons, still pulled by two horses. Then they started putting rails under the wagons, to allow moving heavier loads with less friction. Rail lines began to be used outdoors, pulled by horses at first, so the rail spacing continued to be suitable to the width of two horses. One engines replaced horses, the rails stayed the same width. Go look at train tracks today, you will see they are the right size for two horses to fit.
The Solid rocket boosters for the Space Shuttle were shipped by rail from Utah to Florida, and thus had to fit on railcars on the standard rail spacing. In turn, the size of the boosters set the lift capacity of the rocket, and thus how big the Shuttle Orbiters could be. Finally, the Space Station modules had to fit in the Orbiter, so the Space Station's design is dictated by the width of two horse's asses.
I may have been responsible for this analysis about 30 years ago at Boeing. I was both designing launch vehicles, and had a hobby interest in the history of technology. It is also possible it came up in a USENET discussion on sci.space back then. I don't remember any more.