Monday, May 11, 2009

Space Shuttle Workers

Ah, I love the smell of shuttle exhaust in the morning... Space Shuttle Atlantis has embarked upon it’s 11-day flight after taking off as scheduled – one of the smoothest launches ever!

In celebration, I have a special photo gallery, from my email-buddy... generous and hard-working Kennedy Space Center employee, Richard B.

Richard performs Quality Assurance on Orbiters and associated hardware (SRB, tank, etc.). He also travels back and forth to Dryden Flight Research Center in California for preparation of the AFTs (Abort Flight Tests) on NASA's new Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle.

Space Shuttles
Now this... THIS is the very definition of "unsung hero." Sadly, you won’t see him or his team on television or at press conferences, but Shuttles would never launch without them, that’s for sure. Their personal picture collection includes:
  • 01 - QA Team with Gene Cernan (last moonwalker)
  • 02 - Richard dancing in Endeavor payload bay
  • 03 - Team in the midbody
  • 04 - Inspection of Shuttle Discovery
  • 05 - Richard poking up out of hatch
  • 06 - Endeavour in vehicle assembly building
  • 07 - Orbiter wing inspection
  • 08 - Shuttle Atlantis heading to launch pad
  • 09 - Atlantis moving to pad 39A

  • 10 - Launch liftoff close-up!

The folks in the payload bay are a combination of engineering personnel and technicians from the United Space Alliance, contracted by NASA to perform maintenance on the Shuttle fleet. Richard’s job is to ensure the contract is being met and the Orbiter is safe to fly, so most of his days are spent doing GMIPs (Government Mandatory Inspection Points). He says his favorite part is being able to tell people "my office is a space ship."

Sure wish I could do something that exciting on the real hardware! (Considering that whenever I leave my hardware room at home, my office is sometimes a hospital bed, LOL...)


Bill from Oregon said...

Those are utterly awesome. I wish I was not so far away and could drive to a launch.

MrNiceGuy said...

when i was a kid i dream of becoming a scientist one day and see the outside world... good post keep me inform on other things regards to shuttle...

sarcasmo said...

Wow I want a cool suit like that too for my job....and do you think there is a fax machine somewhere on there.. cause everyone knows a office isnt complete with out a fax machine....

barbie2be said...

but what happens now, with the damaged tiles?