Friday, October 01, 2010

Amid layoffs, work continues at KSC

Work goes on today at Kennedy Space Center even as some 1,100 employees, including nearly 900 from United Space Alliance, say goodbye as part of long-planned shuttle program layoffs.

At launch pad 39A, teams are loading hydrazine fuel into Discovery's three auxiliary power units, which support hydraulic systems that control the movement of main engines, aerodynamic surfaces and landing gear.

To the north at pad 39B, contractors are tearing metal from the Rotating Service Structure, part of a four-month process to dismantle the pad's fixed and rotating shuttle towers so it can support different vehicles still to be determined.

This morning, crews moved the mobile launcher, or ML, that was being built to carry the Constellation program's Ares I rocket out to pad B.

A shuttle crawler-transporter moved the 335-foot, 10-million pound tower (above) a short distance to the east next to the Vehicle Assembly Building, from a construction site to a park site. There, NASA says the ML can undergo a second construction phase to outfit the structure with ground support equipment such as umbilicals and access arms.

With the Ares I officially killed by NASA authorization bills passed by the House and Senate, the tower's future is uncertain, but NASA officials say it can be modified for use by different rockets.

On Thursday, teams for the last time transferred a solid rocket booster segment from a processing facility to the 52-story Vehicle Assembly for stacking. That segment is expected to help launch Atlantis on the final shuttle mission next summer.

A ceremony Tuesday in the Booster Assembly and Refurbishment Facility honored employees who worked on the boosters. At the same time, the last shuttle external tank delivered to KSC was being offloaded from a barge into the VAB.

Teams are preparing to deliver Discovery's payload, including the Leonardo cargo module, to pad 39A on Wednesday, the same day program managers will meet for a first review of Discovery's readiness for a final planned flight on Nov. 1.

IMAGES: Top: At Kennedy Space Center on Monday, a crawler-transporter was in place under NASA's new mobile launcher support structure. The crawler will transport the ML from a construction site, north of the Vehicle Assembly Building, to the Mobile Launcher east park site. Credit: NASA/Jack Pfaller. Middle: Work to dismantle the rotating service structure on Launch Pad 39B continued Thursday. Credit: NASA/Jim Grossmann. Bottom: The Space Shuttle Program's final solid rocket booster assembly -- the right-hand forward -- was moved to the VAB on Thursday. Credit: NASA/Jim Grossmann


Anonymous said...

Please help us vote Obama and Bill Nelson out of office. It's the only way to also get rid of the current disasterous political appointees NASA has as Administrator and deputy Administrator. Charlie Bolden is ethically challenged and no one running NASA should ever even come close to that. Lori Garver is just an abomination. Bill Nelson recommended Charlie Bolden and supports taxpayers paying to support rich folks flying into space. There isn't anything "commercial" about their idea. You are paying for those commercial rockets. Elon makes a campaign donation and your tax dollars go out to Space X.

Anonymous said...

Montreal here again,

I fully agree with the above or first comment.

At first though, I was glad to see an ex astronaut being no-
minated to run NASA, but I now have to come to the conclusion
that he was the wrong one. If you were going to fire Dr. Grif-
fin, and that should never have appenned, a robert Crippen or a John Young would have been a far better choise to head NASA.

You have some beautiful and fun pictures here showing that the
launch equipement for Ares is almost ready just in time for it
all to get canceled by congress. Tell me where does that make any sense. What is it about being elected to office that turns
all of these supposedly intelligent folks into idiots ans cre-tins. But more than that, The 2004 decision to go back to the
Moon was a good one. Cancelling CONSTELLATION is an insult to
the memory of the COLUMBIA crew.

The second point that I Would whish to make is that at least,
in the HOUSE, the republicans will probably take over so should
the corrent congress decide for the next THREE YEARS was will
be the future of manned spaceflight. The Republicans say they
will try to turn back heltcare reforms, but I hope they will
have as mush courage to bring back the Moon as the first goal
for NASA, because in my opinion The Chinese will be there in
ten to twelve years.

Also more than ten billion dollars as already been spent on developping the next launchers to replace the shuttles. How
can the house and senate not take that into account. I Can un-
dertand the fact that Consellation was under funded, but the
answers do not lie in cancelling the whole effort to develop
the Ares launchers and thereby having wasted that ten billion
dollars, but in fully and adequatly financing it. If present
congressman and the corrent president do not have the courage
or the vision to do that, then they should be voted out, and
replaced by people who don t whant AMERICA to become the POR-
TUGAL of the space age.


JHT said...

What a tragic time. But some are still keeping up the fight in Congress and building momentum for 2012. There is an effort for a Congressional motion to simply restore the LANGUAGE of the 2020's moon goal itself, to keep hope alive and prevent Washington from totally axing advanced NASA HSF.

Thinking a little of the words (and thinking of our questionable members of Congress!)...whereas the door must not be slammed on our nation's advanced HSF heritage in NASA, and whereas remote talk of asteroids and Mars only further dims our hopes! and whereas there is only one solid and ongoing goal to lift all our youth and our nation, SENATOR NELSON AND REPRESENTATIVE KOSMAS WE IMPLORE YOU TO INTRODUCE A MOTION THAT THE MOON-2020's LANGUAGE BE RESTORED IMMEDIATELY.

Nelson & Kosmas, will you prove that you're not just part of efforts to destroy advanced NASA HSF forever? To give our youth a solid space hope, a futuristic hope that can bring the education surge that Apollo brought, please replace the vague talk of asteroids and Mars, please nail down the only nationally powerful, achievable, energizing NASA goal available.

That one goal, Senator Nelson, Representative Kosmas, you can move to preserve, is the moon 2020's goal for America.

Anonymous said...

Montreal here,

Just tried to visit some of your reprisentatives and senators
wedsites, and also one of the white house blogs. NASA or spa-
ce flight is not even listed in the ISSUES section of some of
there blogs or wedsites. No wonder they don t take it serious-
ly, no wonder astronauts have died. And they have the gall to
take a vote on the future of manned spaceflight before they
get booted out of office. Altough most of the sites i visited
were of Republicans, but still noting on space, and that real-
ly surprised me. I. E. Pence, boenner and a few oders. Nothing
on NASA, not even on thurday s vote. VERY STRANGE. But they
are the only two that i have visited so far, haven t tried a-
ny of the senate sites yet, probably should not even bother to
go on the democrats sites.

I l try other places in the next few days, some of you should
do the same, maybe its just that I not as good yet at surfing
these sites.


Anonymous said...

S from montreal,

Just went to rep. Kosmas s site NASA is in there, but not in
Gab. Giffords s site, sen. John Thune or shelby. Are not so-
me of the most powerful members of congress.

You gyse have a lot of work to do writting to all of those
sen. and congresspeople, I can t do it from here and anyway
they would probably not take someone from Canada very seri-


Anonymous said...

Yeah, the work will continue at KSC amid the folks that were laid off yesterday.

USA workers will spend time on their cell phone, etc,. surfing the Internet.

USA worker will spend time at KSC giving a young girl a back rub.

USA worker will spend time at KSC dealing with his own business issues.

Glad these employees weren't laid off, as USA couldn't finish out the shuttle program without their expertise.

Anonymous said...

Montr. again,

Another though, maybe the thing that should be privatized is
the ISS. Universities and scientific ferms should be given
the responsability for its exploytation, that could be a good
way to free NASA funds for deep space exploration. If. lets
say 20 to 25 universitys and coleges were to be in charge of
managing the science esperiments for arond a billion dol. a
year payable to NASA every 3 or 4 monts that could be a real
engine for innovation and advencement.

Maybe Obama is getting some right but he is just privatizing
the wrong part of the space program.

Anonymous said...

the last shuttles is like watching a funeral in slow motion
i can t bear it

Anonymous said...

It seem America's Glory Days are over..
When, as a young kid, I watched people land on the Moon I was sure the future would be bold and limitless.
I was not to be; everything got bogged down in politics politics politics.
And Americans are still not going anywhere, not back to the Moon, not on to Mars, and maybe soon not even into LEO..
Its a shame really.
But sure enough other nations will continue to boldly go!

mathias said...

I must agree to you. Besides your right. update driver performance

Anonymous said...

Syl. again,

Wher is Al Gore when you need him. He s the one that saved
the space station program. Everybody knows that pres. Clinton
didn t want anything to do with it.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said "Please help us vote Obama and Bill Nelson out of office. It's the only way to also get rid of the current disasterous political appointees NASA has"

WOW! Now that sounds so logical. So we can all vote for another idiot like Bush and Nasa's Griffin who were the FIRST to cancel the Space program 3 years ago. They're ALL just a bunch of IDIOTS. A bunch of corrupt politicians that couldn't care less about space exploration, job losses, foreclosures, etc. as long as their own businesses and bank accounts are thriving, Screw the honest taxpayers.

Anonymous said...

Montreal here,

I desagree a bit with the last comment, Constellation was a
good concept, but it was ruinned by the decision to invade
Irak. That s where all the money went. I beleave that both
Bushes have always liked spaceflights, and espacially Dan
Kayle, for all his faults, but Cheyney just could n have ca-
red less for it. He s the one that did not want anything to
do whit NASA in my opinion,so he ruined it from the get go, pro
bably because there is nothing in it for big oil and is ma-
ny palls in Alliburton.

Sorry but its my perception. Maybe someone else who knows
more about politics will correct me if I am wrong.

until next time.