Thursday, May 05, 2011

KSC launch pad fall case closed

A Titusville man’s fatal fall from a shuttle launch pad at Kennedy Space Center has been ruled a suicide by the Brevard County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Around 7:40 a.m. March 14, James D. Vanover, a 53-year-old United Space Alliance engineer, fell about 130 feet from the 215-foot level of launch pad 39A, according to reports by the medical examiner and the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to the reports, Vanover had expressed concern that he was going blind due to high blood pressure. They also noted he'd had second thoughts about volunteering for a layoff scheduled to take effect April 8.

The medical examiner’s office found no evidence of eye degeneration.

Vanover began working at the space center in 1982. He received several company honors and a NASA’s Silver Snoopy award, presented by astronauts for contributions to mission safety.


Anonymous said...

Known suicide since day one by everyone in town. Covered up as accident since then, finally coming clean. Way to go NASA

Anonymous said...

Would you like NASA to speculate publicly about the man's motives while the County Medical Examiner's Office is doing its investigation???

Now the CME has issued its report and we have the official answer from the government agency charged with such things.

NASA "cover up?" Get real...

kl said...

HOW do they know it was suicide. did he leave a note? did he indicate his intentions in some form?

his family will not collect life insurance if it was a suicide.

they better be dang sure it was suicide.

very sad.

bo_loo said...

Life insurance usually does pay after you've had the policy for a time.

Angie said...

Did you HAVE to give this information? Will you sell more papers tomorrow? How about respect for his family and allowing them, his friends, and co-workers to keep their great memories of Jim? So inconsiderate of Florida Today to post this. Shame on you!