The misadventures of Commander Merlin and the crew of RV-103
Sunday October 26th 2014

Posts Tagged ‘Kennedy Space Center’

“Don’t Cry Because it’s Over, Smile Because it Happened.” The “We Made History” Event at KSC

“Don’t Cry Because it’s Over, Smile Because it Happened.”  The “We Made History” Event at KSC

A little over a week ago, I attended the “We Made History” event at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Center.  The event was to celebrate the Space Shuttle Workforce’s accomplishments over the last 30 years.  The turnout was fantastic with over 8,000 former [Read More]

America’s Human Space Flight Program 1961 to 2011: An Epitaph

America’s Human Space Flight Program 1961 to 2011: An Epitaph

July 21st, 2011, just 42 years and one day after the first landing on the Moon, I sat and watched America’s Human Space Flight Program come to an end after more than 50 years.  As the final “Wheels Stop” was announced by the Commander, I watched in tears [Read More]

More Bitter Than Sweet

More Bitter Than Sweet

What can you say?  It is the end.  The last launch of the most successful American Human Space Flight Program, in fact the most successful HSF program in world history, after thirty years.  Fourteen people have given their lives riding these magnificent birds striving to [Read More]

Interview Updates

The Space Show interview and parts of the CBS interview are now online. You can download The Space Show interview here or you can download it from iTunes. You can view parts of the CBS 60 minutes interview here.  The entire 60 Minutes interview will be broadcast later this [Read More]

We Do All We Can Do-Space Shuttle Workforce Tribute

Below is a music video (hat tip goes to Mark Bray of Braynstorms.com) giving tribute to the Space Shuttle Workforce written and performed by Dan Keenan and Kenny McLaughlin who both worked at Kennedy Space Center. I know many of the people in the video and you [Read More]

Rocketman to Appear on the Space Show After Launch Friday.

Rocketman to Appear on the Space Show After Launch Friday.

Friday, July 8th, I will be appearing on The Space Show with Dr. Livingston 12:30 pm to 2:00 pm EST shortly after the last launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis.  Dr. Livingston and I will be discussing my reflections on the launch, and what it was like to work in the Space [Read More]

Fading Away Into Mythos

Fading Away Into Mythos

Mythos is a Greek word meaning story or legend.  Many myths throughout culture were just that, myths.  But, sometimes, those myths actually had some truth to them.  How does a real event become a myth?  How does something that we accept today become a legend or myth to [Read More]

A Surreal Day

A Surreal Day

Last Thursday I received a email invite from Brevard Workforce, asking me to participate in a Townhall meeting hosted by CBS news anchor Scott Pelley for the show 60 Minutes.  On Saturday I drove over to Brevard County and had the most surreal day I’ve had for a long [Read More]

Shuttle Launch Director’s Message to His Firing Room Team.

Shuttle Launch Director’s Message to His Firing Room Team.

Mike Leinbach, the launch director at Kennedy Space Center, ran the final launch simulation the other day in prepreation for the final Space Shuttle launch scheduled for July 8th.  He took a minute or two to speak to his entire Firing Room Team and most eloquently summed [Read More]

“It is in the DNA of our great country to reach for the stars and explore. We must not stop.” – Commander Mark Kelly

“It is in the DNA of our great country to reach for the stars and explore.  We must not stop.” – Commander Mark Kelly

Those were the words spoken by Commander Mark Kelly just before he lifted off on Endeavour’s final mission.  It was a spectacular launch and a spectacular honest statement by Commander Kelly.  Many people took his statement as a plea for our nation’s Human [Read More]

Rotating Service Structure Rollback for Space Shuttle Endeavour

Davidgojr on Youtube did a wonderful time lapse video the the RSS rollback revealing Space Shuttle Endeavour in all her glory on Launch Pad 39A.  Endeavour was being readied for her scheduled launch for April 29th, but the launch has been postponed to no earlier than May [Read More]

Talk About Chutzpah! Obama to Visit KSC For Endeavour’s Last Launch.

Talk About Chutzpah!  Obama to Visit KSC For Endeavour’s Last Launch.

Florida Today reports that Obama is planning to attend the last launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour. Talk about chutzpah!   It was just one year ago when Obama came to KSC with his minions, hid from the workers whom he had lied to during the campaign, and killed [Read More]

At Least He Used the Crosswalk!

At Least He Used the Crosswalk!

I talked with a friend of mine at KSC the other evening after the last round of layoffs.  He had said that KSC was quickly becoming a “ghost town” and now I can see why.  As one commenter had said recently on the Space Politics website, “…the birds [Read More]

Charlie Bolden Says: “Your State Voted For Obama? Here, Have a Space Shuttle!

Charlie Bolden Says: “Your State Voted For Obama?  Here, Have a Space Shuttle!

I wasn’t going to comment on NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden’s decision for placement of the soon to be retired Space Shuttles, but since everyone else is throwing in their two cents, I might as well too.  The decision made by Charlie Bolden, and I’m [Read More]

“Houston Discovery, For the Final Time, Wheels Stop.

“Houston Discovery, For the Final Time, Wheels Stop.

It’s been a couple weeks or so since Discovery ended her very last mission and I have been struggling about what to write.  As regular readers know, Discovery was the first Space Shuttle I worked on and has always been very special to me.  RV-103 was named in honor [Read More]

That’s My Girl!!!

That’s My Girl!!!

On February 24th, 2011, OV-103 Space Shuttle Discovery launched for the last time into space.  Discovery was the first Space Shuttle I had the privilege to work on and she has always been my favorite.  I have watched many launches since Columbia’s first launch, and [Read More]

Belated Congratulations to SpaceX

Last month SpaceX completed the first Commercial Orbital Transportation Services or COTS test flight.  COTS was set up in January 2006 by NASA, under the leadership of Dr. Griffin, to have commercial companies compete for a contract to deliver supplies to the International [Read More]

Be Careful What You Wish For…

Be Careful What You Wish For…

As many of you know, I have been an avid supporter of the Constellation program and have expressed grave doubts about Obama, Senator Nelson, and former Congresswoman Kosmas’s plan to turn our entire Human Space Flight program over to unproven commercial space companies [Read More]

The Space Show Interview Is Now Online

Last night I appeared on The Space Show hosted by Dr. David Livingston.  The interview went so well that it went a half hour over the scheduled time.  There were many good calls and email questions from all over the world and Kennedy Space Center.  I wanted to thank the [Read More]

Political Endorsements

Political Endorsements

Some folks in the space community are not too keen on public political endorsements, so they sometimes take offense when someone in their  community takes a stand and supports a candidate.  Since Human Space Flight programs are decided and funded by politicians, I [Read More]

House passes Senate Bill: Constellation and America’s Human Space Flight Program Is Now Dead

House passes Senate Bill: Constellation and America’s Human Space Flight Program Is Now Dead

This evening the House passed the Senate Bill effectively killing Constellation and America’s Human Space Flight Program after 50 years of leadership in space exploration.  Obama, Senator Bill Nelson, and Congresswoman Suzanne Kosmas have succeded in dismantling [Read More]

STS 133 Discovery’s Final Rollout

STS 133 Discovery’s Final Rollout

Monday evening I turned on NASA TV and watched Discovery (OV-103) do her very last rollout to Launch Complex 39 A.  As I was watching the rollout, I called some friends still working at Kennedy Space Center to chat.  It was for them, as it was for me, very bittersweet.  [Read More]

The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same.

The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same.

The editorial below was written by Jim Slade in 1991 for ABC Radio.  It applies to our situation now as it did then. Jim Slade 1991 More of Jim’s writings can be found here. [Read More]

An Idea Whose Time May Have Come.

America’s Human Space Flight program (HSF) is a mess.  With the attempted cancellation of Constellation by the politician in the White House Mr. Obama, 535 members of Congress fighting over two other options of their creation, America’s HSF program is truly [Read More]

Dresser-Rand Challenger Learning Center

Dresser-Rand Challenger Learning Center

On September 18th, the RV-103 Lecture Series appeared for the open house at the Dresser-Rand Challenger Learning Center in Olean NY.  Earlier, retired astronaut Commander Pamela Melroy had appeared and spoke to the audience about what life was like as an astronaut.  Later [Read More]

Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?

Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?

The RV-103 lecture series visited the elementary schools in Olean NY this week.  The 5th grade curriculum for NY schools has the students learning about space related topics starting that year and talk about an enthusiastic groups of kids!  The kids got to hear a [Read More]

Rocketman Featured in Smithsonian Air & Space Magazine

The October/November issue of the Smithsonian Air & Space Magazine has done an article called “Throttle Down” by Tom Harpole.   The article is written about the end of the Space Shuttle Program and the economic devastation it will cause to Brevard County [Read More]

Comparing Apples and Oranges and Space Plans

Comparing Apples and Oranges and Space Plans

With all the other news going on lately, many people are not aware that there are now four plans being pushed to replace the Space Shuttle Program.  There are of course Constellation, which was first proposed by President Bush seven years ago, and Obama’s plan proposed [Read More]

Start of Discovery’s Final Voyage

Start of Discovery’s Final Voyage

Today, Space Shuttle Discovery (OV-103) rolled over to the Vehicle Assembly Building to be stacked and mated in preparation for being rolled out to Launch Complex 39A.  This will be Discovery’s 39th and last mission. Though Discovery launched on her first mission August [Read More]

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Goodbye and GodSpeed Discovery RV-103.

Goodbye and GodSpeed Discovery RV-103.

What can I say, but that it is an end to a major chapter in our lives.  Today I turned over the keys to our great and [Read More]

CollisionTEC: A Review

CollisionTEC: A Review

Towards the end of Mission #2, RV-103 had a mishap with a pole, as detailed here.  Last month, I finally got an [Read More]

Breaking News: Obama proposes an end to NASA’s Planetary Science Program

Breaking News: Obama proposes an end to NASA’s Planetary Science Program

“Word has leaked out that in its new budget, the Obama administration intends to terminate NASA’s planetary [Read More]

Mismatched Models

Mismatched Models

Most advocates of Human Space Flight programs always model HSF with the airplane model.  Government subsidized at [Read More]

Human Space Flight Trivia Week 7

Human Space Flight Trivia Week 7

First of all my apologies.  I had to take care of some duties at home that prevented me from posting the newest [Read More]

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