The misadventures of Commander Merlin and the crew of RV-103
Thursday July 31st 2014

Posts Tagged ‘United Space Alliance’

“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]

“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]

“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]

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]

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]

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]

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]

SpaceX and Their Falcon 9 Launch

SpaceX and Their Falcon 9 Launch

On June 4th, 2010 SpaceX “successfully” launched their Falcon 9 rocket for the first time.  For that accomplishment, I give them my congratulations.  To launch a rocket and achieve orbit is a massive undertaking and very few nations can do that let alone private [Read More]

05-26-10 Space Shuttle Atlantis Comes Home for the Last Time?

05-26-10  Space Shuttle Atlantis Comes Home for the Last Time?

Space Shuttle Atlantis arrived home for the last time today.  After a picture perfect mission to the ISS, Atlantis safely arrived at the KSC Shuttle Landing Facility and was put to bed in OPF 1.  Well done OPF 1 and the United Space Alliance TPS crew! Ken Ham, the [Read More]

Time Lapse Video of Shuttle Discovery

This was done by the Air and Space Museum during Discovery’s last mission prep and launch.  This is my ship and my former co-workers.  I think this is the fastest I’ve ever seen them move.  Well done OPF 3, TPS, and United Space Alliance. Enjoy! [Read More]

05-14-10 Space Shuttle Atlantis launches on Her Last Mission?

05-14-10  Space Shuttle Atlantis launches on Her Last Mission?

Space Shuttle Atlantis launched on her last mission after 25 years of service.  The launch was flawless and the Atlantis mission to the ISS is to deliver science experiments and a new Russian laboratory.  Try to make some time to visit the NASA channel and watch this [Read More]

05-02-10 Here At The Rock…

I got a call this morning that really caught me off guard.  It was from the mysterious Dan C. calling from an undisclosed location at KSC inquiring about my geographic status.  On the speaker phone with him were other members of his team and Dan’s current class for that [Read More]

Obama’s April 15th Speech at Kennedy Space Center

Obama’s April 15th Speech at Kennedy Space Center

I watched with great interest Obama’s speech at Kennedy Space Center and had to take a few days to think about how I would reply to it.  (Please also see this post.) I think the first thing that needs to be covered is the ending of the Shuttle Program.  I have found, [Read More]

That’s My Girl!!! Fly Baby Fly!!!

That’s My Girl!!!  Fly Baby Fly!!!

Early Easter Morning Shuttle Discovery (OV-103) lit up the pre-dawn sky from Launch Complex 39A.  She was the first ship I got to work on when I was employed by United Space Alliance and is what RV-103 is named after. From the NASAwebsite: Discovery Lifts off An exhaust [Read More]

Inside OPF 3, the Home of OV-103 Discovery

I have a treat for you all.  Astronaut Mike Massimino recently took a video camera into my old work place, Orbiter Processing Facility 3 at Kennedy Space Center.  In the video you will see a few of my former co-workers of United Space Alliance preparing Shuttle Discovery [Read More]

Endeavour is Safely Home

Endeavour is Safely Home

Endeavour landed safely at Kennedy Space Center at 10:20 pm EST. The crew installed the last major piece of the International Space Station. Only 4 more shuttle launches until Obama kills our Human Space Flight Program. Well done to the crew, the contractors, and my friends [Read More]

Endeavour Launches!

Endeavour Launches!

This picture was taken by my friend Larry Tanner.  He was on the outside staircase at the Launch Control Center way past his bedtime to get this shot.  The LCC is only 3 1/2 miles from the Pad. [Read More]

Endeavour Launch Rescheduled

Endeavour Launch Rescheduled

According to NASA: “Managers officially have scheduled space shuttle Endeavour’s next launch attempt for Monday, Feb. 8 at 4:14 a.m. EST. [Read More]

The Beginning of the End

The Beginning of the End

Space Shuttle Endeavour, or OV-105, will be launching early Sunday Morning, February 7th 2010, at 04:39 am EST.  This will be the last night launch of the Space Shuttle Program and after this mission, only 4 more shuttle flights will be left before the program is ended in [Read More]

10-25-2009 Moving to the Launch Pad!

10-25-2009  Moving to the Launch Pad!

Today is the day!  We packed up RV-103, closed out the condo, and proceeded to our “launch pad” for the shakedown mission of Discovery.  We traveled from our home in the Clearwater/Tampa Bay area to the Port Canaveral Campground in Cape Canaveral FL.   There we got [Read More]

Latest Topics

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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