~ Greg Anderson
I started working at NASA over 30 years ago. The shuttle was all the rage back then, though we didn't work on it much in my facility. I saw some of the new shuttle tiles and saw a few checkout tests on those, but we continued testing different types of structures for aircraft. I remember as an apprentice, several of us brought in our portable TV sets to watch the very first shuttle launch....everything was riding on this launch, I mean EVERYTHING. We had no administrator at NASA and the vice president wasn't going to appoint one until after the first launch. If it made it okay, NASA would continue...if not, it didn't look good!! Mind you, this was before cable TV, so we adjusted the rabbit ears on our portables in the middle of our shop and watch it lift off flawlessly!! It was the prettiest thing I had ever seen!! When it landed, we did the same thing, it almost brought tears to your eyes!! NASA was back in business!!
We all worked on the repairs, and ran tests on booster rocket joints, we now belonged to the shuttle program. Once again, when liftoff occurred, it was covered on every channel!!
A few years later, budgets were getting slashed, if they managed to be approved at all, we had to learn to do more with less. Then they decided it costed too much to do this...and we lost our vision. It's so sad to think about, it truly is an end of an era, I grew up at NASA and with the Shuttle. Now we don't get budgets to operate, we have to be innovative without funding and we don't know where we are going....How sad!! They have begun tearing down operating facilities, and putting up administrative buildings, everything is calculated and modeled, and we don't have the same ownership we used to. We have to depend on someone else to take us to the space station, or into space....Hey guys, we are (were) NASA!! So Sad....but I must say, I am very proud to have participated in all of this, but I never saw it launch in person, except one night from Sanibel Island, Hubby and I did get to see it streak across the sky. We were there again when it came in and I got to see it fly over and hear the sonic booms!! I will miss the Shuttle, and all of the adventures that went with it. I only hope that before I retire....(which hopefully is very soon) that NASA will manage to have a vision and mission that makes sense, that we all will be able to see, and buy into....and that we will finally have a budget!!
|16 foot wind tunnel being torn down|
|Atlantis final landing|
|My Vanna White impression!!|