As I watch this clip, I can’t help but get chills as I remember the Space Shuttle Program. I see my co-workers, my dreams, the landscape, and even some of my work. During the last couple of years, during the winding down of the program, I’ve paid a lot of attention and have had lots to say but I’ve been mostly quiet.
I spent my childhood dreaming of space in the 80s, and I worked for Morton-Thiokol (which became ATK) starting in late 90s. Being part of the Space Shuttle workforce was more than just a job, it was a bit of a dream come true. Now that Orbiters are getting shuffled around to museums in various cities, I’m excited for the next phase of America’s space program; but, I will never forget the privilege it was to work for the Space Shuttle Program.
I was also able to see Space Shuttle Discovery fly from a perch at the Vehicle Assembly Building on STS-102. The day before, Columbia had just arrived in the VAB after a ride back from an overhaul in Palmdale, and I got to walk right up to her – just like I did with Enterprise at the World’s Fair in 1984 – but this was much more intimate. She looked like a true workhorse. What an experience!