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Old November 9 2012, 05:48 PM   #295
Crazy Eddie
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Re: Envisioning the world of 2100

Byeman wrote: View Post
newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
It's not ME that sees it that way. Your mentors at routinely tiptoe around this issue: not all or even most of the KSC jobs have skill sets that would make them suitable hires at SpaceX or Sierra Nevada. It's not so much that their experience is a problem, it's that their experience is increasingly irrelevant.
Wrong, they are the exact same skill sets, except for Orbiter tile work and SRM assembly which there is no need for. Working around rockets is working around rockets, fasteners need to tightened, objects need to be craned, connectors need to be mated, systems need to be tested, propellants loaded, etc.
And not all of the nearly 5000 KSC workers are directly involved with that process. A surprising number of those workers are actually bureaucrats and/or logistics guys who are integral to coordinating the workflow process in the VAB and the launchpad itself. Moreover, a fair number of the engineering jobs are process-oriented positions involving specialized machinery designed, built, and used by NASA and no one else (the crawler, for example, is maintained by an enormous full-time crew). A lot of launch companies are borrowing processes from satellite launch providers or from aerospace aviation and use different standards and different equipment.

That leaves the KSC work force in a bit of a pickle. Only about a third of them actually possess skills that are directly relevant to anyone other than NASA or a similarly large government agency.

Spacex and SNC are not using new technology.
Yes they are, actually (SNC to a much smaller degree). Remember, SpaceX developed all their engines, avionics, airframes and software from scratch; they borrowed a lot of data from NASA as a starting point, but otherwise the only "old" technology they're using is the Pica-X heatshield.

Any A&P or aerospace tech could and do work for them.
How many A&P techs have experience in stir welding? My guess is quite a few. But nowhere near ALL of them.
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