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Old November 9 2012, 11:08 PM   #297
Lieutenant Junior Grade
Re: Envisioning the world of 2100

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post

1. 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.

2. 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).

3. A lot of launch companies are borrowing processes from satellite launch providers or from aerospace aviation and use different standards and different equipment.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. How many A&P techs have experience in stir welding? My guess is quite a few. But nowhere near ALL of them.
1. And new companies have the same type jobs. Just not as many of them because they are smaller projects. Also, the 787 factory and other industry have those jobs. So your point is moot.

2. No, not really. Mechanics are mechanics and techs are techs. They can work on any aerospace systems. As "specialized machinery", like the crawlers and transporters, that is just diesel and generator mechanics, the same you will find on railroads and ship yards. Same goes for the drivers, what few that there are at the space center.

edit: The company that moved Endevour though LA would use the same type of skills.

3. Huh? The processes were taken from aviation in the beginning more than 50 years ago and satellite contractors learned from the rocket contractors. There isn't any new processes going the other way.

4. Totally wrong. The point is that they don't have "specialized" skills. They used people from trade schools and the military. There was nothing really unique about the work. The issue is that there were so many laid off at once and the area can't support them with other jobs. If they wanted to move there are other similar jobs all over the country.

5. Wrong again. It isn't "new" technology. It is the same technology. Metal working, composite layup, avionic integration, etc. Same technology, just packaged differently, a black box is a black box, propellants are loaded the same way, cranes don't lift any different, aerospace fasteners work the same way. So what if Spacex designed from scratch, it doesn't require any different skills that don't already exist, especially at the launch site. As for SNC, it is no different than X-37 or other spacecraft.

6. Wrong again. An automated machine does the friction stir welding. It is just needs an operator, who likely has operated other welding machines and would just need OJT just like he would for any new machine. BTW, Boeing/Delta was using friction stir welding before Spacex. And also, there is no FSW at the launch site.

Been in spaceflight for 30 years working on multiple systems, both spacecraft and launch vehicle across all the companies and very intimate with launch ops, so I don't know where you are coming from but you really have missed the boat on this topic.
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