This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Last Shuttle's Retirement Move Pains Workers

"People know that they could have flown this (shuttles) longer until they had something else, and then they canceled the other stuff," said Walsh, a shuttle technician.

The 65-year-old doubts he'll find new work because of his age.

"I'm not blaming anybody," Walsh said. "It's politics. It's all about money."

Technician David Bakehorn, 55, is also counting down his final work days after 27 years on the job. His layoff is effective Jan. 4.

Bakehorn was there when a brand new Atlantis arrived at Kennedy Space Center in 1985, the fourth operational ship in the fleet.

"It's a big divorce that nobody wants â¿¿ because we're a family," Bakehorn said. "We've watched each other get old and gray and bald. We've watched each other have kids, watched them grow up and watched them have kids ... I'd do anything for most of these people here. I've spent more time around a lot of them than I have my own family, my own kids and my own wife. So it's very difficult."

As bad as it is, the pall hanging over the space center is nothing like it was after Challenger erupted during liftoff in 1986 and Columbia shattered during descent in 2003, at least from Bakehorn's perspective.

"These orbiters are personal. It's like a living, breathing thing to us," Bakehorn said. So he cried not just for the loss of the 14 astronauts who died, "but for the loss of my friends Challenger and Columbia."

NASA's Stephanie Stilson, who has been overseeing the shuttle transition, considers Atlantis "the saving grace for us" since it is staying put.

Shuttle Discovery went to the Smithsonian in Virginia in April. Endeavour moved into the California Science Center in Los Angeles in October.

Those two shuttles flew to their new homes atop a jumbo jet with postcard-perfect backdrops. Atlantis will be ferried on a 76-wheeled platform Friday from the Vehicle Assembly Building to the main base of operations at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Its $100 million exhibit for Atlantis â¿¿ still under construction and financed by tour operator Delaware North Cos. â¿¿ is due to open next summer. The shuttle will appear as though it is orbiting the planet, with its payload bay doors open.

2 of 4

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG

Markets

DOW 18,076.27 +64.33 0.36%
S&P 500 2,114.14 +4.54 0.22%
NASDAQ 5,097.7780 +21.2540 0.42%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs