Rabbits Out Of Hats

I’m going to have to go find our manufacturing guys some of those really neat magician’s hats that come with a rabbit pre-installed. They’re going to need them.

We got some information today on some Flight Support Equipment [FSE] that needs to be built to support ULF-1. ULF-1 is a Space Transportation System [STS … what you know as Shuttle] flight to the International Space Station; it’s a Utilization and Logistics Flight, if I remember correctly. ULF-1 launches 01/16/2003.

Look at your watch. We don’t even have released drawings for this hardware yet, and we have to support a launch date that’s 32 weeks out. I stared at the Boeing guys while everyone else from TBE talked. I was thinking, “Now, what cranial-rectal invert at NASA thought waiting until now to procure this hardware was a good idea?”

Yeesh. We’re already late on some of our Launch-On-Need [LON, which means what it says–you have it around and launch it when you need it] FSE because of other efforts we have going for ULF-1. Every new project that’s come in since I’ve been full-timing myself on schedules [read, the month of May] has been a ULF-1 project. Hell, we bid part of this work in December. I know, because I just checked when I did this schedule.

What a crazy, messed-up project ISS is. I just hope that the rumblings I’m hearing about a big group trip to see ULF-1 go into orbit are true; fully a good half of the deliverable equipment being sent to Station that time is coming from our manufacturing facilities.

I love this job. I really, really do. If I didn’t, I think I’d just go home now.