Reader comment: "This message has been coming at KSC employees from every direction...e-mails, the daily electronic newsletter, etc.... It's a great way to build morale and generate that OneNASA, one family environment that we all desire. Not.
Viewing launches has long been an important perk at KSC. Neither the previous RTF nor Glenn's flight warranted this kind of response. In fact, this is the first time the majority of personnel have been made aware of this "regulation". This sounds a bit "bush league" to me. No pun intended.
Please maintain my privacy concerning this message."
KSC SECURITY PROCEDURAL REQUIREMENTS
KNPR 1600.1, "KSC Security Procedural Requirements," para 15.3, states that "Access to KSC shall be allowed only when it furthers the conduct of NASA business (hereafter referred to as 'official business'). This applies to employees of NASA, its contractors, and tenants on KSC, as well as others with business to conduct at KSC." Use of the NASA issued badge to gain access to the Space Center or to CCAFS to view launches when one is not on "official business," would be considered misuse of the badge.
POC: mailto: William.M.Riddle@nasa.gov
Editor's note: 13 July 2005: 9:36 am EDT: I just walked past Courtney Stadd here at the KSC press site. Stadd is a Bigelow Aerospace consultant and recently left his short term consultant's position as an advisor to Mike Griffin. Alas, despite not having been a NASA civil servant for a number of years, Stadd was sporting a NASA civil servant badge and no discernible media credentials.
Another reader comment: "Keith, I normally don't become enraged from the articles that you post, but this one struck a nerve. I had the priviledge of working at KSC for over 5 1/2 years. I would still be there had NASA not cancelled the program I was working on. The work was quite hard and stressful, but watching a launch in person and knowing that you had a small role in it, helped to maintain that ever important perspective. Now they want to kill that.
I find it the epitome of hypocrisy and callousness for KSC to actively discourage the very people who worked so hard to make the launch possible. At the same time, KSC/NASA will work so hard to make sure that every Hollywood star, politician, press reporter, and self-proclaimed VIP, who had ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with the launch, are afforded front row seats.
If we're going to apply this directive, let's do it consistently. Ban all visitors, astronaut families, politicians, Hollywood stars, and top NASA officials from KSC during a launch. After all, they are not needed to support the launch and therefore would not be there on "official business"
How is the American public supposed to embrace the Vision for Space Exploration when the very folks who will make it happen, aren't allowed to?"
Another reader comment: "Some more info on the misuse of badges for watching the launch. Not only have we been informed that KSC badges cannot be misused, but the NASA Civil Service Personnel (from other Centers) that are not on TDY to KSC cannot use their NASA badges for admittance to KSC (I seriously doubt that they can enforce this). They are also limiting the number of individuals in cars to three people (one of whom must be badged) for the miniscule amount of car passes that have been given out to employees at KSC.
The actual reason for all of this goes back to the range safety anaylsis done by the Air Forces's 45th Space Wing for launches of Space Shuttles. The range does not endorse the risk associated with the launch of space shuttles on the Eastern Range. The center director has to sign off on the risk associated with a shuttle launch for each and every shuttle launch. This is done by disassociating "individual" risk and "collective" risk. To reduce the "collective" risk during a shuttle launch on the Eastern Range, they reduce the number of individuals in the 'danger' zones. Hence the new and improved importance attached to proper usage of NASA and KSC badges, in addition to staying to assigned areas during the launch."
Another reader comment:"Dear Keith- Your post about the use of NASA badges to view launches hit a nerve. When I was a civil servant at (then) LeRC, I went down to the Cape with two other CSs and, since the shuttle was on the pad, we decided to see how close we could get to it for a look. Amazingly, our LeRC badges allowed us to drive up to within something like one perimeter fence of it. And it was an awe-inspiring sight for a young employee who didn't work at a flight center-- it reminded me in a big way that I really was part of the space program in spite of being turned into a viewgraph engineer.
But I never got to see an actual launch until several years later when I was treated to a VIP pass by a big consulting client. As this client really didn't have a whole lot to do with the space program (but was politically "active"), I did feel a little guilty about it. But, of course, I used it anyway and will never, ever forget the experience. I actually had tears in my eyes, as clich as that might be. Afterward I sent Dan Goldin an email suggesting that a trip to a launch ought to be made part of the official NASA awards program. He replied "great idea!", but I guess nothing ever came of it. I understand that NASA needs to host the bigwigs to rally political support, but employees-- CS AND contract-- should have that once-in-a-lifetime chance that I got only after I left the agency (and which made me wonder, at the moment of liftoff, why I ever did!).
Please don't use my name as I don't want to piss off my old cubicle-mates."
Another reader comment:"Keith, another response to "Using a KSC Badge to Watch a Launch is "misuse"" Boy did this piss me off when I got it, and continue to get it in the daily mail. I don't care what the Range BS excuse might be, this is just such BS..."