Feeds

Top engineer quits NASA ahead of shuttle launch

Storm clouds of all kinds gathering

Build a business case: developing custom apps

A senior NASA engineer has quit just days before the countdown for the Discovery Space Shuttle, citing management differences.

Charlie Camarda, previously director of engineering at the Johnson Space Center, with a history of 30 years working for NASA, has stepped down saying he could no longer tolerate the way management decisions were being made.

In an email, obtained by ABC News, to colleagues at Johnson Space Center, he wrote:

"I cannot accept the methods I believe are being used by this Center to select future leaders. I have always based my decisions on facts, data and good solid analysis. I cannot be a party to rumor, innuendo, gossip and-or manipulation to make or break someone`s career and-or good name."

According to unnamed sources quoted by ABC, Camarda and NASA administrator Mike Griffin had argued over the way NASA management had treated safety concerns raised by engineers.

As the final preparations for launch get underway, some engineers still argue in favour of more changes to the craft before the launch is greenlighted.

Bryan O'Connor, head of safety at NASA, has advised that the launch should be delayed until all problems with insulating foam have been resolved.

Falling foam caused the fatal damage to the Shuttle Columbia in 2003, and more foam fell from Discovery's tanks during its Return to Flight launch last year.

However, mission commander Steve Lindsay says his crew are all excited that the mission has been okayed. "This is my fourth time doing it and I still get excited," he said.

The Shuttle is slated to launch on Saturday, barring any unforeseen technical problems. Weather trouble could yet delay things, and there are reports of cloudy weather on the way. If any problems do arise, NASA has a two-week window before this opportunity to launch is lost. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Flamewars in SPAAACE: cooler fires hint at energy efficiency
Experiment aboard ISS shows we should all chill out for cleaner engines
Brit amateur payload set to complete full circle around PLANET EARTH
Ultralight solar radio tracker in glorious 25,000km almost-space odyssey
NASA Mars rover FINALLY equals 1973 Soviet benchmark
Yet to surpass ancient Greek one, however
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.