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Shuttle worker dies in fall from launch pad

Discussion in 'Other Florida Parks and Attractions' started by Isafari, Mar 14, 2011.

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    A United Space Alliance employee fell to his death this morning while working on Launch Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center, NASA said.

    Details about how the man fell, or what he was doing prior to the fall, remains unclear, said NASA spokeswoman Candrea Thomas.

    NASA emergency medical personnel responded to the pad at about 7:40 a.m. and tried to revive the man, but were unsuccessful. An investigation into the accident is now being launched.

    All work on the launch pad has been suspended while the man's death is investigated, Thomas said. She declined to release the man's name because his family has not yet been notified.

    Workers are being offered counseling and other services, NASA said in a statement.
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    A United Space Alliance employee who fell to his death Monday morning while working on Launch Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center was identified as engineer James D. Vanover.

    Vanover, 53, died Monday morning after a fall at the launch pad, where the space shuttle Endeavour is being prepared for an April launch.

    NASA emergency medical service team was unable to revive him. An investigation into the accident is underway.

    "Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to the family of Mr. Vanover," United Space Alliance Chief Executive Officer Virginia Barnes said in a statement. "Our focus right now is on providing support for the family, and for his coworkers. We are also providing our full support to investigating officials in order to determine the cause of the incident as quickly as possible."

    Details about how the man fell, or what he was doing prior to the fall, remain unclear, said NASA spokeswoman Candrea Thomas.

    Vanover was a swing-bridge engineer who had worked at Kennedy Space Center for 28 years, first with Lockheed Martin, and for the past 15 years with United Space Alliance, the current general contractor for the space shuttle program.

    NASA emergency medical personnel responded to the pad at about 7:40 a.m. and tried to revive Vanover, but were unsuccessful.

    All work on the launch pad has been suspended while Vanover's death is investigated, Thomas said.

    Workers are being offered counseling and other services, NASA said in a statement.

    "Right now our focus is on our workers and for the family of the USA employee," the statement said.

    The pad is the site of next month's space Endeavour space shuttle launch. Six astronauts are scheduled to lift off on April 19.

    Thomas said the schedule has six additional days included in the pad schedule to accommodate delays in work.

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