March 21, 2010

Orion's hope

You can imagine my amusement, or bemusement, when the press release came over from Associated General Contractors telling me that the Orlando office of Hensel Phelps Construction Co. won an Aon Build America Award in the "Best Renovation of a Federal & Heavy Project" category for its conversion of a a 40-year old building at Kennedy Space Center into the new assembly facility for the Orion Capsule.


That's the same Orion Capsule that's part of the Constellation Program, which got its funding cut from NASA's 2011 budget.

J. Doug Pruitt, the president of AGC, said, “These are the projects that redefine communities, reinvent neighborhoods and remind us that anything is possible given the right mix of craft, skill and commitment.”

Pruitt said Hensel Phelps's Orion project was completed within 18 months, despite the need to abate more than 320 tons of hazardous materials, respect astronaut "quiet hours," and halt construction during launches.

Kirk Hazen, vice president and Southeast district manager at Hensel Phelps, said the company worked in partnership with Lockheed Martin to deliver the taxpayers "a unique project known as the 'Factory of the Future' that exceeded all safety, quality, budgetary, schedule, and environmental goals.”

Good job, guys. Now, if the taxpayers can bug their senators and representatives to pass the Human Space Flight Capability Assurance & Enhancement Act of 2010 (HR 4804), said taxpayers might actually get their money's worth out of this award-winning "Factory of the Future."

I would be remiss if I didn't point out that you can read about the bill at OBJ. And if you forget which persons in Congress are supposed to be representing you, check here.

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