Friday, June 5, 2009

Ants on the Spacecraft

Right out of school I got a job working for Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Sunnyvale California. I was a Quality Engineer working on the DMPS (a military weather satellite) program. As a Quality Engineer it was my job to document any anomalies in the product, usually things like a miss-drilled hole, or a damaged space blanket, but one day we got a call from our counterparts at Vandenberg where they were prepping the Spacecraft for launch. The call went something like this.

“Um we have a little bit of a problem. Today one of our technicians noticed ants on the spacecraft.”

Prior to landing a job at Lockheed I was a bicycle mechanic for 10 years, I was still trying to get use to the term “Spacecraft” being used causally in sentences by my coworkers who were talking about the Spacecraft that we were building, and now we had to figure out how to get the ants off of it.

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