Author Archives: waynehale

About waynehale

Wayne Hale is retired from NASA after 32 years. In his career he was the Space Shuttle Program Manager or Deputy for 5 years, a Space Shuttle Flight Director for 40 missions, and is currently a consultant and full time grandpa. He is available for speaking engagements through Special Aerospace Services.

O Columbia

When I first heard that the Houston Grand Opera proposed to produce an opera about the Columbia disaster, I was appalled.   If HGO wanted a spaceflight opera, it would better be the moon landing of Apollo 11; or the … Continue reading

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Manifest Destiny or Pipe Dream?

“I started out as a child” – William H. Cosby, Jr., Ed.D. I have been ruined by the timing of my childhood. Grew up with the space race; 3 years old when Sputnik launched, 7 when Gagarin and Shepard flew … Continue reading

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Risk Tolerance

I am a big fan of the author Bill Bryson. I have enjoyed all his books and recently have been rereading “One Summer: America, 1927”. His sparkling account joyously brings that time to life. Looking back at 1927 from April … Continue reading

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Finding Columbia

A couple of days ago, I had the rare opportunity to visit the Columbia Debris Repository on the 16th floor of the VAB at Kennedy Space Center.  It is a solemn experience to walk among the remaining parts of the space … Continue reading

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Keeping Eileen on the Ground: Part II – or – How I Got Launch Fever

The STS-93 launch attempts proved the adage we knew well in the Flight Director office: When the weather is good, the vehicle will break; when the vehicle works perfectly the weather will be bad. On the first launch attempt – … Continue reading

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STS-93: Keeping Eileen on the Ground, Part 1

The summer of 1990 is remembered in shuttle circles as the hydrogen leak summer. We tried to launch Columbia and found that there was a leak in some of the plumbing carrying that volatile gas. The launch team scrambled into … Continue reading

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Von Braun Symposium

Several people have requested the text or a link to the video of my keynote address on Tuesday. Thanks to the AAS for providing the link. Get your popcorn and take your seats and when you are through listening please … Continue reading

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