As I read this newsletter I am reminded of the precision of our name, Michoud Assembly Facility Operations, and the intrinsic importance of the work we do. I enjoy this reminder. I know that I need this reminder, and I don’t think I am alone in this. By week’s end, I occasionally wonder what was really accomplished, why do what we do, what is better now than before and what will be better in the future? Without a consistent recorder of achievement, pride and success like the Messenger, our everyday work that demands unwavering dedication and passion could become “just a job.” Unless we step back from our day-to-day activities to reflect on the historic nature of the extraordinary products and services that we support, we risk becoming insensitive to the elite nature of our work and our inherent responsibilities as industry leaders.
I remember when Dr. Michael Griffin, previous NASA Administrator, accepted the 2007 Quasar Award for economic development excellence. His economics-centric acceptance speech was somewhat NASA/Space Program specific, but his ideas on “acceptable reasons” and “real reasons” for space related expenditures offer a compelling answer to any question of why we pursue technological advances. He specified these “real reasons” as our desire to compete, our sense of human curiosity, our wonder and awe at the unknown and the unending quest for knowledge. Dr. Griffin referenced Norman Mailer’s book “Of a Fire on the Moon,” to highlight the kind of people who recognize the importance, power and majesty of a technological event; people who engage in such things; people like us.
As you read The Messenger, step back and consider for a minute the broader influence of the work we do. Think about the enduring benefit to humankind from the Michoud Assembly Facility, from our contributions, from all the associated companies and people providing their individual support to the history of space exploration, fusion energy research, transportation, infrastructure, biotechnology and the environment. Realize the magnitude of all of this and take pride that 100, 500 or 1,000 years from now, the world will be better, in part, because of what we are involved in today.
Jacobs Vice President and Deputy General
Michoud Assembly Facility