This note from my successor as Shuttle Program Manager was too good not to post:
Did you know that in the year from May 11, 2009 to May 14, 2010, the Shuttle and ISS teams launched seven Space Shuttle flights?
If you add STS-119 in March of 2009, we have launched eight flights in 14 months (15 March 2009 to 14 May 2010)…Early in 2009, independent studies showed less than a 20% likelihood we could achieve this flight rate.
This was accomplished due to many different contractor and government organizations working as a team.
During this high-flight rate period Shuttle Processing has set and reset records for the lowest number of IPR’s during processing, multiple projects and the integration teams are responsible for new records for the lowest number of debris releases and the lowest number of TPS damages on the Orbiter, and all of the projects have set records for the lowest number of in-flight anomalies.
The production teams have met or significantly beat all processing milestones for hardware delivery to KSC.
The institutional organizations have successfully integrated the governance model into our everyday processes, providing fully independent engineering and safety ownership of risk decisions for the first time in the history of the Program. This smooth process was demonstrated clearly in last flight’s MMT meetings.
Even more amazing is that all of this was accomplished while necessarily reducing the total workforce by 32%, to the lowest numbers in Program history (from 14,577 in 2005 to 9878 today).
These government/contractor teams are unquestionably performing at an incredibly high level. I am extremely proud of how all of you are maintaining your focus and completing the incredible legacy of the Space Shuttle Program.
John P. Shannon
My congratulations to the entire Space Shuttle team on their continuing accomplishments!