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Final Flight: Florida's Space Coast at the End of the Shuttle Era

Space Shuttle Atlantis

July 4-8, 2011 on 90.7 WMFE-FM
Space Shuttle Atlantis lifted off on July 8th on the final mission in NASA's shuttle program. Listen back to 90.7's live coverage of the launch and our special series on the impact of the shuttle's retirement on Florida's Space Coast.


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Final Flight: A WMFE News Special
Final Flight: A WMFE News Special
July 8, 2011 | WMFE - Space Shuttle Atlantis lifted off from Kennedy Space Center Friday, July 8, on NASA's final shuttle mission. The flight marks the end of an era for the nation's space program and for Florida's Space Coast. As many as 9,000 space shuttle workers are losing their jobs, and there are not enough new aerospace jobs in the area to re-employ them. Brevard County businesses that rely on the space industry as an economic driver are also feeling the pinch. But there is hope, as local officials scramble to bring new opportunities to the Space Coast. Join 90.7's Judith Smelser for a special program, bringing you the human stories and the economic realities of the end of the Space Shuttle era.

Live Coverage: Atlantis Lifts Off
Live Coverage: Atlantis Lifts Off
July 11, 2011 | WMFE - Space Shuttle Atlantis lifted off from Kennedy Space Center on July 8, beginning the final mission in NASA's shuttle program. Listen back to live coverage of the launch from NPR and 90.7.

Crowds Make a Big Showing at Jetty Park for Final Liftoff
Crowds Make a Big Showing at Jetty Park for Final Liftoff
July 8, 2011| Huge crowds gathered at Cape Canaveral's Jetty Park to watch the final launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis. Before the sun was even up, the park was crowded with well wishers. 90.7s Mark Simpson was there and filed this report.

Space Jobs Scarce for Laid-Off Shuttle Workers
Space Jobs Scarce for Laid-Off Shuttle Workers
July 8, 2011 | WMFE It's been more than seven years since President George W. Bush announced the end of the Space Shuttle program. Since then, local leaders have been able to lure about 1,600 new aerospace jobs to the Brevard County area to help absorb some of the displaced shuttle workforce. But the total number of shuttle-related layoffs is expected to approach 9,000. The gap between those two numbers has some people questioning the future of the space industry on the Space Coast.

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson Says Congress 'Starved' NASA of Funding
U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson Says Congress 'Starved' NASA of Funding
July 07, 2011 | WMFE - U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) has long been a strong advocate for the nation's space program and even flew into space himself aboard Space Shuttle Columbia in 1986.

Brevard County Feels Impact of Space Shuttle Program's End
Brevard County Feels Impact of Space Shuttle Program's End
July 06, 2011 | WMFE - When the shuttle program ends, a total of about 9,000 space workers are expected to be out of work. But the impact on Brevard County's economy doesn't end there. An additional 11,000 people are projected to lose their jobs as a result of the Kennedy Space Center layoffs.

Intersection | Launching The Shuttle with Mike Leinbach
Intersection | Launching The Shuttle with Mike Leinbach
July 05, 2011 | WMFE - 90.7's Mark Simpson visits sits down with Shuttle Launch Director Mike Leinbach to talk about his nearly 30 year career with NASA. Leinbach spoke candidly about the end of the shuttle program, noting the role in projecting goodwill from the United States each time the shuttle launches. Plus what it was like returning to flight after the Challenger and Columbia accidents.

Space Coast Economic Recovery Will Be Slow, Says Economist Hank Fishkind
Space Coast Economic Recovery Will Be Slow, Says Economist Hank Fishkind
July 05, 2011 | WMFE - As NASA's Space Shuttle program comes to an end, as many as 9,000 jobs are being lost at Kennedy Space Center, and many more job cuts are projected as the effect ripples through the Space Coast economy. 90.7's economic analyst Hank Fishkind says it will be a major blow to an area that has already suffered from more unemployment than the rest of Central Florida.

Space Workers, Families Cope with Shuttle Program's End
Space Workers, Families Cope with Shuttle Program's End
July 05, 2011 | WMFE - The end of the shuttle program will leave some 9,000 workers at Kennedy Space Center without jobs, and the layoffs are causing uncertainty for the workers and their families.

KSC Director Envisions Exciting Future
KSC Director Envisions Exciting Future
July 04, 2011 | WMFE - Even though the space shuttle program is coming to an end, the director of the Kennedy Space Center says he sees a vibrant future for the sprawling complex that's been launching spacecraft for decades.

Intersection | Behind the Scenes of the Shuttle & Simulation Business in Orlando
Intersection | Behind the Scenes of the Shuttle & Simulation Business in Orlando
June 28, 2011 | WMFE - 90.7's Mark Simpson visits places not usually open to visitors at the Kennedy Space Center. Hear what a sunrise viewing of the Shuttle is like, the wind howling through the massive doors of the Vehicle Assembly Building, and why you have to walk on tape before entering a Space Shuttle. Plus the Director for the Nation Center for Simulation, Tom Baptiste, stops by to explain what the US drawdown in Iraq and Afghanistan mean for the industry.

Intersection Special: Talking With The Shuttle Closeout Crew
Intersection Special: Talking With The Shuttle Closeout Crew
May 31, 2011 | WMFE -90.7's Mark Simpson goes to the Kennedy Space Center to talk with Rene Arriens, a member of the United Space Alliance's "closeout crew" who are the among the last people to see the astronauts before they liftoff. Arriens talks about climbing the launch tower and what it's like to drive the space shuttle after it lands. It's a special edition of Intersection, taped at the Kennedy Space Center.



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