Hamilton Sundstrand Flying High

By: Nichole Vrsansky
By: Nichole Vrsansky

The Return to Flight has evoked a sense of excitement throughout our nation. But there's a special sense of enthusiasm and pride here at home, especially at Hamilton Sundstrand.

To most of us, a space shuttle launch is amazing. But to Hamilton Sundstrand workers, it means years of hard work and sacrifice have paid off.

"It's been quite an emotional effort. We had a lot of people work a lot of overtime," says Steve Tollefson, leader of Sundstrand’s Shuttle Engineering group.

"It's a great feeling and a lot of memories are flying through my mind of some of the challenges we had to overcome and we did as a team," adds Rudy Valdez.

For the past two-and-a-half years, about 300 people have helped build, test and inspect more than a dozen major parts for Discovery, parts with functions from powering flight controls to maintaining a comfortable cabin temperature for crew members.

"You feel like you're part of history. You're actually doing something amazing, taking this engineering marvel and making it take-off," says Valdez.

But while employees are flying high after watching Tuesday’s launch. The real celebration will begin when the mission is accomplished; when Discovery and its crew land safely back at home.

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