Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Mike Leinbach, NASA Shuttle Launch Director, Retires Today

Mike Leinbach has served NASA for 37 years during our nation's Space Shuttle era as a member of the Space Shuttle Processing Directorate and Space Shuttle Launch Directorate. Mike has left behind a rich, deep, legacy full of great things. Mike Leinbach was the most loved member of NASA's team in the firing room and his voice will forever be remembered. See Mike's Biography here.

The last time anyone would hear Mike's voice was during the final shuttle operation of our nation's history (Mission STS-135). On the radio communications system, Mike operated using the callsign "Launch Director".  His final, historic, words were: "O.K. Fergie, we're starting to feel pretty good down here on the ground about this one today. So, on behalf of the greatest team in the world...good luck to you and your crew on the final flight of this true American icon. And so, for the final time...Fergie, Doug, Sandy, and Rex...good luck, godspeed, and have a little fun up there."

Mike, you were a great leader! With safety in mind at all times, you launched our shuttle crews with great care and skill. You took care of our crews from the firing room and Launch Director's Console better than anyone else. You are an example of what a great communicator and intelligent thinker achieves. So, although we're not feeling pretty good about losing you, for the final time, Mike; as a member of the greatest team in the world, the fires you lit under our shuttles will never be forgotten.

You became an example of what a great person can do when they have the dream and commit to follow - through. Godspeed and have a little fun out there!

Special thanks to the NASA Kennedy Space Center Press Office for alerting Shortwave America to Mike's retirement.

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