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Employee falls to death at NASA launch pad

/ 09:25 AM March 15, 2011

CAPE CANAVERAL—An employee of a company that contracts with NASA fell to his death Monday at the launch pad where the shuttle Endeavour is set to launch from next month, the US space agency said.

“We had a United Space Alliance worker fall at the pad. NASA emergency medical personnel responded but were unable to revive him,” spokeswoman Candrea Thomas told AFP.

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“The incident is under investigation,” she said.

NASA declined to give any details about the employee. Operations at the Kennedy Space Center launch pad where the incident occurred were suspended for the rest of the day, Thomas said.

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The shuttle Endeavour was rolled out to the launch pad last week and is set to blast off from Kennedy Space Center on April 19, becoming the second shuttle to embark on its final voyage to the International Space Station.

Discovery ended its last mission into orbit last week and is soon headed for a museum. The final shuttle launch by Atlantis is scheduled for late June.

Thousands of employees of NASA and its contracting agencies have already been laid off and thousands more are set to lose their jobs when the US space shuttle program officially ends later this year.

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TAGS: Accidents, Space programmes
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