[time-nuts] metric / English

Jim Lux jimlux at earthlink.net
Sat Dec 17 20:44:34 EST 2011

On 12/17/11 9:14 AM, J. Forster wrote:
> I suspect turret lathes are still used for shortish runs of some of the
> simpler parts, like bushings and similar parts.
> Not every shop looks like a NASA facility.

Oddly, NASA facilities aren't necessarily the most modern or sophisticated.

It takes an act of Congress to build a new building or make non-repair 
improvements.  My office and lab at JPL is in an 3600 square meter 2 
story semi-temporary building (161) built in 1954 (before NASA even 
existed). The frequency and timing lab is in building 298, an 1800 
square meter building built in and was built in the 70s. Our big highbay 
spacecraft assembly building was built in 1961. (To be fair, there is a 
general plan to demolish a bunch of small buildings and replace them 
with larger buildings sometime in 2020-2030 time frame, if Congress 
approves).  Much of the infrastructure at Johnson Spaceflight Center 
(and KSC, as well) was built for Apollo and followons in the 60s and 
early 70s

We don't depreciate equipment, it's bought with capital expenditure or 
project funds, and then we pay for maintenance and calibration. A big 
project might buy a whole bunch of some piece of gear (e.g. HP8663A) 
which we will then use for the next 20-30 years (I just counted about 30 
HP8663As in inventory.).  I think we bought a whole pile of those 8663s 
in connection with upgrades for Voyager or maybe Cassini.

As a result, we tend to keep gear forever..

Students coming on interviews are always amazed (and not necessarily in 
a good way).

At least we've moved beyond slotted lines for the most part.

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