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Who's Who at NASA: Jack Vieira, Range Project Manager


A challenge always here is making sure that we have a safe hazard area, so that there are no boats in the area. We live right on the coast here. Our neighbors are fishermen. We’re very lucky to have a good working relationship with our neighbors, and they understand that when we’re trying to launch a rocket, they try to stay out of our way. We had to make sure that [hazard areas were clear].

Another big aspect of it was the FAA, because we were launching five rockets, and were launching from close in shore for impacts all the way out to 550 kilometers. We were taking up almost all of the airspace, so we were affecting international traffic and they didn’t really appreciate that too much. They were asking us to not launch before midnight, so of course that’s what we did. We didn’t open a window until after midnight, so then we weren’t affecting nearly as many aircraft as we would typically from 10 pm to midnight, which is a high-volume time for international traffic.