Mary Ann Jackson stands beneath a massive replica of NASA’s iconic space shuttle orbiter at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida and fights back tears.
“It’s just hard to believe this is all coming to an end,” says Jackson, a field systems specialist and member of Cocoa Beach, Fla., Local 2088. “We’re not sure what happens now.”
It’s an uncertain time for Jackson—who spent the last 26 years working on the space center’s communications systems—and for the hundreds of other IBEW members who dedicate their lives and careers to getting space shuttles off the ground, into orbit, then back home to Earth again.
“There are so many people’s lives affected by all this,” she says. Her husband Denis is an IBEW shop steward with 17 years of service at the space center. “It’s sad to think we might not have jobs soon, and tough to deal with where our work is going.”
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