CBS News is finally catching up with a well known tradition that goes back many years. Rightfully, they are bringing it to the attention of the folks that pay for the tradition, the taxpayer.
You see this spaceflight stuff is risky business. So for all the contractor folks getting paid by the government on their cost plus award fee contracts, its important to also keep their spirits up. Come Dec 6, after the next shuttle launch, 300 honorees and their guests will spend five days and four nights at a luxury Florida hotel, attending receptions and of course, getting front-row tickets for the shuttle launch itself. These folks work for Boeing, USA, and other subcontractors who safely see each flight off the ground.
The cost? Reception ($64,000), dinner ($35,000), awards ($28,000), ground transportation (tour: $7,700; launch: $20,200), airfare ($105,000), hotel and food ($135,000 together), and meeting the Emperor: PRICELESS. Three launches this year, three parties, $4M. Sure wish we had that for our Christmas fund.
Good thing that $4M was in last year's budget, too, so that it shows up in the CR operating plan this year as well. Oh, don't you just wish you could bring back the rest of the traditions as well? Those days of drinking scotch and smoking cigars with Gen K. and Bill R. and the rest of the boys telling stories around the Radisson pool? Ahhhh, the good old days!