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Launch crew commander: 'A safe future'

graphic
Capt. Troy D. Shafford, U.S. Air Force  

November 21, 2000
Web posted at: 5:41 p.m. EST (2241 GMT)

Name


Troy D. Shafford

Position


United States Air Force launch crew commander based at Patrick Air Force Base, Cape Canaveral, Florida. Basically I'm qualified to lead a team of officers, plus enlisted personnel, government and civilian contractors in the effort to launch military and civilian satellites into space on the Titan IV -- a heavy space-lift vehicle.

Years in position


Six months as launch crew commander, nine years in the military

  QUICK VOTE
graphic How would you like to work on a launch team for the Titan IV unmanned space booster program?

Fantastic. This sounds completely cool for a career, satellite deployment is a great field.
I'm still on the launch pad about this one. Might enjoy something more on the Earth-side, myself.
Not for me, I'm holding out for manned ("peopled?") spaceshots, gonna boldly go and you know the rest.
View Results

Age


32, Libra

Education


I have a bachelor's degree in political science from the United States Air Force Academy (class of 1992), and my master of science degree in space studies is from the University of North Dakota.

How did you get your current job?


The Air Force assignment system allowed me to provide five preferences -- this was No. 1.

How many hours do you work per week?


Right now, I work an 45 hours weekly, usually Monday through Friday, from 0730 to 1630 (7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.). I'm assigned to the next mission, however, so I should work around 60 to 70 hours starting in February.

If you could have two more careers, what would they be? "SCUBA diving instructor and dive master in some place like Maui or Bonaire (an island in the Netherlands Antilles), or a graphic artist. I may not wait to retire for either one of these."

What's the first thing you do when you get to work in the morning?


Check out my e-mail, and read Florida Space Today for the launch forecasts and space news, CNN.com for my news, and the Gallup home page for election updates. (I get to have a say in who my boss is, so I'm concerned.)

What time do you have lunch? What do you usually eat?


1100 to 1200 hours local -- microwaved chili and cornbread or a sandwich.

What time do things get tense around the office? What makes it that way?


When a major milestone is coming up, or a big problem has just surfaced. Usually on Friday about 1625 hours, 4:25 p.m. local.

  THE WILD BLUE YONDER
The Titan IV, built by Lockheed Martin, is the largest unmanned space booster used by the U.S. Air Force. It's designed to carry payloads equal to the size and weight of those carried on the space shuttle. The Titan IV consists of two solid propellant motors, a liquid propellant two-stage core, and a 16.7-foot diameter payload area. The system has a cryogenic wide-body Centaur upper stage. When flown with an 86-foot payload, its overall length is 204 feet. The Titan IV Centaur can place 10,000-pound payloads into geo-synchronous orbit 22,300 miles above Earth. At Cape Canaveral, the Titan IV is launched from Launch Complex 40 and 41. And we met Troy Shafford when he used our submission form here at "A Day on the Job." If you'd like your day to be considered for a profile here at CNN.com/career, let us hear from you as Capt. Shafford did.
 

If you're having a good day at work, what is it that makes it good?


I get the answers, when I need them, and most importantly they're the answers I want.

How much work, if any, do you take home?


Almost none. Key word: almost.

What does your work contribute to society?


My work contributes directly to the safety and security of our nation and our soldiers, sailors and airmen abroad -- and, thus, to the people of this great nation.

Do you expect to finish your working life in this career?


No, I'll be eligible to retire when I'm 43-and-a-half years old. I'd go nuts just sitting around the house driving my wife insane with the Golf Channel and Dallas Cowboys football.

If you could have two more careers, what would they be?


SCUBA diving instructor and dive master in some place like Maui or Bonaire (an island in the Netherlands Antilles), or a graphic artist. I may not wait to retire for either one of these.

What's an unforgivable trait in a colleague?


Lack of integrity. Period. I can tolerate almost anything else.

What do you do to relieve stress?


SCUBA diving, graphic arts, occasionally writing and racquetball.

"I'll have kids one day very soon, and I'd want someone doing what I do, day in and day out, to offer assurance to my son or daughter of a safe future. That and the fact that as my former commander once said, 'All days are good days, just some better than others.'"

What have you been reading lately?


I just finished "Patton on Leadership: Strategic Lessons for Corporate Warfare" (Axelrod, Steinbrenner, Cohen; Prentice Hall Press); "The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership" (John C. Maxwell, Thomas Nelson publisher); Terry Goodkind's "Soul of the Fire" (St. Martin's Press); and Robert Kiyosaki's "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" (Warner Books). I do a lot of reading.

When you have one of those days on which you don't think you can face the job again, what is it that gets you out the door in the morning and off to work?


The fact that I'll have kids one day very soon, and I'd want someone doing what I do, day in and day out, to offer assurance to my son or daughter of a safe future. That and the fact that as my former commander once said, "All days are good days, just some better than others."

graphic


 

RELATED SITES:
Florida Today, Space Online's "Space Today"
The Gallup Organization
Patrick Air Force Base, Cape Canaveral


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