NASA Launch Dedicated to Alabama Local 44 Member

IAM member Duane McCarthy, a U.S. Air Force and Vietnam veteran, spent a career working on NASA’s Atlas program. In his free time, he raised money for fellow veterans by participating in charity motorcycle rides.

The latest launch of a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on March 22 carried more than just 7,500 pounds of science and research supplies for the International Space Station (ISS). This particular launch also carried a special dedication to an IAM member who worked on the Atlas program for nearly 30 years.

United Launch Alliances’ Atlas V rocket sits on a pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station with Orbital ATK’s Cygnus spacecraft. (Photo: United Launch Alliance)

As a member of IAM Aerospace Workers Local 44 and Local 1125 in San Diego, Duane McCarthy exemplified the union pride and workmanship that goes into every rocket produced by the Atlas and Centaur construction programs. The dedication follows McCarthy’s untimely death at age 68.

Prior to a rocket-building career that spanned time with General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin and United Launch Alliance, Duane McCarthy served in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War. His enthusiasm for his aerospace career was matched only by his dedication to the Combat Vets Association, an organization dedicated to veterans helping veterans.