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Engineer Falls to His Death Working on Launch Pad for NASA


March 11, 2011: Space shuttle Endeavour sits on launch pad 39A. Endeavor is preparing for Mission STS-134 at the Kennedy Space Center which is scheduled for April 19, 2011. (AP)

An engineer plunged to his death Monday morning as he worked on a launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

James D. Vanover did not respond to NASA emergency personnel who arrived at the scene of his fall on Launch Pad 39A at the facility, according to officials.

"Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to the family," said Virginia Barnes, the chief executive officer of the United Space Alliance.  "We are also providing our full support to investigating officials in order to determine the cause of the incident as quickly as possible.

An investigation into the fall is under way and, at this point, there is little information into the cause. Work at the launch pad, which will be used for Endeavour’s April 19 launch, has been suspended.

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