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Kennedy's Employee of the Month
Following the Challenger accident, Antoinio Pego Jr. heard his fellow high school students and others question the space program. Although he was a teenager, he had a deep admiration for the agency and wanted to prove the naysayers wrong. Today, Pego is still supporting NASA as an aerospace technology engineer and shines as a September 2005 employee of the month.

Antonio Pego, NASA aerospace technology engineer "Anyone can criticize, but who's going to step up to the plate and do it? That motivated me to get involved with NASA," said Pego of the International Space Station/Payload Processing directorate.

Image left: Antonio Pego, NASA aerospace technology engineer and September employee of the month. Image credit: NASA/KSC

He mainly works on Station avionics, including communications and tracking, robotic manipulator systems, guidance navigation and controls. "It's great to be selected as employee of the month," said Pego, who credits his accomplishment to his work with colleagues Dr. Phil Tang, Clinton Wylie and David Crawford.

The team identified an alternative method to inspect fiber-optic pins after one on Node 2 snapped because it couldn’t handle side loads.

Node-2 in the Space Station Processing Facility "It is very difficult to avoid applying this force, which was less than four ounces," he explained. "We helped develop a whole new tool with Micro Enterprises, Inc. that has virtually no chance of breaking a pin because it never touches it."

Image right: The second of three connecting modules on the International Space Station, Node 2 attaches to the end of the U.S. Lab and provides attach locations for the Japanese laboratory, European laboratory, the Centrifuge Accommodation Module and the Multipurpose Logistics Modules. It is the primary docking location for the Shuttle. Image credit: NASA/KSC

Regardless of his work at NASA, he considers being a single father his most important role. As the dad of six-year-old Prisila, he helps other single fathers understand the judicial system and deal with parenting challenges. He is also pursuing a Master of Business Administration degree.

Jennifer Wolfinger
NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center