'Voice of NASA' launches, George Diller, retires

By Greg Pallone, Brevard County Reporter
Last Updated: Wednesday, April 19, 2017, 9:12 PM EDT

Tuesday's launch from the Space Coast marked the end of an era for now retiring NASA commentator George Diller, whose voice has called shuttle and rocket launches for nearly four decades.

As an Atlas V rumbled to space Tuesday, his iconic voice called a liftoff for the last time.

It's the last of hundreds of times his words have ushered a shuttle or rocket into orbit.

"If you are going to work a countdown, first or last, that's the kind of one you want to have," Diller said.

It was a flawless, uneventful countdown, but very memorable for Diller.

He's sure had his share, since coming on board with NASA Public Affairs in 1979 after covering launches for a Tampa radio station in the years before.

"That's how I gained expertise, and gradually a love for the space program," he said.

For this job of a lifetime, he was in the right place at the right time.

Diller was on the console for all five Hubble Telescope missions -- from launch, to the shuttle servicing flights that kept the high tech universe scanner operational.

His passion for NASA and space is unequaled, and as he passes the torch to the next generation, he sees a bright future.

"If you love space, if you are addicted to space, this is the place to be," said Diller with a big smile.

Diller says he's leaving the Space Coast after all these years, trading the Florida sun for the mountains of New Hampshire, where he will retire.