Inside KSC! for May 7, 2021
The four astronauts who flew on NASA's SpaceX Crew-1 mission safely splashed down in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Panama City, Florida, on May 2, 2021. After spending nearly six months in space, their return to Earth marks the end of the first crew rotational mission to the International Space Station under the agency's Commercial Crew Program. Also, the memory of former astronaut Michael Collins was honored during a wreath-laying ceremony at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Collins remained in lunar orbit on the historic Apollo 11 mission where Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first people to walk on the Moon. He passed away on April 28 at the age of 90.
Inside KSC! for April 30, 2021
The final piece of NASA’s Space Launch System, or SLS, for the Artemis I mission is now inside the Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center. The rocket’s massive core stage arrived this week aboard the Pegasus barge from Stennis Space Center in Mississippi to the Launch Complex 39 turn basin wharf. Kennedy marked Earth Day throughout the month of April with a series of presentations on sustainability. Although the speakers were virtual, the topics covered issues familiar to employees on center, including the shared responsibility of working on the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge and the completion of the shoreline restoration project.
Inside KSC! for April 23, 2021
NASA's SpaceX Crew-2 mission launched to the International Space Station from the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Crew Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Kennedy's historic Launch Complex 39A at 5:49 a.m. EDT on April 23, 2021. Crew-2 will deliver NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, and European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Thomas Pesquet to the space station for a six-month science mission.
NASA's SpaceX Crew-2 Spacecraft Separation
The SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft, carrying Crew-2 NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, and European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Thomas Pesquet to the International Space Station, separates from the second stage of the Falcon 9 rocket. Liftoff occurred at 5:49 a.m. EDT from Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 39A on April 23, 2021.
NASA's SpaceX Crew-2 Liftoff
Liftoff of NASA's SpaceX Crew-2 mission from the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The SpaceX Crew Dragon and Falcon 9 rocket lifted off at 5:49 a.m. EDT on April 23, 2021, from Kennedy's Launch Complex 39A. Crew Dragon will carry NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, and European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Thomas Pesquet to the International Space Station for a six-month science mission as part of NASA's Commercial Crew Program.
NASA's SpaceX Crew-2 Astronauts Step Outside
NASA's SpaceX Crew-2 astronauts say goodbye to their families before heading to the launch pad.
NASA's SpaceX Crew-2 Astronauts Suit Up
SpaceX suit technicians help the Crew-2 astronauts get into their spacesuits.
NASA's SpaceX Crew-2 Broadcast Begins
A live look at the Crew Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket set to launch four astronauts to the International Space Station in just a few hours.
Crew-2 Virtual NASA Social: Countdown Clock Show
Join us for the Crew-2 Virtual NASA Social as we chat with representatives from NASA, JAXA and ESA! Starting at 9:15 a.m. ET, you'll have the chance to learn more about the Crew-2 mission launching at 5:49 a.m. ET on April 23. Have a question for our guests? Be sure to share in the comments below for a chance to be featured on our live feed.
Crew-2 Virtual NASA Social: Live Show
The Crew-2 virtual NASA Social will begin on Tuesday, April 20 at 11 a.m. ET! Join us as we chat with: Jessica Parsons, mission manager, NASA's Commercial Crew Program
Maj Chris Hearne, mission support division chief, U.S. Space Force Detachment 3
Tracy Caldwell Dyson, NASA astronaut Have a question for our guests? Be sure to share in the comments below for a chance to be featured on our live feed.
Inside KSC! for April 16, 2021
The four astronauts who will fly on NASA’s SpaceX Crew-2 mission arrived on Friday, April 16, at the Launch and Landing Facility at Kennedy Space. The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft will carry the astronauts to the International Space Station for a six-month stay. Liftoff is scheduled at 6:11 a.m. on Thursday, April 22, from Kennedy’s Launch Complex 39A. Research scientists at Kennedy recently applied a selective surface coating to an Electrodynamic Dust Shield, one of several activities preparing the dust shields for testing in space.These technologies are expected to be useful in many applications as NASA explores the Moon, Mars, and beyond.
Inside KSC! for April 9, 2021
Representatives from Kennedy Space Center, the visitor complex, NASA’s Launch Services Program, United Launch Alliance (ULA), and the 45th Space Wing attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony to commemorate the addition of the last ULA Delta II rocket to the Kennedy Space Center visitor complex's Rocket Garden. The third and final Airbus H135 helicopter arrived at the Launch and Landing Facility, completing the upgraded fleet of aircraft used for security operations at Kennedy. Coming from Columbus, Mississippi, the Airbus helicopters replace the Bell Huey 2 aircraft that had been in service at Kennedy for the past 30 years.
Rocket Ranch: Commercial Crew Program's Dana Hutcherson on Crew-2 and the Program's 10th Anniversary
Building off of the excitement of 2020, NASA's Commercial Crew Program (CCP) is right back in the thick of things in 2021, as NASA's SpaceX Crew-2 mission prepares to launch from Kennedy Space Center on April 22. CCP Deputy Manager Dana Hutcherson appears on this edition of the Rocket Ranch Podcast to discuss the mission ahead. She also reflects on the 10-year anniversary of CCP and talks about her personal journey at the Florida spaceport.
First Space Shuttle Flight - Astronaut Bob Crippen on the Legacy of STS-1 & Columbia – Rocket Ranch
When the spotlights came on in the predawn hours of April 12, 1981, they illuminated a spacecraft like no other: the space shuttle. Just before liftoff, the crew of two climbed inside space shuttle Columbia for its first test flight into space - that launch going nearly perfect. On this episode of the Rocket Ranch, hear from Columbia pilot Bob Crippen as he recounts that very first shuttle mission.
Inside KSC! for April 2, 2021
Technicians from Exploration Ground Systems and supporting contractors tested prototypes of a new "rainbird" system to be used for the Artemis II mission. Teams ran various water pressures through small-scale, 3D-printed sprayers to capture data for use in developing full-scale nozzles.
Also, engineers and scientists at Kennedy participated in a joint simulation involving a tool developed at the Florida spaceport: the Mass Spectrometer observing lunar operations, or MSolo. The team connected remotely to Astrobotic’s systems in Pennsylvania to develop and refine procedures between the simulated MSolo and a Peregrine lander working together on the Moon.
Crane Replacement in the Operations and Checkout Building High Bay
Teams from American Crane and Equipment Corporation recently replaced the facility’s existing crane with a new crane that features greater lift capability and enhanced controls. Situated on the upper railings of the high bay, the O&C’s newest crane joins the family of two other cranes on the high bay’s lower railings. Its initial use will be in support of Artemis II, the program’s first crewed mission, lifting the Orion spacecraft after the crew and service modules have been mated.
Inside KSC! for March 26, 2021
Kennedy Space Center employees with more than 20 years of federal service were recognized during a virtual Length of Service Award Ceremony, hosted by Center Director Bob Cabana. During the ceremony, Cabana reflected on some of the Florida spaceport's biggest highlights from 20, 30, and even 40 years ago. Also, Deep Space Logistics Manager Mark Wiese served as a judge for NASA iTech's latest Ignite the Night fast-pitch event. Held recently in Tampa, Ignite the Night was a virtual event where 10 companies from seven states presented technologies that could benefit NASA and positively impact life on Earth.
Women's History Month at the Kennedy Space Center
In honor of Women’s History Month, we spoke with three incredible women here at Kennedy Space Center – Charlie Blackwell-Thompson, Artemis launch director; Hibah Rahmani, avionics and flight controls lead; and Prital Johnson, subsystem lead and systems engineer. Join us as they share and reflect on their time at NASA, why they chose their career fields, their inspirations and how they're influencing the next generation of explorers.
Inside KSC! for March 19, 2021
This week, NASA announced the winners of its Lunar Delivery Challenge – a contest that seeks innovative ideas from the public for unloading cargo and supplies onto the surface of the moon as part of the agency’s Artemis program. The winning designs will be considered for future planning and development to achieve the agency’s goal of a sustainable long-term presence on the Moon. Each year, Kennedy observes Safety and Health Days to show our commitment to the well-being of our workforce. This year, the theme is “Mission Ready,” because it takes every one of us to complete our mission successfully. Instead of in-person activities, the center has offered the Kennedy team a variety of virtual presentations throughout the month.
Ep. 28: Women in STEM: A Launch Director, Astrophysicist, & Engineer on Their Challenges & Success
In this episode of the Rocket Ranch, we talk to three women at NASA who have chosen career paths in STEM. They tell us about the challenges and the rewards they experienced on their journey to America’s space agency and share advice for women who would like to follow in their footsteps.