Inside KSC! for Feb. 26, 2021
The interim cryogenic propulsion stage for NASA's Artemis I mission has moved into the Multi-Payload Processing Facility at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Here, teams with the agency's Exploration Ground Systems and Jacobs Technology will fuel and service it alongside the Orion spacecraft as launch preparations continue. The NASA "Meatball" and European Space Agency logos also have been added to the fairings that cover the spacecraft's European Service Module. Additionally, a Northrop Grumman resupply services mission delivered containers of plant seeds to the International Space Station for the Materials International Space Station Experiment (MISSE) to study the effects of space radiation on seed quality and storage.
Rocket Ranch 27: Being Black in the NASA Family, Finding Inspiration, and Becoming More Inclusive
From the women whose calculations helped land the first man on the moon, to the first Black astronaut to live aboard the International Space Station for an extended stay, NASA has stretched the limits of what humankind can achieve due in no small part to the contributions of Black Americans. In this episode, Rocket Ranch welcomes Sheldon Lauderdale, Program Analyst for NASA's Commercial Crew Program, which last year returned human spaceflight to orbit from U.S. soil. Shel will tell us what it's like to be part of the NASA family. He'll share where he draws inspiration, plus, he’ll talk about his role supporting NASA’s efforts to expand diversity and inclusion to empower the next generation of explorers.
Inside KSC! for Feb.19, 2021
NASA’s Mars Perseverance rover landed on the Red Planet Thursday, nearly seven months after its liftoff from the Space Coast. Perseverance launched atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 541 rocket on July 30, 2020, from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Its target: the Jezero Crater, where it will look for signs of past life on Mars. Kennedy Space Center recently completed the second phase of an ongoing project to plant vegetation on about 4 and a half miles of dunes along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. The sandbanks protect the center’s critical space facilities, launch infrastructure, workforce, and wildlife from severe weather threats like hurricanes and tropical storms.
Inside KSC! for Feb.12, 2021
Kennedy Space Center's Crawlerway is undergoing a thorough conditioning campaign to prepare for Artemis I, and the four astronauts on NASA's SpaceX Crew-1 mission surpass the record for the most days in space for a crew flown on a U.S. human-rated spacecraft.
Inside KSC! for February 5, 2021
NASA and Boeing announced they are targeting no earlier than Sept. 2021 for NASA’s Boeing Crew Flight Test, or CFT. The mission will be the Starliner spacecraft’s first flight with astronauts aboard.
NASA’s Commercial Crew Program is working toward the next crew mission to the International Space Station. Crew-2 will launch no earlier than April 20 from Kennedy Space Center.
Also, engineers are preparing the Orbital Syngas Commodity Augmentation Reactor, or OSCAR, for thermal testing at Kennedy. The tests are in preparation for a scheduled suborbital flight test later this year facilitated by NASA’s Flight Opportunities program.
Rocket Ranch Episode 26: Perseverance Rover: Rapid Disassembly, Martian Mission, and Beyond
After a 300 million-mile journey through space, the Mars Perseverance rover is ready to begin the most challenging part of the trip: landing on the Red Planet. If successful, it will embark on the most advanced mission ever sent here - to discover if life ever existed on Mars. Hear about the incredibly complex maneuvers needed to land on the Red Planet and how Dr. Moogega Cooper, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory's planetary protection lead for Perseverance, and her team are actually protecting Mars.
Artemis I Booster Stacking
Teams with NASA's Exploration Ground Systems are stacking booster segments for the Space Launch System rocket inside the Vehicle Assembly Building at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The segments are being stacked on the mobile launcher in preparation for the Artemis I launch. The twin boosters - each comprised of five segments - will provide 75% of thrust during launch. The first in a series of increasingly complex missions, Artemis I will pave the way for crewed flights to the Moon. Please note, some footage included in this video was prior to the COVID-19 federal mask mandate.
Artemis I Hardware Arrives
Booster segments for the Space Launch System rocket that will fly on the Artemis I mission have arrived at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and stacking operations have begun inside the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB). Before teams with Exploration Ground Systems began stacking segments on the mobile launcher though, the hardware was integrated and processed inside Kennedy's Rotation, Processing and Surge Facility prior to moving into the VAB. Artemis I is the first in a series of increasingly complex missions, paving the way for future crewed flights to the Moon. Please note, some footage included in this video was prior to the COVID-19 federal mask mandate.
Inside KSC! for Jan. 29, 2021
NASA and Boeing announced that they are targeting no earlier than March 25 for the company's second Orbital Flight Test (OFT-2) to the International Space Station. Part of the agency's Commercial Crew Program, OFT-2 will serve as an end-to-end test flight to certify Boeing's transportation system is ready to fly crew. Also this week, Kennedy Space Center guests and employees honored astronauts who have lost their lives in the name of space exploration. On Jan. 28, a Day of Remembrance Ceremony was held at the Space Mirror Memorial at Kennedy's Visitor Complex. The date also marked the 35th anniversary of the Challenger tragedy.
Rocket Ranch Episode 25: Lessons of Loss
On this episode of the Rocket Ranch Podcast, hear from Michael Cianilli, director of NASA's Apollo Challenger Columbia Lessons Learned Program, as he discusses Challenger, her crew and their survivors, and how the agency carry forward the lessons NASA learned.
Inside KSC! for Jan. 22, 2021
The Orion spacecraft for NASA’s Artemis I mission is one step closer to its flight to the Moon. With manufacture and assembly complete, Orion moved from the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building to the Multi-Payload Processing Facility. Exploration Ground Systems and Jacobs teams, will complete ground processing for flight, which includes fueling and servicing the spacecraft in preparation for launch atop the Space Launch System later this year. Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft is being prepared for the company’s second Orbital Flight Test, OFT-2, as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. A Docking System cover was installed on the Starliner crew module in the Commercial Crew and Cargo Processing Facility. Technicians also performed tests to measure the weight and balance of the spacecraft to ensure optimal performance during launch and re-entry.
Artemis I: Orion Path to the Pad - Transport from O&C to MPPF
Artemis I: Orion Path to the Pad - Lift Onto Transporter and O&C Departure
Inside KSC! for Jan. 15, 2021
SpaceX's upgraded cargo Dragon spacecraft, which delivered critical supplies and material to the International Space Station for the 21st Commercial Resupply Services (CRS-21) mission, returned to Earth on Jan. 13 with a successful splashdown off the coast of Florida. Just hours after its arrival, time-critical science was delivered to labs at NASA's Kennedy Space Center for continued research and investigation. Also, production of the Orion spacecraft for Artemis I was officially announced complete. Now, teams with Exploration Ground Systems and Jacobs will begin ground processing ahead of launch.
Inside KSC: Jan. 8, 2021
Important activities are taking place at Kennedy this week, as the Florida spaceport prepares to launch the most powerful rocket in the world later this year. Stacking of the Space Launch System rocket boosters for the Artemis I mission continued inside Kennedy’s Vehicle Assembly Building. Also, Kennedy’s Mark Wiese, Gateway Deep Space Logistics manager, was the keynote speaker for the virtual “SpaceWaves” conference. Wiese discussed the importance of commercial opportunities in developing NASA’s deep space commercial supply chain that will enable the next Moon landing and Mars missions.
Inside KSC! for Dec. 18, 2020
NASA and Boeing are now targeting March 29, 2021, for the company’s second Orbital Flight Test, or OFT-2, to the International Space Station. Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft will launch atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 41. Also, On Monday, December 14, a team of researchers and engineers harvested radishes grown in the Advanced Plant Habitat ground unit at Kennedy. Part of the PH-02 experiment, this was a ground control for a similar crop of radishes grown on the International Space Station.
In-Situ Resource Utilization: #NASAatHome: Spaceport Series
As NASA prepares to return to the Moon with the Artemis program, teams here at Kennedy Space Center are working to figure out how to generate products with local materials, a practice called in-situ resource utilization (ISRU). Join us on Dec. 17, at 1 p.m. ET, for a new episode of #NASAatHome: Spaceport Series, as we learn more about ISRU and space recycling with Chemical Engineer Elspeth Petersen, Organic Processor Assembly’s Principal Investigator Luke Roberson and University of South Florida’s Professor of Environmental Engineering Daniel Yeh. These subject matter experts will chat with us about why ISRU is so important and how NASA is working to recycle in space efficiently and effectively.
Greenhouse in Antarctica Helping Astronauts on Long-Duration Missions
A few intrepid researchers will begin an arduous journey to Antarctica on Dec. 20 to conduct plant cultivation investigations in an extremely remote region of the world at the German Neumayer III Station, operated by the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI). One researcher heading to this desolate wilderness on the Ekstrom Ice Shelf is Jess Bunchek. The plant scientist from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center will be a guest researcher at the German Neumayer III Station, operated by the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI). Bunchek will spend about a year investigating plant cultivation in isolated, confined, and extreme (ICE) environments in the EDEN ISS greenhouse, managed by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) Institute of Space Systems. These efforts complement NASA research on growing plants in the ultimate closed loop environment – space. For more than 20 years, a multinational partnership has allowed astronauts to live and work in a unique microgravity laboratory aboard the International Space Station. Research conducted at the EDEN ISS greenhouse on this mission could benefit people on Earth and astronauts on future missions to the Moon and Mars. Video Courtesy of NASA, DLR and AWI
Music Courtesy of Gothic Storm Music
Artemis Path to the Pad: the mobile launcher and launch pad 39B
NASA’s Artemis Program aims to land the first woman and next man on the Moon by 2024. The Exploration Ground Systems team at Kennedy Space Center is ensuring that the launch pad and mobile launcher are go for launch. The mobile launcher is the structure that will be used to process, stack and assemble the Space Launch System rocket and Orion Spacecraft before they roll to Launch Pad 39B.
Artemis Path to the Pad: Testing, software and the Launch Control Center
NASA’s Exploration Ground Systems team in the Launch Control Center conducts a variety of tests and simulations inside the control center and at the launch pad to ensure they’re ready for the first launch of NASA’s Artemis Program. Learn more about the launch team and one of NASA’s major tests that ensure our Artemis ground equipment is go for launch.