by Dr. Ken Kremer, AAAP, Universe Today
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL – Over the past few weeks, I was fortunate to visit a trio of rockets at their Cape Canaveral launch pads that will restore America’s capability to launch humans to the International Space Station and later on deep space missions to the Moon, Asteroids and Mars. My launch pad visits at the Kennedy Space Center also coincided with two thrilling night launches.
First came the Sept. 16 blastoff of the clandestine CLIO satellite from pad 41 on an Atlas V that will eventually be used to launch the Boeing CST-100 astronaut taxi (see my AAAP report last month).
Second came the Sept. 21 launch of the SpaceX cargo Dragon atop a Falcon 9 rocket bound for the ISS. The Falcon 9 will eventually launch the upgraded crewed Dragon.
Third, I visited the United Launch Alliance processing hanger at the Cape’s pad 37 used to assemble the Delta IV Heavy rocket. It’s the world’s most powerful rocket and will launch an unmanned test version of the Orion crew vehicle on Dec. 4, 2014, which I will attend.
Finally, I visited NASA’s facilities in Louisiana and Mississippi that will be used to build NASA’s gargantuan SLS rocket for manned launches to deep space.
All this and the upcoming Oct. 20 Antares rocket launch from Virginia to the ISS will be the topic of my Oct. 14 AAAP presentation entitled – “What’s the Future of NASA’s Human Spaceflight Program with Orion and Commercial Astronaut Taxis.
Here’s a selection of my Universe Today and AmericaSpace articles for a preview:
Astronomy Outreach by Dr. Ken Kremer
The Future of NASA’s Human Spaceflight Program with Orion and Commercial Astronaut Taxis: Oct 14, 7:30 PM, AAAP, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ.
Antares Rocket Launch to ISS, Oct 20: NASA Wallops Island, VA. Evening outreach at Rodeway Inn, Chincoteague, VA.