15 years ago I visited the NASA Kennedy Space Centre (KSC) with my family. As an experience it shaped my view of what was possible by the human race and was one of the catalysts in me wanting to be an engineer/scientists. This last weekend I had the fortune of visiting it again and reliving part of my fascination of space travel and the engineering that goes with it. Here are some pictures from that trip 😀
At lunch we met with Astronaut Robert Springer. This seems to be the year of meeting astronauts, earlier in the year I met Canadian Astronaut Julie Payette in Washington DC. The great thing about being part of the science and technology group was that the NASA people always seem to be down to talking the science and engineering aspects of their jobs. They try to answer our technical questions as best as they can, as long as it's not classified. So found about the missions they have been on and the technology they used and challenges going into the future for the whole NASA program.
Talking about the future, a lot of time was spent on discussing the next stages of NASA's journey. Mostly the new Space Launch System and commercial space programs. We got to see mockups of the Orion Capsule (below) that will be part of the next generation of Space Craft that will take man back to the moon and beyond.
Next, the Lynx Spacecraft. As part of the commercial partnerships NASA is fostering, there is a company that is developing a spacecraft that will take people to suborbit for space travel purposes. A trip should cost about $95000 a pop and they plan to do 4 launches a day once it gets operational.
My highlight was seeing the new Mobile Launch Platform for new space launch system. At least I got to see it this one time, next time might be on TV/Internet when we go back to the moon.
Then there is the heavy lifting crawler, currently it is being upgraded. This machine carries the platform with spaceship to the launching pad.
Behind the crawler is the old launching pad for the space shuttles. It will be decommissioned and demolished soon to accomodate the new launch system.
Well that's just a little taste of NASA, there is always so much more. 2 years ago I had the opportunity to also visit the NASA JPL and see the Mars Rover before it went to mars.
Returning to the Saturn V rocket exhibit reminded me of John F. Kennedy's inpirational speech
We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard… - John F. Kennedy