Rocket Trio to Restore America’s Human Spaceflight Program

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.

SpaceX Falcon 9 carrying Dragon bound for the ISS. Credit: Ken Kremer

SpaceX Falcon 9 carrying Dragon bound for the ISS. Credit: Ken Kremer

 

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.

 

 

 

IMG_8285_1a_CLIO_Ken Kremer

Ken Kremer sets up cameras during up close visit to clandestine CLIO satellite and Atlas V rocket at Cape Canaveral, Florida launch pad. Credit: Ken Kremer

 

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.

 

 

IMG_1022_1a_KSC Orion EFT 1_Ken Kremer

Delta IV Heavy will launch the Orion EFT-1 mission in December 2014. Credit: Ken Kremer

 

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:

http://www.universetoday.com/114885/assembly-completed-on-powerful-delta-iv-rocket-boosting-maiden-orion-capsule-test-flight/

http://www.universetoday.com/114602/completely-clandestine-clio-climbs-through-clouds-to-orbit-on-mystery-mission/

http://www.universetoday.com/114688/spectacular-nighttime-blastoff-boosts-spacex-cargo-ship-loaded-with-science-and-critical-supplies-for-space-station/

http://www.americaspace.com/?p=67533

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.

Please contact Ken for more info, science outreach presentations and his space photos. Email: kremerken@yahoo.com   website: www.kenkremer.com, http://www.universetoday.com/author/ken-kremer/

This entry was posted in October 2014, Sidereal Times and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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