A Visit to Marshall Space Flight Center

I am on a fun space trip for the SoyuzAdventure. Starting with Monday July 22, 2013 when I toured the Johnson Space Center in Houston Texas and moving to Friday July 26, 2013 where I toured the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. I am a lucky kid and am thrilled to be able to share all of this on my blog and social channels so everyone can learn!

A big thanks to the ATK team who worked to put the Marshall Space Center tour together. I was touched by the big surprise that awaited me at the Payload Operations Control Center (like Mission control for payload) where I got a chance to talk to Luca on the ‪#‎ISS‬ !!! How cool is that? Thank you Penny Pettigrew and the entire NASA team for making this happen!

Thanks to Penny Pettigrew for taking this picture while I talked to Luca!

Thanks to Penny Pettigrew for taking this picture while I talked to Luca!

marshall space flight

Talking to Luca at the Marshall Space Flight Center.

This is right up there as one of the coolest things I’ve seen. This is a segment of the rocket that will some day power the NASA Space Launch System – I got to visit the Systems Integrations Lab (SIL) which is a special lab dedicated to working out all the avionics (electrical) needed for rockets. This is a picture of the ATK Director of System Operations, Gordon, showing me the section of the rocket where avionics are housed. This is actually a piece of the rocket that could go in space.

System operations 1

Segment of the rocket that will someday power the NASA Space Launch System.

This is a mockup of part of the core stage that holds avionics (electrical) for NASA’s Space Launch System (rocket and fuel system) to get me to Mars. The core stage holds the fuel (think orange tank on shuttle). The Systems Integration Lab is a first ever and holds life size mockups so engineers can test all avionics before the SLS ever launches. In 2017 the first fully stacked SLS with Orion will launch unmanned…we are on our way to deep space!

space launch system

The Systems Integration Lab at Marshall Space Flight Center.

This model of the ISS was made entirely from a 3D printer located inside the Deep Space Living module I toured!

This model of the ISS was made entirely from a 3D printer located inside the Deep Space Living module I toured!

Inside the Deep Space Habitat.

Inside the Deep Space Habitat Module.

Deep Space Living living quarters - they look a bit bigger than the ISS quarters.

Deep Space Living living quarters – they look a bit bigger than the ISS quarters.

Tour of the Payload Operations Center by Penny, who is a Paycom and works in this room.

Tour of the Payload Operations Center by Penny Pettigrew, Executive Director of the Space Camp Hall of Fame and a Paycom who works in this room.

Penny was a technical advisor for "Space Warriors" which was filmed at Payload Operations.

Penny was a technical advisor for “Space Warriors” which was filmed at Payload Operations.

Comments

  1. QuarkSpin says

    Awesome! There is so much that goes on at MSFC that people don’t know about. People also forget that we’re still building rockets in Alabama. Thanks for sharing about your trip. 🙂

  2. Jeffery Lee Plunkett says

    Many people are not aware that NASA, operating the International Space Station, and planning for future space projects involves a team effort of thousands of dedicated people who are truly passionate about what they do, exceedingly proficient, and believe in the finished product. It’s very much a multi-center effort. It isn’t all in Florida or Houston (certainly not to undermine the role they play!). Through your excitement and enthusiasm, you are increasing public awareness of all that NASA does.

    • Abigail Harrison says

      Thank you for the comment Jeffery – I hope I am increasing awareness and getting people excited about the future! It’s pretty amazing stuff!

Trackbacks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *