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!
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.
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!