Kennedy Space Center

The Space Age: Shuttles and Stations

Transient

When the average American thinks about space, both the space shuttle and the space station usually come to mind. Two milestones related to both of these achievements are being celebrated this week!

I was lucky enough to see Atlantis take off last year, and now it is taking on its final journey - a 10 mile trek from the Vehicle Assembly Building (where shuttles hang out)  to the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) visitor center. This will definitely be the easiest of the shuttle retirement trips, but it is still a task that requires intense expertise and planning. C

The International Space Station also celebrates a milestone - 12 years ago, the first crew began living on the station!  Check out the crew of Expedition 1 below, consisting of USA Commander Bill Shepherd and Russian Flight Engineers Sergei Krikalev and Yuri Gidzenko. The ISS has served as a beacon of international cooperation, especially between the former Cold War adversaries.  They've worked together to provide wonderful images like this one provided by my Google+ buddy Erica Joy, 

#ScienceLooksGood: Bringing Light to the Dark Universe

 

The Kennedy Space Center (KSC) is celebrating its 50th anniversary this week. It previously served as the staging area for the Space Shuttle program.  This has helped us to bring light to previously unknown things about the universe, and has enabled us to launch everything from satellites to parts of the International Space Station (ISS) to the Hubble Telescope.

The European Space Agency (ESA) is looking to bring light to the darkness by clearing a mission to  launch the Euclid telescope in 2020. All of the things that we can see with our weak human eyes - planets, stars, people, etc - make up about 4% of the actual universe. The rest of the universe is known as "dark matter" - a substance that only a power telescope can begin to detect.


 

 

The telescope will capture images for six years - check out the main mission site here.