This week marked the continued transition from Shuttle operations to future opportunities. This was highlighted by ground breaking on the new Exploration Park at the Kennedy Space Center. Like research parks at other NASA centers, KSC's Exploration Park is an initiative to attract businesses to KSC. This week also marked the anniversary of one very important past mission.
Shuttle Shakeup Continues
The final two missions of the shuttle program will both be pushed back due to a variety of different technical and logistics issues. The launch of STS-133 will slip about a month and a half from September 15 until October 29. STS-134 was supposed to launch this November will now launch no earlier than February of 2011.
The payload on one of the flights has had mechanical issues and cannot be delivered in time for launch and there are two communications blackout periods that fall within the period in which these launches would occur. Add to that the fact that both the European space Agency's ATV and the Japanese Space Agency's HTV are scheduled to fly missions in this period.
Given all these different factors it has been decided that it would be best if the launch dates would be pushed back so as to account for all the variables. There still has not been a final determination as to whether there will be an additional flight added to the shuttle's manifest. That determination is due by the end of this month.
NASA and Space Florida Break Ground on New Research Park
Florida Governor Charlie Crist announced the official groundbreaking of Exploration Park, KSC's next-generation technology and commerce park on June 25. To mark the groundbreaking Lieutenant. Governor Jeff Kottkamp, local officials and senior leadership from Space Florida and Kennedy Space Center (KSC) gathered on the grounds of NASA's Space Life Sciences Laboratory (SLSL) where ISS-bound payloads are prepped for flight.
The SLSL will be the first building of Exploration Park. Exploration Park will host a wide range of aerospace-related activities for commercial, civil and military tenants. The park will be close to existing launch and payload processing facilities, providing easy access to space launch facilities.
Phase 1 of Exploration Park is currently expected to include eight new buildings with some 315,000 square feet. Space Florida has signed a 60-year lease with NASA to develop 60 acres of usable space on KSC property for the park, which will also incorporate the adjacent SLSL and enable other new laboratory and high bay capabilities. To date, six Letters of Intent have been signed by potential tenants of Phase 1 facilities.
An artist's rendition of what the new Exploration Park building will look like when completed. The groundbreaking ceremonies to start construction took place on June 25, 2010 at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Image Credit: Space Florida/Pizzuti Solutions.
This Week in Cape History
June 27, 1995: NASA launched space shuttle Atlantis on mission (STS-71) on its way to dock with the Russian Mir Space Station. This mission was the first cooperative effort between the United States and Russia since the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project during the summer of 1975. The five-day docking between Mir and Atlantis marked the formation of the largest spacecraft ever put into orbit up until that point in history. It also marked the 100th manned space launch by the U.S.
The Cape Week in Review is compiled by Jason Rhian, the Cape Insider, and is a weekly
round-up of what's happening at Cape Canaveral. If you have information or suggestions for the Cape Week in Review please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.