PHOTOS: Final SLS Work Platform Installed in KSC's Vehicle Assembly Building

High up in the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, an overhead crane has lowered the final work platform, A north, into place for installation in High Bay 3. The platform is being installed and secured on its rail beam high up on the north wall of the high bay. In view below the A platforms are the nine previously installed platform levels. The installation of the final topmost level completes the 10 levels of work platforms, 20 platform halves altogether, that will surround NASA's Space Launch System rocket and the Orion spacecraft and allow access during processing for missions, including the first uncrewed flight test of Orion atop the SLS rocket in 2018. The A-level platforms will provide access to the Orion spacecraft's Launch Abort System for Orion lifting sling removal and installation of the closeout panels. The Ground Systems Development and Operations Program, with support from the center's Engineering Directorate, is overseeing upgrades and modifications to the VAB, including installation of the new work platforms. Photo Credit: NASA / Frank Michaux

Staring up High Bay 3 in the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the 10 work platform levels that will surround NASA’s Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft to allow access during processing for missions. Photo Credit: NASA / Frank Michaux

The final of 10 giant steel work platforms to support […]

Gene Cernan, Last Apollo Moonwalker, Dies Aged 82

Gene Cernan salutes the U.S. flag at Taurus-Littrow in December 1972. Photo Credit: NASA

Gene Cernan salutes the U.S. flag at Taurus-Littrow in December 1972. Photo Credit: NASA

On 16 January, a day of reflection—the 14th anniversary of the launch of Space Shuttle Columbia on her final mission—the world lost a shining light in the early annals of human space exploration. Retired Navy Capt. Gene Cernan, veteran of […]

'In A Heartbeat': 25 Years Since STS-42 Inaugurated International Space Year (Part 2)

Discovery spears for orbit on 22 January 1992, after an hour-long delay, caused by a fuel cell anomaly. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Discovery spears for orbit on 22 January 1992, after an hour-long delay, caused by a fuel cell anomaly. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

A quarter-century ago, this month, a space mission rooted in disappointment and tragedy finally took flight. Aboard Space Shuttle Discovery, astronauts from the United States, Germany, and Canada embarked on […]

A Very Alien Moon: NASA Celebrates 12th Anniversary of Huygens Landing on Titan

Mosaic of images taken by Huygens during its descent to the surface of Titan, from an altitude of about 6 miles (10 kilometers). Image Credit: ESA/NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Mosaic of images taken by Huygens during its descent to the surface of Titan, from an altitude of about 6 miles (10 kilometers). Riverbeds formed by liquid methane can be seen near the center of the image. Image Credit: ESA/NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Twelve years ago today, one of the most incredible space missions ever […]

'Traumatic Decisions': 25 Years Since STS-42 Inaugurated International Space Year (Part 1)

The tunnel adaptor for the IML-1 Spacelab module is prepared for installation in the Orbiter Processing Facility. STS-42 was the first human launch of International Space Year 1992. Photo Credit: NASA

The tunnel adaptor for the IML-1 Spacelab module is prepared for installation in the Orbiter Processing Facility. STS-42 was the first human launch of International Space Year 1992. Photo Credit: NASA

Twenty-five years have now passed since the International Space Year (ISY) in 1992, during which 29 national space agencies and 10 international organizations participated […]

U.S.-French EVA Team Completes First Space Station Battery Swap

Shane Kimbrough made the fourth EVA of his astronaut career on Friday, 13 January 2017. Photo Credit: Shane Kimbrough/NASA/Twitter

Shane Kimbrough made the fourth EVA of his astronaut career on Friday, 13 January 2017. Photo Credit: Shane Kimbrough/NASA/Twitter

Expedition 50 Commander Shane Kimbrough and Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet spent almost six hours working outside the International Space Station (ISS), earlier today (Friday). During U.S. EVA-39—the 39th spacewalk performed from the station’s Quest airlock, […]

Voyager Spacecraft Continue Their Interstellar Journey With Help from Hubble Space Telescope

Artist's illustrationn of Voyager 1 looking back on the Solar System. Image Credit:  NASA/ESA/G. Bacon (STScI)

Artist’s illustrationn of Voyager 1 looking back on the Solar System. Image Credit: NASA/ESA/G. Bacon (STScI)

There have been many incredible planetary missions over the past several decades, from as close as our Moon to the outer reaches of the Solar System. Right now, there are robotic explorers at Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Ceres, and […]

Kimbrough, Pesquet Ready for Second Space Station Battery EVA on Friday

Thomas Pesquet assists Shane Kimbrough and Peggy Whitson as they pre-breathe on masks before EVA-38. Photo Credit: NASA/Thomas Pesquet/Twitter

Thomas Pesquet assists Shane Kimbrough and Peggy Whitson as they pre-breathe on masks before EVA-38. Photo Credit: NASA/Thomas Pesquet/Twitter

For the second time in 2017, a pair of astronauts will depart the International Space Station (ISS) on Friday, in support of an ambitious, multi-year campaign to remove 48 aging nickel-hydrogen batteries on the Integrated […]

'Waiting For You to Land on Mars': 20 Years Since the STS-81 Mission to Mir (Part 2)

The STS-81 and Mir crews gather for a group portrait in the space station's base block. Front row, from left, are Mike Baker, John Grunsfeld, John Blaha and Aleksandr Kaleri. Back row, from left, are Jerry Linenger, Valeri Korzun, Marsha Ivins, Jeff Wisoff and Brent Jett. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

The STS-81 and Mir crews gather for a group portrait in the space station’s base block. Front row, from left, are Mike Baker, John Grunsfeld, John Blaha, and Aleksandr Kaleri. Back row, from left, are Jerry Linenger, Valeri Korzun, Marsha Ivins, Jeff Wisoff, and Brent Jett. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Twenty years […]

'Horrendous Gas Mileage': 20 Years Since the STS-81 Mission to Mir (Part 1)

Mir, as viewed from Atlantis on STS-81. The orange-colored Docking Module (DM), at the end of the Kristall module, is visible at the right of the image. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Mir, as viewed from Atlantis on STS-81. The orange-colored Docking Module (DM), at the end of the Kristall module, is visible at the right of the image. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Two decades ago, this week, America’s Space Shuttle Program began living up to its billing as a vehicle for delivering experiments, […]