SPA Tours Nasa Faculty and staff go behind the scenes at Kennedy Space Center

Faculty and staff from the UCF School of Public Administration took an out-of-this-world educational trip to the Kennedy Space Center on Feb. 10. The purpose of the visit was to familiarize faculty and staff with the administrative side of NASA and the changes taking place at the Kennedy Space Center.

Vehicle Assembly Building

Since the end of the space shuttle program, KSC has been transitioning from a government-only facility to a multi-user spaceport. This change is the tangible outcome of federal policy and budget actions that emphasize commercial involvement in the nation's space program.

Launch pads and a crawler-transporter at KSC

After arriving at KSC, the group proceeded on a bus tour to and through Launch Complex 39. Historically, this launch complex was used by NASA for the Apollo and space shuttle programs. Now, the signs of a multi-user launch complex are evident, and Space-X is leasing one of the launch pads. The second pad is now a "clean pad," which means that it is capable of launching different types of rockets.

Boeing and the Air Force are housed in former space shuttle facilities.

The bus tour

NASA engineer Sharish Patel served as the tour guide, with a little help from Lecturer Gregg Buckingham, who also coordinated the trip. Patel discussed the changes that KSC is going through on the public administration side, including issues of collaboration and strategic planning.

The group had the opportunity to tour the Apollo/Saturn V Center, including the Apollo 8 Firing Room, the Saturn V Rocket, the Lunar Theater and the Apollo Treasures Gallery.

The Firing Room and pre-show
Exhibits at the Saturn/Apollo V Center

The group also had the opportunity to explore the newest exhibit -- a tribute to the astronauts of the Apollo I mission.

Ad Astra Per Aspera - A Rough Road Leads to the Stars

Following the bus tour, the group was allowed to explore the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, including the Atlantis exhibit.

Space Shuttle Atlantis

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