Kennedy Honors Astronaut Owen Garriott

In the Heroes and Legends exhibit at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida, a memorial wreath was placed following a ceremony honoring the memory of former astronaut Owen Garriott.
In the Heroes and Legends exhibit at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida, a memorial wreath was placed following a ceremony honoring the memory of former astronaut Owen Garriott. The ceremony was held April 18, 2019. Garriott flew aboard the Skylab space station during the Skylab 3 mission and also on space shuttle Columbia for the STS-9/Spacelab-1 mission. He passed away April 15 at the age of 88. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

NASA astronaut Owen Garriott, a veteran of two spaceflights, was remembered by Kennedy Space Center officials and employees during a ceremony at the Florida spaceport’s visitor complex on April 18, 2019. Following the ceremony, a memorial wreath was placed in the Heroes and Legends exhibit within the Astronaut Hall of Fame. Garriott passed away on April 15, 2019, at the age of 88.

Speakers at the ceremony included Center Director Bob Cabana and Therrin Protze, chief operating officer at the Kennedy visitor complex. Also sharing a few words was former NASA astronaut Jon McBride.

Scientist-Astronaut Owen K. Garriott, science pilot of the Skylab 3 mission, is stationed at the Apollo Telescope Mount (ATM) console in the Multiple Docking Adapter of the Skylab space station.
Scientist-Astronaut Owen K. Garriott, science pilot of the Skylab 3 mission, is stationed at the Apollo Telescope Mount (ATM) console in the Multiple Docking Adapter of the Skylab space station in Earth orbit. From this console the astronauts actively control the ATM solar physics telescope. Photo credit: NASA

Garriott was selected as one of the first six NASA scientist-astronauts in June 1965. He flew aboard the Skylab space station during the Skylab 3 mission, serving as the mission’s science-pilot, and also on space shuttle Columbia during the STS-9/Spacelab-1 mission.

This ninth space shuttle mission contained a crew of six – the largest to fly aboard a single spacecraft at the time. It also was the first international shuttle crew and the first to carry payload specialists.

Born in Enid, Oklahoma, Garriott received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Oklahoma. He then went on to receive a master’s and doctoral degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.

In 2011, Garriott was inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame at Kennedy’s visitor complex. Learn more about Owen Garriott.

Safety and Health Days: A Reinforcement of Kennedy’s Safety Culture

A participant crosses the finish line of Kennedy Space Center's annual Walk Run on March 26, 2019.
A participant crosses the finish line of Kennedy Space Center’s Walk Run on March 26, 2019. Part of Kennedy’s Safety and Health Days, the annual event takes place at the Florida spaceport’s Shuttle Landing Facility runway and offers employees and guests the chance to partake in a two-mile walk or run, a 5K or a 10K. Photo credit: NASA/Ben Smegelsky

Each year, NASA Kennedy Space Center’s Safety and Health Days demonstrates how this topic is not only a top priority both centerwide and agencywide, but that it’s ingrained in the spaceport’s DNA. This year’s Safety and Health Days took place March 25 – 29. Events and presentations held during the week emphasized the importance Kennedy places on the wellbeing of its employees, both at home and at work.

A few of the classes and presentations open to employees included: “Stop the Bleed,” a hands-on course that teaches basic life-saving interventions to equip individuals with the knowledge and power to act quickly and save lives; “Moments Matter,” where a flight crash survivor revealed how resiliency, leadership and managing your mind can help you overcome obstacles to grow and thrive; and a briefing on the “Space Launch System Low Oxygen Tank Mishap,” in which a team of investigators delved into the cause of the incident and discussed recommendations and corrective actions that have helped to prevent future incidents at Kennedy.

Also available for employees were presentations on how to determine if they are getting a good night’s sleep, the seriousness of skin cancer and what to look for, the Crimeline, safety awareness, crime prevention and education program, presented by Brevard County’s well-known Sheriff Wayne Ivey, and the importance of safe behaviors at home and at work. In addition to presentations, Kennedy and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station employees had the opportunity to attend the KSC Walk Run on Tuesday, March 26. Employees and up to four of their registered guests were able to participate in a two-mile walk or run, a 5K run, or a 10K run.

The Tour de KSC, a bike tour on Kennedy grounds open to employees and up to five guests per employee, is another event employees were encouraged to attend. Originating in 2009, the Tour de KSC is another way the spaceport promotes an active lifestyle and a healthy work-life balance. This year’s tour took place Saturday, March 30, with attendees riding alongside Center Director Bob Cabana, an avid bicyclist.

In addition to the presentations and events that took place during the week, Kennedy offers year-round fitness center and balance zone classes every week, giving employees the opportunity to improve and maintain their health throughout the year. The activities and information readily available to all employees reinforce the notion that health and safety continues to be a hallmark of Kennedy’s values — not only during this week, but throughout the entire year.

Earth Day Celebrations Take Flight at Kennedy

A butterfly sits in the palm of a visitor’s hand at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida.
A butterfly sits in the palm of a visitor’s hand at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida. Kennedy kicked of its annual Earth Day celebrations with a sustainability expo at the visitor complex on April 11, 2019, where butterflies were released throughout the day. Approximately 40 exhibitors from across the nation assembled to provide information ranging from energy-saving solutions to wildlife and natural conservation. Photo credit: NASA/Isaac Watson

This year, Kennedy Space Center kicked off its annual Earth Day celebrations with a butterfly release and sustainability expo at the center’s visitor complex. On April 11, approximately 40 exhibitors from across the nation assembled to provide information ranging from energy-saving solutions to wildlife and natural conservation.

Also on display were electric cars for attendees to admire. Plant and wildlife specialists from organizations such as Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge and the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS), among others, were there to provide expertise on safeguarding wildlife and preserving natural resources.

An image of the Butterfly Nebula captured by the Hubble Space Telescope in 2009.
Did you know:
That some of the bright clusters and nebulae of planet Earth’s night sky are often named for flowers or insects? This image of the Butterfly Nebula was captured by the Hubble Space Telescope in 2009. Image Credit: NASA, ESA, Hubble, HLA; Reprocessing & Copyright: Robert Eder

Continuing the center’s Earth Day focus, Kennedy employees will have the opportunity to attend two lunch and learns, being held April 23 and 24, to further learn about ways in which we can protect our natural environment. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Investigator Steve Wayne and Officer Jeff Sidor will bring a special K9, Harry, for a demonstration. Dogs such as Harry are trained to locate protected species and detect non-native wildlife that can be harmful to native flora and fauna.

Sally Scalera, urban horticulture agent and master gardener coordinator from the UF/IFAS Brevard Extension office, will lead the second lunch and learn, which will educate employees on ways to make their yards Florida-friendly. Topics will include using native plants to reduce water consumption, reducing turf area, watering efficiently and learning how to employ integrated pest management.

For more than five decades, NASA has used the vantage point of space to understand and explore our home planet, improve lives and safeguard our future. The activities held at Kennedy in celebration of Earth Day further promote awareness of our planet’s natural resources and strengthen the center’s emphasis on the importance of sustainability. They encourage employees and guests to engage in practices that benefit the environment, both at work and at home.

Demo-1 Mission Nearing Completion

Crew Dragon docked to the International Space Station on March 3, 2019
Crew Dragon docked to the International Space Station on March 3, 2019. Image credit: NASA

The SpaceX Crew Dragon continues to perform well as the Demo-1 flight test nears completion. The Crew Dragon hatch will be closed Thursday, March 7, at approximately 12:25 p.m. EST.

Crew Dragon will remain docked to the International Space Station until approximately 2:30 a.m. on Friday, March 8. The spacecraft is expected to return to Earth hours later, with a splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean at approximately 8:45 a.m.

More details about the mission and NASA’s commercial crew program can be found in the press kit online and by following @commercial_crew and commercial crew on Facebook.

Learn more about station activities by following @space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.