NASA's Marshall Space Center Considers its Past, Present, and Future

Apr 16, 2014

Thursday marks an annual event AT NASA'S Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville.  It’s the so-called “Marshall 2014 Update.”  Marshall Center Director Patrick Scheuermann will speak about the future of the center and its strong relationship with Alabama.  He’ll also talk about the progression from the early Apollo rockets to the Space Shuttle to where we are now.

Patrick Scheuermann: “What we’ve embarked upon now is the next great ship that’ll take us even further into the oceans of space, and that’s the Space Launch System, an incredibly powerful rocket.  The most powerful rocket that will ever be built.  Even more powerful than the Apollo rocket.  And the purpose will be primarily to get us beyond lower Earth orbit.  These rockets are taller than the Statue of Liberty.  And if you can imagine putting rocket engines on the bottom of these big buildings and launching them into space, it’s an incredible thing to see.”

Scheuermann also plans to talk about the importance of science, technology, engineering, and math, or STEM fields.  Marshall is the 3rd largest employer in the Huntsville metro area with around 6,000 employees and contract workers.  It’s responsible for around 20,000 jobs across the state of Alabama.  8700 are involved in work on the new SLS rocket.

As mentioned in the interview (click the audio above), the International Space Station will be passing over the sky soon.  You can visit this link to get real-time alerts on when it's traveling over your zip code.  A big thanks to Marshall spokeswoman Jennifer Morcone Stanfield for sending the link and this message:

Jennifer Stanfield: "If you've never seen the Space Station fly overhead, it's a really awe inspiring experience. ISS is the brightest "star" in the sky and does not blink like an airplane. As Patrick mentioned, it's a tangible way the public can see and appreciate the half-dozen astronauts in space each and every day aboard the orbiting laboratory learning about how to live and work off of our beautiful planet Earth."