Marshall Space Flight Center Turns 50

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Christopher K.
Posts: 5481
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Marshall Space Flight Center Turns 50

Post by Christopher K. »

Today is the fiftieth birthday of the Marshall Space Flight Center. It became operational on 1 June 1960 but was dedicated on 8 September of that year. It was named for George C. Marshall, who had died the year before and had served as Chief of Staff of the U. S. Army before and during World War II and (briefly) as president of the American National Red Cross. He also received Nobel Peace Prize in 1953 for the "Marshall Plan" which led to the coalition of free nations under the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Werner von Braun was the first director of MSFC, serving until January of 1970. The famous "Building 4200" was completed in July 1963 and now is known as the Marshall Space Flight Center Headquarters Building.

In 1971 MSFC began in-house studies for a concept laboratory called the "Sortie Can", remaned the Sortie Lab. It had habitable, pressurized modules in which scientists could conduct investigations. When the following year NASA and the forerunner of ESA made plans for Spacelab, ESA based the engineering design on MSFC requirements.

MSFC manages the Michoud Assembly Facility here in Louisiana where the Ares I upper stage and the Orion crew exploration vehicle will (maybe) be built.

More Information at:
http://www.nasa.gov/centers/marshall/ho ... index.html

Short sketch of von Braun:
http://history.msfc.nasa.gov/vonbraun/bio.html

PDF of dedication booklet:
http://history.msfc.nasa.gov/marshall/b ... f_MSFC.pdf

Christopher K.
Posts: 5481
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Marshall Space Flight Center Turns 50

Post by Christopher K. »

The off-and-on again Tornado Warnings from NOAA today may have seem ruefully humorous, but several tornadoes did touch down in Louisiana. One location struck was the Michoud Assembly Facility (thanks to LPC Chairman Thomas Halligan for the news). Tornadic activity struck the Facility at 11:25am CST. So far only minor injuries are reported. Personnel are assessing damage to structures.

More information and video footage:
https://www.nasa.gov/feature/nasa-state ... y-facility

Governor Edwards has declared a State of Emergency...
http://www.gov.louisiana.gov/news/edwar ... ncy-2-7-17

Christopher K.
Posts: 5481
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Marshall Space Flight Center Turns 50

Post by Christopher K. »

Von Braun very early in his childhood was enthralling by science fiction, and Hermann Oberth's writings (suggesting rocketry could bring human concerns and curiosity into space) caused Van Braun to decide he would be as astute in math as possible. Near the end of World War II, Von Braun believed Germany was doomed to lose. He took advantage of his location in Bavaria to surrender to Americans.

"The Von Braun Story" is listed on NASA-TV's schedule as airing tonight at 7pm CDT and again at 8pm CDT.

More information:
https://www.nasa.gov/centers/marshall/h ... n/bio.html

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