Planetary Society volunteer Ken Kremer is reporting for us from the Kennedy Space Center, where he witnessed the launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis to the Hubble Space Telescope on May 11. Kremer is a research scientist and freelance journalist who spends his spare time giving public outreach presentations on behalf of The Planetary Society as a volunteer and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory as a Solar System Ambassador. He also enjoys creating Mars mosaics. Thanks Ken!
The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO, is NASA's next science flight dedicated to explore and survey Earth's moon and pave the way to return a human presence. In fact, it's actually two robotic pathfinder missions in one. Riding piggyback is the co-manifested Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite, or LCROSS.
I observed the integrated LRO and LCROSS combination spacecraft stack up close on Friday, May 15, at the Astrotech Space Operations Facility, Titusville, FL, located a few miles west of KSC. I participated in a media tour sponsored by NASA for a pre-launch photo opportunity and Q&A with mission scientists and engineers.
The spacecraft are undergoing final processing before launching aboard an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS), FL. CCAFS lies adjacent to the Kennedy Space Center.