KSC Director Envisions Exciting Future
Director Robert Cabana at KSC
July 04, 2011 | WMFE - Even though the space shuttle program is coming to an end, the director of the Kennedy Space Center says he sees a vibrant future for the sprawling complex that's been launching spacecraft for decades.
Bob Cabana says KSC will continue to provide launch services for NASA and that the center will be involved in processing the agency's next crew capsule.
President Obama has said he wants the US to continue to be a leader in space and wants American astronauts to go beyond the International Space Station to explore Mars and asteroids and someday return to the Moon.
Cabana says KSC will be an integral part of that mission.
He says he wants to see the center evolve into a hub for government and private space flight ventures.
“By 2016 or 2017 hopefully, we’ll have commercial rockets taking off and being recovered and processed along with preparations for that first big flight away from Planet Earth.” Cabana said.
Cabana also expects KSC to evolve into a center for scientific research and emerging technologies.
Thousands of jobs are being lost at the center as the shuttle program ends, But Cabana says KSC managers have worked to help ease the transition for displaced workers.
“It’s obviously a challenge.” Cabana said, “Some of our contractors have found work for their folks in other areas and can call them back when needed. Some folks are relocating and others are going to stay in the area and hope that the work comes soon and they can get hired back on.”
Cabana is a former astronaut and a veteran of 4 space flights. He says it’s hard to believe he’ll be watching the final shuttle mission this week. But, he says, the shuttle has been an “amazing” space craft.
“Look at what the shuttle has accomplished” Cabana said.
“We couldn’t have built the International Space Station without it. The shuttle opened up human space flight for Americans.”
Cabana has been with NASA since 1985 and has been at KSC since 2008. He says he looks forward to spending the next decade continuing to build on the success of the space center.