Feb. 8, Feb 2001
- A ground breaking ceremony, attended by dignitaries including Fla. Gov. Jeb Bush, was held for a construction project that included the Space Experiment Research and Processing Laboratory (SERPL) and a new roadway. The project was enabled by a partnership and collaboration between NASA and the State of Florida to create a vital resource for international and commercial space customers. SERPL is considered a magnet facility, and will support the development and processing of life sciences experiments destined for the International Space Station. SERPL was since renamed the Space Life Sciences Lab and was ready for occupancy in October 2003.
March 5, 2001
- For the first time, two space shuttle orbiters, atop a modified 747 shuttle carrier aircraft, returned to their home base at Kennedy Space Center on the same day. Atlantis arrived at the Shuttle Landing Facility about 10:45 a.m. EST; Columbia touched down on the skid strip at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station around 2:30 p.m. Atlantis' ferry flight was required by a landing in California Feb. 19 following the STS-98 mission; Columbia was returning from a 17-month-long modification and refurbishment process, a routine maintenance down period, in Palmdale, Calif.
Feb. 1, 2003
- Space Shuttle Columbia and her seven-member crew were lost over east Texas during her landing descent to Kennedy Space Center at the conclusion of STS-107, a microgravity research mission, which was her 28th flight. Approximately 83,800 pieces of debris, representing 38 per cent of Columbia's dry weight, was recovered and analyzed in the reusable launch vehicle hangar at Kennedy's Shuttle Landing Facility, converted to the Columbia Reconstruction Hangar for the project. Following the conclusion of the investigation into the accident, the debris was moved into storage on the 16th floor of the Vehicle Assembly Building on Sept. 15. The storage location was chosen to allow access to the debris for use in aerospace research.
› STS-107 site
- The new millennium brought about leaps and bounds in space exploration beyond our world. NASA launched an ambitious mission to Mars in 2003. Two Mars rovers were launched from Cape Canaveral to explore the possibility that life once existed on the red planet. The rovers, named "Opportunity" and "Spirit," will act as robotic geologists equipped with special cameras and tools to examine the history of climate and water in two locations.
› Rover site
Aug. 10, 2003
- Deputy Director James W. Kennedy succeeded Roy D. Bridges to become the eighth director of the John F. Kennedy Space Center. Kennedy is a mechanical engineer who formerly served as the deputy director of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.
› Center Director's welcome page
July 26, 2005
- Space shuttle Discovery's STS-114 Return-to-Flight mission delivered a seven-member crew to the International Space Station on July 28. Their primary objective was to test and evaluate new safety procedures and conduct assembly and maintenance tasks on the station. During three spacewalks astronauts Steve Robinson and Soichi Noguchi demonstrated the first repair techniques on the shuttle's thermal protection system; replaced a failed control moment gyroscope, which helps keep the station oriented properly and installed the external stowage platform -- a space shelf for holding spare parts during station construction.
› STS-114 site
| › Launch video
Aug. 12, 2005
- NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, or MRO, launched on a mission to research the history of water on Mars with its science instruments. One of its cameras is the largest ever flown on a planetary mission. This camera is able to spot something as small as a dinner table. That capability will also allow the orbiter to identify obstacles like large rocks that could jeopardize the safety of future landers and rovers. Its imaging spectrometer will also be able to look at small-scale areas about five times smaller than a football field, at a scale perfect for identifying any hot springs or other small water features.
› MRO site
Jan. 19, 2006
- When New Horizons launched it was with all the prestige of the first spacecraft to study Pluto, the last unvisited planet in the solar system. Seven months later, astronomers reclassified Pluto to a dwarf planet. But its mission remains the same: after a 9 1/2 year journey across the solar system the spacecraft will cross the orbits of all the planets from Earth to Neptune and fly by Pluto and Charon in July 2015. The seven science instruments on the piano-sized New Horizons probe will shed light on the bodies' surface properties, geology, interior makeup and atmospheres.
› New Horizons site
July 4, 2006
- Discovery launched on mission STS-121, the first ever shuttle launch to take place on the U.S. holiday of Independence Day. Discovery delivered a third crew member, European Space Agency Astronaut Thomas Reiter and the Italian-built Multi-Purpose Logistics Module, or MPLM, Leonardo carrying more than two tons of equipment and supplies to the station. Discovery was the first orbiter to land at Kennedy since the conclusion of Endeavour's mission STS-113 in December of 2002.
› STS-121 site
› Landing video
Jan. 4, 2007
- Kennedy Space Center got new leadership as William W. Parsons took over the helm as the Center's ninth director, succeeding James W. Kennedy who retired from the agency. Parsons previously served as director of NASA's Stennis Space Center in Mississippi.
› Center Director's welcome page
June 8, 2007
- Space Shuttle Atlantis lifted off on the STS-117 mission after a perfect countdown marking the first liftoff from Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida in more than four years.
› STS-117 site
- Robert D. Cabana succeeded William Parsons as Director of Kennedy Space Center. Prior to Cabana's appointment to Kennedy the former space shuttle astronaut served as the director of NASA's Stennis Space Center in Mississippi.
› Center Director's welcome page
Nov. 14, 2008
- Space shuttle Endeavour delivered the most supplies and equipment ever carried to the International Space Station by a single mission. The flight also marked for NASA the 10th anniversary of the Nov. 1998 launch of the station's first element, a Russian-built module called Zarya. STS-126 was the mission that gave the orbiting outpost the ability to support twice the crew previously living there.
› STS-126 site
March 15, 2009
- Space shuttle Discovery and its seven-member launches from Pad 39A on the STS-119 mission to deliver the final set of power-generating solar array wings and a new crew member to the International Space Station. Installation of S6 truss segment signaled the station's readiness to house a six-member crew for conducting increased science.
› STS-119 site
March 25, 2009
Kennedy Space Center hosted a ceremony at 9 a.m. EDT to mark the official handover of Mobile Launcher Platform-1 from NASA's Space Shuttle Program to the Constellation Program. The two-story, steel structure was modified for the Ares I-X flight test.
April 17, 2009
- Two space shuttles, Endeavour and Atlantis, stood poised on both Launch Complex 39 launch pads, for what was expected to be the last time for the agency's Space Shuttle Program. Atlantis was on pad 39A for the STS-125 Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission. Endeavour was on pad 39B as the STS-125 rescue spacecraft, if required. › Larger image
May 11, 2009
- Space shuttle Atlantis and its seven-member crew lifted off from Launch Pad 39A on the fifth and final shuttle mission to service NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.
› STS-125 site
June 18, 2009
- First lunar launch in 10 years was NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite, or LRO/LCROSS aboard an Atlas V rocket from Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. LRO will orbit the moon and relay more information about the lunar environment than any other previous mission to the moon. LCROSS descended to the lunar surface to search for water ice in a permanently shadowed crater at the moon's south pole.
› LRO site
| › LCROSS site
Sept. 25, 2009
- A ribbon cutting ceremony officially turned over the Launch Control Center's Young-Crippen Firing Room from the Space Shuttle Program to the Constellation Program. The newly refurbished and outfitted control room was used for NASA's Ares I-X flight test in October 2009.
Oct. 28, 2009
- NASA's Ares I-X rocket lifted off Launch Pad 39B at 11:30 a.m. EDT. The flight test lasted about six minutes from launch until splashdown, and the rocket's more than 700 sensors will provide ascent data for future flights.
Nov. 16, 2009
- At the NASA Press Site at Kennedy a tent was erected in the shadow of the 525-foot-tall Vehicle Assembly Building for a unique event, a Tweetup, held to share the excitement of a space shuttle launch with a new audience. The first Tweet-up event brought 101 Tweeters from 21 states and four countries with an estimated 150,000 followers to tweet the launch of space shuttle Atlantis on the STS-129 mission to the space station.
Nov. 19, 2009
- NASA, Florida Power & Light Company and SunPower formally commissioned a one-megawatt solar power facility at Kennedy. The FPL facilities at NASA will help provide Florida residents and America's space program with new sources of clean energy that will cut reliance on fossil fuels and improve the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The solar power farm is providing electricity directly to the space center now.