Historical Timeline


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Space Shuttle Discovery launches on Mission STS-31 to deploy the Hubble Space Telescope24 Apr 1990 - Space Shuttle Discovery launched on mission STS-31 at 8:33:51 a.m. EDT. The mission featured the deployment of the Hubble Space Telescope, the first of NASA's Great Observatories to reach orbit.
Space Shuttle Atlantis on Mission STS-37 launches to deploy the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory11 Apr 1991 - Space Shuttle Atlantis launched on mission STS-37 at 9:22:44 a.m. EST. The primary payload, the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, was deployed on the third day of the mission. Compton was the second of four large earth-orbiting telescopes to be launched in NASA's Great Observatories program.
Shuttle Columbia rolls out of Orbiter Processing Facility bay 3, bound for the SLF.3 Sept 1991 - A third Orbiter Processing Facility bay was dedicated. The former Orbiter Modification and Refurbishment Facility, which had been used for off-line orbiter inspection, modifications and repair work, was converted using existing service structures and work platforms transported to KSC from Vandenberg Air Force Base. Vandenberg was scheduled to be used as a launch and processing facility for Shuttle polar orbiting missions prior to the Challenger accident.
Robert L. Crippen, KSC Director1 Jan 1992 - Robert L. Crippen was named the fifth KSC Director. An astronaut with four Shuttle flights under his belt, including an assignment as pilot of the first orbital test flight of the Shuttle, his tenure with NASA spanned a 26-year period. He left NASA in Jan. 21, 1995, to work in the private sector.
First night Shuttle landing at KSC22 Sept 1993 - Space Shuttle Discovery, with Commander Frank Culbertson at the controls, landed at KSC's Shuttle Landing Facility at 3:56:11 a.m. EDT following the conclusion of mission STS-51. This was the first time a Shuttle landing had taken place at KSC at night.
Space Station Processing Facility (SSPF)23 June 1994 - The Space Station Processing Facility, which serves as the central preflight checkout and processing point for elements of the International Space Station, was dedicated. Construction of the 457,000-square-foot facility began in April 1991. It includes clean rooms for processing Space Station elements with supporting control rooms and laboratories, and office space to accommodate over 1,000 employees.
Jay F. Honeycutt, KSC Director22 Jan 1995 - Jay F. Honeycutt was named the sixth KSC director. His career spanned almost the entire human space flight program, beginning at the Redstone Arsenal in 1960. During his tenure at KSC, it was "business as usual," with Honeycutt overseeing 16 successful Shuttle launches. He left KSC in March 1997 to work in the private sector.
First piece of hardware arrives at the SSPF7 June 1995 - The first piece of hardware to be processed for flight in the Space Station Processing Facility (SSPF) arrived at KSC. It was the Russian Docking Module, which was attached to the Mir space station during STS-74. It acted as an orbiter interface with the station for the remaining six Shuttle/Mir rendezvous flights scheduled. This was also the first time that Russian space program personnel, approximately 50 in all, were involved in the final assembly and testing of hardware inside KSC's restricted perimeter.
Roy D. Bridges, Jr., KSC Director2 Mar 1997- Roy D. Bridges, Jr., was named the seventh KSC director. A former retired Air Force Major General and Space Shuttle pilot, he left KSC to become the director of NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., effective Aug. 10, 2003.
Node 1 (Unity Module) first piece of ISS Hardware processed at KSC23 June 1997 - The first piece of International Space Station hardware scheduled to be processed for flight at KSC, Node 1or the Unity connecting module, arrived on center. It was transported to the clean room in the Space Station Processing Facility where it was prepared for flight on mission STS-88.
Roy Bridges, KSC Center Director29 July 1997 - The Kennedy Space Center Road Map, a bold plan for KSC's future through the year 2025, was unveiled. In it, Center Director Bridges and the Senior Management Council outlined a slow, deliberate transition from an operational role to a development role for its civil service work force as NASA proceeds toward commercialization of its major programs.
Liftoff of a Titan IVB/Centaur carrying the Cassini orbiter and its attached Huygens probe24 Oct 1997 - KSC was designated lead center for acquisition and management of Expendable Launch Vehicle Launch (ELV) Services for the agency. The KSC team manages all NASA ELV launches from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, Kodiak Island in Alaska, Kwajalein Island in the Pacific, or elsewhere.
Repainting of the Vehicle Assembly BuildingAug 1998 - Repainting began of the Vehicle Assembly Building in celebration of NASA's 40th anniversary on Oct. 1. It was the first time that the American flag, originally added to the building in celebration of America's 200th birthday in 1976, had been repainted. The Bicentennial Emblem was replaced with the NASA logo, affectionately known as the "meatball."
First ISS Assembly Mission on STS-884 Dec 1998 -The first Space Shuttle mission dedicated to the assembly of the International Space Station was launched from Pad 39A at 3:36 a.m. EST. During the mission, the STS-88 crew joined the 12.8-ton Unity connecting module to the Zarya control module already on orbit. + View video feature
Shuttle Columbia on STS-93 deploys the Chandra X-ray Observatory23 July 1999 - Space Shuttle Columbia launched on mission STS-93 at 12:31 a.m. EDT. The mission was the first Space Shuttle mission to be commanded by a woman and featured the deployment of the Chandra X-ray Observatory on the first day of the mission. Chandra was the third of four large earth-orbiting telescopes to be launched in NASA's Great Observatories program.

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