Kennedy Space Center celebrates 60-year legacy while looking to the future

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — For nearly 60 years, NASA’s Kennedy Space Center has played a key role in America’s space program.

Former shuttle launch director Bob Sieck remembers the early days.

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As a Gemini spacecraft systems engineer, he was there when the launch operations center was built.

“This is where the decisions were made and this where all the components of the team effort came together,” Sieck said.

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Sieck also served as an Apollo spacecraft test team project engineer and later as a space shuttle launch director.

Now, as NASA’s new moon rocket and Orion spacecraft sit on launchpad 39B, the Space Center will play a crucial role in America’s return to the moon.

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Artemis assistant launch director Jeremy Graeber said the upcoming uncrewed mission around the moon will set the stage for a permanent moon base.

“Our next step is not to just prove that we can go to the moon, but go to the moon permanently,” Graeber said.

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Officials said the next logical step is to learn to live on the moon and apply the lessons learned for NASA’s mission to Mars.

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Matt Reeser

Matt Reeser, WFTV.com

Matt Reeser joined WFTV in 1998 as a news photographer and has worked for television stations in Kentucky and West Virginia.