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Human Space Flight Web
Human Space Flight Web

From the Ground Up

Human space flight starts on the ground, where thousands of NASA employees, contractors and industry partners work together to send humans safely into space.

Preparing for a 12-day shuttle mission or a six-month space station Expedition requires incredibly detailed planning by hundreds of people.

Professional trainers ensure that astronauts not only understand every task they will do in space, but the intricacies of the equipment and systems they will be working with as well.

Engineers design the tools, equipment and computer software astronauts will need in space.

As soon as a shuttle lands, preparations begin for its next trip into space -- a process that involves thousands of people.
A Taste of the Future

How do we keep astronauts healthy in space? How does microgravity change the way plants or human cells grow? These are just two of the questions researchers are trying to answer.
NASA Space Radiation Laboratory

2004 Astronaut Candidate Class

NEEMO - NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations

IMAGE: Behind the Scenes
Members of the 2004 class of astronaut candidates during a training session.

Thousands of people across the U.S. support our nation's human space flight effort, providing unparalleled expertise and dedication to both the space shuttle and International Space Station programs.

NASA Space Flight Centers

Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, Md. - Space and Earth science research; tracking and acquisition data.

Johnson Space Center
Houston, Texas - Mission planning, crew training, Mission Control.

Kennedy Space Center
Cape Canaveral, Florida - Shuttle, station and payload processing, launch site.

Marshall Space Flight Center
Huntsville, Ala. - Payload Operations Center, science.

Stennis Space Center
Bay St. Louis, Miss. - Rocket propulsion testing.

White Sands Test Facility
Las Cruces, N.M. - Space flight component testing

Meet the People

IMAGE: Judy Marie TateJudy Marie Tate, scientist liaison: "My mother always told me that anything you do is a direct reflection of the person you are."

IMAGE: Gary MooreGary Moore, engineer: "This is a long way from milking cows."

IMAGE: Steve NunezSteve Nunez, Manager, White Sands Test Facility: "When you are located in a hazardous test facility, you have to make sure that you are doing things safely."

More people behind the scenes

Control Centers

Mission Control Centers
Houston, Texas - Shuttle and station MCCs.

Payload Ops Center
Huntsville, Ala. - Science command post for the International Space Station.

Space Shuttle Launch Team
Kennedy Space Center, Fla. - Firing room, etc.


Behind the Scenes Fact Sheets
A PDF document library of many of the topics from this Web site.

Space Shuttle Reference Manual
This technical guide provides in-depth information on the shuttle program.

Curator: Kim Dismukes | Responsible NASA Official: Amiko Kauderer | Updated: 07/01/2009
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