Friday , July 30 2021

Northrop Grumman becomes 1st commercial tenant of NASA's Vehicle Assembly Building



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Northrop Grumman became the first commercial tenant of NASA's Vehicle Assembly Building during a ribbon-cutting ceremony in High Bay 2.

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Kennedy Space Center Director Bob Cabana speaks during an Aug. 16, 2019, ceremony in the Vehicle Assembly Building attended by spaceport employees as well as legislators. Photo Credit: Michael Howard / SpaceFlight Insider

Kennedy Space Center Director Bob Cabana speaks during an Aug. 16, 2019, ceremony in the Vehicle Assembly Building attended by spaceport employees as well as legislators. Photo Credit: Michael Howard / SpaceFlight Insider

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. – A ribbon cutting ceremony was held in High Bay 2 of NASA's Vehicle Assembly Building in Northrop Grumman's OmegA Launch of Mobile Launch Platform 3 for launching the company's new launch vehicle.

These facilities have been used since the Apollo Program as well as the Space Launch System for Artemis.

Northrop Grumman Vice President Kent Rominger, with Kennedy Space Center, Bob Cabana, and his 45th Space Wing Col. Thomas Ste. Marie on her left, cuts the ribbon in high bay 2. Photo Credit: Michael Howard / SpaceFlight Insider

Northrop Grumman Vice President Kent Rominger, with Kennedy Space Center, Bob Cabana, and his 45th Space Wing Col. Thomas Ste. Marie on her left, cuts the ribbon in high bay 2. Photo Credit: Michael Howard / SpaceFlight Insider

Participating in the Aug. 16, 2019, ribbon cutting events, and Kennedy Space Director Bob Cabana, Commander of the 45th Space Wing Col. Thomas Ste. Marie and Northrop Grumman's Strategic Programs Vice President, Kent Rominger.

Cabana said that many of the people are expected to be working on the Northrop Grumman's OmegA rocket are the same as the Space Launch system and Orion programs.

"What an outstanding use of this facility," said Cabana. "We only need one bay to support SLS and Orion, and we only need one launch pad. Would not it be great if we could utilize that pad and this facility to support our nation's other needs in space. Helping support it with the OmegA rocket is what's going to happen. "

Speaking on behalf of the 45th Space Wing, Col. Thomas Ste. Marie acknowledged the Air Force members who have worked alongside alumni scientists and engineers from the 45th Space Wing.

"The 45th Space Wing and our predecessor organizations have been doing so many years ago, each of these historic endeavors, which made the dreams and aspirations of so many Americans in space program a reality," Ste. Marie said. "We stuck alongside these innovators to insure that we provide mission assurance, and we guarantee that we can provide the public safety along the way."

Ste. Marie said that just over three years ago, the 45th Space Wing has launched its "Drive to 48," a Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. He said Northrop Grumman and his OmegA rocket marches them even closer to that goal.

Rominger, Northrop Grumman's vice president of Strategic Programs and a former NASA space shuttle astronaut, said it was a part of America's Spaceport.

"This historic building was used by Apollo and one of my favorite rockets to ride, the space shuttle," Rominger said. "But additionally as we speak, this building is being utilized to process the Artemis system – SLS and Orion. For us, it is really an honor for bringing into the Vehicle Assembly Building. "

In addition to utilizing the VAB, Rominger said Northrop Grumman was expected to use Mobile Launch Platform 3, which was also used for the Apollo 11 mission.

Both High Bay 2 and Mobile Launch Platform 3 are expected to be updated to the current flight of OmegA, currently targeting 2021.

Mobile Launch Platform 3 sits outside the Vehicle Assembly Building. It's like High Bay 2, Northrop Grumman's OmegA rocket. Photo Credit: Michael Howard / SpaceFlight Insider

Mobile Launch Platform 3 sits outside the Vehicle Assembly Building. It's like High Bay 2, Northrop Grumman's OmegA rocket. Photo Credit: Michael Howard / SpaceFlight Insider

Tagged: High Bay 2 Kennedy Space Center Mobile Launch Platform 3 NASA Northrop Grumman OmegA The Range Vehicle Assembly Building

Mike Howard

Mike Howard was born on Florida's Space Coast in 1961, when rockets began to fly into space. As a small boy, one of the first photographs he took was July 1969 – of the Apollo 11 launch to the Moon with his father's Nikon.

Howard has been publishing in various media including Florida Today, Air and Space Magazine, and has been working with SpaceX and Space as well as other news outlets. In 1998, his company began offering destination wedding photography services in the Cocoa Beach area in 2005 by Michael Howard Photography L.L.C. was formed.


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