Planning your elective - Kennedy Space Center
Ed White chooses an unusual place for his elective
- By: Ed White
There are only two places in the world from which humans are launched into space: Baikonur Cosmodrome in the Kazakh Republic and the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Kennedy is a huge social, technological, and economic enterprise, employing thousands of staff who are dedicated to the daily activities of launching manned and unmanned spacecraft.
On 4 October 1957 the Soviet Union stunned the world by launching Sputnik 1, the first artificial earth orbiting satellite. Although no more than a radio transmitter, it was a powerful propaganda symbol, and ushered in the space age. The United States quickly responded by forming the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1958. The space race had begun.
Prolonged manned space flight, however, posed several novel medical problems, such as cardiovascular deconditioning, and for this reason the medical operations group at Kennedy was founded. The main aims of the group are to coordinate emergency