A new era of human spaceflight began May 30 when NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley blasted off aboard the Crew Dragon capsule from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The launch, witnessed by President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, marked the first time in nearly a decade that astronauts launched from American soil, and the first time a private company had ever flown humans to orbit.
“It’s been nine years since we’ve launched American astronauts on American rockets from American soil,”NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said following the launch. “And now ... we have done it.”
At the Kennedy Space Center, SpaceX relied on the expertise of the Cat Entertainment Services team to ensure that people around the world could witness the historic event.
Orlando CES Operations Supervisor Pete Carstens arrived days before the launch to setup and ensure the technical broadcast went off without a hitch. A Cat twin pack genset provided 400 kWs of redundant power for multiple networks covering the launch while Orlando CES Tech II Axl Friedrich installed and oversaw the hookups on the production and uplink trucks to ensure that millions tuning in witnessed history being made in real time, without any technical glitches. Entertainment Services also supplied 110-volt distributed Edison drops for the different camera positions.
Various elements of the launch broadcast took place across the country at the SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif. There, California CES Tech I Jessie Campos supplied a 45 kW generator to power an uplink truck and tie the broadcast together.
This was SpaceX’s second test flight of its Crew Dragon and its first with astronauts aboard, which will pave the way to certification for regular crew flights to the International Space Station as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.
"This is a dream come true for me and everyone at SpaceX,” said Elon Musk, chief engineer at SpaceX. “You can look at this as the results of a hundred thousand people roughly when you add up all the suppliers and everyone working incredibly hard to make this day happen.”
Kudos to the entire Entertainment Services team for helping the world witness history in the making!