During a ceremony at Kennedy Space Center on Monday, July 21, NASA renamed the center’s Operations and Checkout Building in honor of late astronaut Neil Armstrong, who passed away in 2012. The ceremony included NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, Kennedy Center Director Robert Cabana, Apollo 11’s Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin and astronaut Jim Lovell, who was the mission’s back-up commander. International Space Station NASA astronauts Steve Swanson, who is the current station commander, and Reid Wiseman, also took part in the ceremony via satellite downlink from their orbiting laboratory 260 miles above Earth.
Kennedy’s Operations and Checkout Building has played a vital role in NASA’s spaceflight history. It was used during the Apollo program to process and test the command, service and lunar modules. Today, the facility is being used to process and assemble NASA’s Orion spacecraft, which the agency will use to send astronauts to an asteroid in the 2020s and Mars in the 2030s.
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