When a new RSVLTS product appears on our website, we internally refer to it as a product launch. However, that term has much more meaning for RSVLTS Insider John F., who works as a Communicator for the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) Visitor Complex in Cape Canaveral, FL. As a Communicator, John gives tours to VIPs and the general public, creates and performs educational programs, provides real-time commentary for rocket launches, and is considered a NASA historian and expert. This role includes public speaking at special NASA events.
John has worked at KSC for almost five years. In that time, the space program grew from a somewhat stale recovery period after the Space Shuttle Program retired to a lively and competitive atmosphere with the introduction and growth of the private space industry. He was present at the first Falcon Heavy launch, where he saw the largest crowds gather since the Space Shuttle days. At present, public interest and government support are the highest they have ever been for both NASA and private space companies. Outside of NASA working to be on the Moon by 2024, private companies like SpaceX, ULA, and Blue Origins are in the midst of a new generation space race, making this arguably the most exciting time ever to be involved in space.
As a public educator, John often jokes that his job "Is not rocket science." However, without John's efforts to communicate what the rocket scientists at NASA, SpaceX, JPL, Boeing, and others are doing, the public would have little knowledge nor widespread support for the incredible accomplishments that these organizations are working on. Personally, John doesn't think he deserves equal praise to someone sending a robot to another planet. Still, the teamwork and camaraderie, and down to earth attitudes at NASA and KSC help keep the work atmosphere fun and enjoyable.
Looking to the future, John is most excited to see what NASA is currently working on. Starting this year, we hope to launch our brand new Moon rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS). The SLS will be the most powerful rocket man has ever built and has twice the Falcon Heavy's thrust. The famous Apollo Saturn V could shake the windows in downtown Orlando 50 miles/80km away, and this rocket is even bigger. SLS will help bring NASA and other countries back to the Moon for the first time since 1972.
John is humbled by the incredible opportunity to work for such a fantastic organization. Space is an opportunity for knowledge, art, science, mathematics, and exploration to come together in a symphony of humankind's collective progress. Who knows what the future of space exploration holds, but one thing is sure, we'll be here right along with you to celebrate and "launch" apparel that is fitting for astronauts, communicators, and amateur space enthusiasts alike.