The National Space Society invites you to the next Space Forum

Thursday, May 9, 2024, 9:00 pm to 10:15 pm EDT

A Launch Director’s Perspective

Bob Sieck
Space Shuttle Launch Director (Ret)
NASA Kennedy Space Center

“Go for Launch.” When listening to the countdown for a rocket launch, those are the words we eagerly await as we brace for the mighty roar and blinding light of engine ignition. Spoken by the launch director, it is the final affirmation that the countdown is proceeding, and the rocket will soon depart Earth. But have you ever wondered about what goes on behind the scenes as the launch director, working with a team of skilled experts, makes that final decision?

Join us for a very special space forum to hear “The Launch Director’s Perspective” from retired Space Shuttle Launch Director Bob Sieck. During his illustrious career at NASA, Bob served as the launch director for more than 50 space shuttle missions. In his presentation, Bob will unravel the essence of what it takes to become a launch director. He will discuss the rigorous training, the years of experience, and the unwavering commitment to safety that define the role.

While the Space Coast has witnessed an increase in the number of overall rocket launches in the past few years, still rare are the launches that carry precious human cargo. As Bob will illustrate, launching rockets destined to carry human lives amplifies the stakes to an entirely new level, requiring additional measures to ensure the safety and well-being of astronauts embarking on the ultimate journey.

Drawing from his own experiences, Bob will vividly describe the intricate dance between technology, teamwork, and tenacity that underpins every human spaceflight mission. He will share anecdotes of tense countdowns, last-minute adjustments, and the collective exhilaration that accompanies each successful liftoff. Yet, woven into his narrative is a sobering reminder of the inherent risks of space exploration.

We all hold admiration for the men and women who dedicate their lives to the pursuit of space exploration. Bob’s presentation will leave us with a positive view of the spirit that drives this quest to explore the cosmos and the efforts of these talented and dedicated individuals who make it possible. Don’t miss this exciting space forum and register today!

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Bob Sieck graduated from the University of Virginia with an Electrical Engineering degree in 1960. He served three years in the U.S. Air Force, attaining the rank of first lieutenant. While in the Air Force, he worked as a meteorologist and was involved in the activation of the LGM-25C Titan II weapon system. After leaving the Air Force, Bob joined NASA at KSC in 1964 as a spacecraft systems engineer for the Gemini and Apollo programs. After Apollo he was transferred to the Space Shuttle program where he was Launch Director for 52 space shuttle missions before retiring in 1999 as KSC Director of Shuttle Processing. After retirement he has served on many NASA review boards and is currently a member of the NASA Advisory Council and the SpaceX Safety Panel.

He has been a board member, advisor ,trustee, and volunteer in many nonprofit organizations, including Habitat for Humanity, the Astronauts Memorial Foundation, the National Space Club, the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation, the NASA Alumni League, and the American Space Museum. Bob enjoys his children and five grandchildren who all live in his local area. Along with volunteer work, he enjoys SCUBA diving, sports cars, and ballroom dancing.

Register today to reserve your seat and ask your questions. Use the link below.

Register no later than May 9 at 8 pm EST

Past NSS Space Forums and Town Halls may be viewed here.

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