49ºF

NASA astronaut crew quarters get makeover at Kennedy Space Center

New carpeting, ceiling tiles, appliances and fresh paint improvements

The lounge area inside the astronaut crew quarters is where astronauts’ family members waited for their return upon landing during the Space Shuttle Program. The crew quarters, located on the third floor of Kennedy Space Center’s Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building, recently received a number of upgrades, including new paint, ceiling tiles, carpeting, appliances and furniture. (Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett)
The lounge area inside the astronaut crew quarters is where astronauts’ family members waited for their return upon landing during the Space Shuttle Program. The crew quarters, located on the third floor of Kennedy Space Center’s Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building, recently received a number of upgrades, including new paint, ceiling tiles, carpeting, appliances and furniture. (Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. – Astronaut digs at NASA's Kennedy Space Center are getting a face-lift ahead of the return to human spaceflight from Cape Canaveral again.

The upgrades come ahead of Friday's Commercial Crew announcement which NASA plans to reveal which of the four commercial crew astronauts will fly on-board Boeing or SpaceX's spacecraft to the International Space Station.

New pictures released Tuesday show the upgrades to the astronaut crew quarters at the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building at KSC.

Access to the 26,000 square-f00t area is restricted to the public, according to NASA. It features 23 bedrooms, each with a bathroom, and the iconic suit room where astronauts put on their pressure suits before boarding the spacecraft.

Shown here is the suit room, where astronauts are helped into their pressure suits before leaving the crew quarters for a mission. This room now features three suit containment rooms — one each for Orion, Boeing and SpaceX. (Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett)
Shown here is the suit room, where astronauts are helped into their pressure suits before leaving the crew quarters for a mission. This room now features three suit containment rooms — one each for Orion, Boeing and SpaceX. (Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett)


 
NASA officials said they've recently completed the upgrades which includes new carpets, ceiling tiles, fresh paint on the walls, new appliances and the audio/visual teleconference system in both conference rooms. The suit room, which was last used in July 2011, has also been reactivated and remodeled, according to NASA.
 
“A lot of the astronauts have been amazed at how nice and clean and fresh everything looks,” said Lauren Lunde, a NASA flight crew specialist, who manages the astronaut crew quarters at Kennedy.

The kitchen in the astronaut crew quarters, located in the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, is where the astronauts’ meals are prepared in the days leading up to a mission. Several improvements have been made to the crew quarters, including all new appliances in the kitchen. (Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett)
The kitchen in the astronaut crew quarters, located in the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, is where the astronauts’ meals are prepared in the days leading up to a mission. Several improvements have been made to the crew quarters, including all new appliances in the kitchen. (Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett)


 
The area has also been furnished with new recliners and tables. There's also three new suit containment rooms -- one each for Orion, Boeing and SpaceX.
 
NASA said the final touches are still being put on the renovations.
 
“It’s nice to make their stay here comfortable. That’s the important thing and that’s what we always strive to do,” Lunde said. “Little things mean a lot to them at that time.”
 
Friday's announcement will clarify who will fly on which spacecraft for the first human test flight and the first mission to the ISS.
 
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine will make the announcement at 11 a.m. at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. Johnson Space Center Director Mark Geyer and Kennedy Space Center Director Bob Cabana will join Bridenstine and representatives from Boeing and SpaceX to introduce the crews, according to the news release.

News 6 will be there for the announcement. Check ClickOrlando.com/space for updates.