Kyle Mallory was on the runway when the space shuttle Atlantis landed at Kennedy Space Center for the last time, ending human spaceflight from the United States with a screech of its wheels in the early hours of July 21, 2011.
Just this week, nine years later, Mallory was there again as America prepares its return. He watched as crews loaded SpaceX’s Crew Dragon with propellant, readying the egg-like capsule to birth a commercially dominated epoch of human spaceflight. Mallory and his team, who work on life support during missions, were there to supply the suits that technicians wear — SCAPE suits, not space suits — when handling the highly combustible fuel that was loaded onto Dragon. Read more here.