Event Details
Payload Blog

Meet Astronaut Bob Cenker

Mar 26, 2022 - Mar 30, 2022 Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

NASA selects astronauts from a diverse pool of applicants with a wide variety of backgrounds, from scientists to pilots. From the thousands of applications received, only a few are chosen to be a member of the elite NASA Astronaut Corps. Each day at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, visitors get the rare opportunity to meet a veteran NASA astronaut. 

Meet the Astronaut of the Day at any of the following opportunities.  See the Daily Schedule for the times for each when you arrive. 

  • The daily Astronaut Encounter briefings allow time for a presentation from the astronaut and a question-and-answer session, so be prepared to ask him or her what you have always wanted to know.
  • Visitors can also get an astronaut’s autograph at The Space Shop and Shuttle Express at various times during the day.
  • During the all-new Chat With An Astronaut, enjoy a sampling of food and beverages while having a group conversation with the Astronaut of the Day about what it is really like to live and work in space. This new add-on enhancement requires daily admission.

Astronaut Bio:

NASA Astronaut Bob Cenker was born and raised near Uniontown, Pa. He graduated from Penn State University with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering, then later attended Rutgers and received another master’s degree in Electrical Engineering.

Cenker worked as an electrical and aerospace engineer at the RCA (General Electric Co.) Astro Space Division. Over a period of 18 years, he was involved with numerous space-related assignments, including spacecraft assembly, test and pre-launch operations. Cenker also worked extensively on navigation and communication satellites.

Cenker was chosen by RCA to be a payload specialist for the deployment of the RCA Satcom Ku-1 satellite. After he was approved by NASA, Cenker launched with the STS-61C mission aboard Columbia on January 12, 1986. This was the first flight made by Columbia in more than two years. During the six-day mission, Cenker performed physiological tests, operated an infrared imaging camera and observed the satellite’s deployment.

Since his time in space, Cenker has continued working as an engineering consultant for various firms handling spacecraft design, assembly and flight operations.

Astronaut Bob Cenker

Meet Astronaut Bob Cenker

MissionsSTS-61C Columbia