Spaceport magazine


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Spaceport magazine
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Hi, Im Bob Cabana, director of NASAs Kennedy Space Center in Florida -Americas gateway to space. Weve been launching American craft into space for more than 50 years. Im glad youre here to help us launch Spaceport Magazine Whether were launching rockets or testing new technologies, discovery and educate America on all things space and aeronautics. Spaceport Magazine is your looking glass into life here at Kennedy. As Americas space program continues to explore and inspire, I hope you will stop by every month to see how things on the Space Coast are going. -Keep char ging, Bob On the cover . .NASAs Project Morpheus prototype lander ignites its engine during a tethered test near the Shuttle Landing Facility. The test was performed to verify the landers recently installed autonomous landing and hazard avoidance technology, or ALHAT, sensors and integration systems. With the successful completion of the test, the Morpheus project team will begin preparing for the rst free ight test with ALHAT. Morpheus tests NASAs ALHAT, and an engine that runs on liquid oxygen and methane, or green propellants, into a fully-operational lander that could deliver cargo to other planetary sur faces. Project Morpheus is being managed under the Advanced Exploration Systems, or AES, Division in NASAs Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate. For more information on Project Morpheus, visit Photo credit: NASA/Glenn Benson April Mission: SpaceX-3 Commercial Resupply Services ight Launch Vehicle: Falcon 9 Launch Site: Space Launch Complex 40, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. Description: SpaceX-3 will be the third commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station by Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX). April 9 Mission: Progress 55 Launch Vehicle: Russian Soyuz Launch Site: Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan Description: Progress 55 will deliver cargo and crew supplies to the International Space Station. May 6 Mission: Orbital 2 Commercial Resupply Services ight Launch Vehicle: Antares Launch Site: Wallops Flight Facility Launch Pad: Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Pad-0A Description: Orbital 2 will deliver cargo and crew supplies to the ISS. May 28 Mission: Expedition 40 Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 39 Launch Site: Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan Description: Soyuz 39 will carry Russian cosmonaut Maxim Suraev, Expedition 40 ight engineer and Expedition 41 commander, along with NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman and European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst, both Expedition 40/41 ight engineers, to the ISS. NASAS LAUNCH SCHEDULE FROM THE CENTER DIRECTOR THE SPACEPORT MAGAZINE TEAM Anna Heiney Linda Herridge Rebecca Regan Frank Ochoa-GonzalesWriters GroupEditor . . . . . Frank Ochoa-Gonzales Assistant editor . . . . . Linda Herridge Managing editor . . . . . Chris HummelEditorialCopy editor . . . . . . . . Kay GrinterBob Granath Kay Grinter Steven Siceloff6 11 18 24 36 42 2013 ASTRONAUT CANDIDATESEight highly skilled military aviators and researchers visit NASAs Kennedy Space Center, where Americas efforts to explore space began.SCIENTIST OF THE YEAREcological Program manager and scientist Carlton Hall protects Kennedys land resources for future generations.AMONG NASAS FINESTBorn in Kuwait, avionics and ight controls engineer Hibah Rahmani shares her passion for science, space and astronomy.PROTECTING FLORIDA SCRUB JAYSYou wont nd this bird anywhere else in the world, and Kennedy is supporting adaptive resource management science to help save the species.COLORADO KIDSix-year-old Connor Johnsons online petition to save NASA and the space program lands him at Americas spaceport as a guest of honor.SUPER CAR: HENNESSEY AT KENNEDYAfter signing a Space Act Agreement, the Hennessey Venom GT team breaks the record for fastest production car at the Shuttle Landing Facility. Join our Facebook community and take part in the discussion, or check out Flickr to keep photos from this issue.


Outredgeous Veggies in spaceA Space Station inside the Dragon capsule on the upcoming SpaceX-3 resupply mission may help expand in-orbit food production capabilities, offering astronauts something they dont take for granted, fresh food. NASAs Veg-01 experiment will be used to study the in-orbit function and performance of a new expandable plant growth facility called Veggie and its plant pillows. e investigation will focus on the growth and development of Outredgeous lettuce seedlings in the spaceight environment. Veggie will provide a new resource for U.S. astronauts and researchers as we begin to develop the capabilities of growing fresh produce and other large plants on the space station, said Gioia Massa, NASA payload scientist for Veggie. Determining food safety is one of our primary goals for this validation test. Veggie is a low-cost plant growth chamber that uses a at-panel light bank that includes red, blue and green LEDs for plant growth and crew observation. Veggies unique design is collapsible for transport and storage and expandable up to a foot and a half as plants grow inside it. e internal growing area is 11.5 inches wide by 14.5 inches deep, making it the largest plant growth chamber for space to date, Massa said. Orbital Sciences Corp. (ORBITEC) in Madison, Wis., developed Veggie through a Small Business Innovative Research Program. Gioia Massa showcases how Veggie will provide fresh vegetables for astronauts aboard the International Space Station. Photo by Gioia Massa3By Linda Herridge


NASA and ORBITEC engineers and collaborators at NASAs Kennedy Space Center in Florida worked to get the units hardware ightcertied for use on the space station. Because real estate on the station is limited, some adjustments to the growth chamber were made to accommodate space requirements. At Kennedys Space Life Sciences Laboratory, a crop of lettuce and radishes was grown in the prototype test unit. Seedlings were placed in the Veggie root-mat pillows, and their growth was monitored for health, size, amount of water used, and the microorganisms that grew on them. I am thrilled to be a member of the Veggie and Veg-01 team and proud of all the work we have done to prepare for ight, Massa said. Our team is very excited to see the hardware in use on the space station. As NASA moves toward longduration exploration missions, Massa hopes that Veggie will be a resource for crew food growth and consumption. It also could be used by astronauts for recreational gardening activities during longduration space missions. e system may have implications for improving growth and biomass production on Earth, thus beneting the average citizen. For the future, Massa said she is looking forward to seeing all sorts of neat payloads in the Veggie unit and expanding its capability as NASA learns more about the food safety of crops grown in microgravity. Veggie will provide a new resource for U.S. astronauts and researchers as we begin to develop the capabilities of growing fresh produce and other large plants on the space station.Gioia Massa,en NASA payload scientist for VeggieOutredgeous red romaine lettuce plants grow inside in a prototype Veggie ight pillow. Photo credit: NASA/Gioia Massa5 4


In June 2013, NASA announced its 21st class of astronauts, eight highly skilled military aviators and researchers who will be a part of the agencys missions beyond low-Earth orbit to destinations in the solar system. Their early training brought them to NASAs Kennedy Space Center in Florida where Americas efforts to explore space began. NASA astronaut candidates share a moment inside the cab of the crawler. Photo by NASA/Kim Shiett ASTRONAUT CANDIDATES J osh Cassada, Victor Glover, Tyler Nick Hague, Christina Hammock, Nicole Aunapu Mann, Anne McClain, Jessica Meir and Andrew Morgan began their adventure in August 2013 when they reported to the agencys Johnson Space Center in Houston to start training, a pro cess that usually takes about two years. In announcing the latest group of astronauts, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden stated that they will be developing missions to go farther into space than ever before. Theyre excited about the science were do ing on the International Space Station and our plan to launch from U.S. soil on spacecraft built by American companies, said Bolden, who asteroid and then on to Mars. The astronaut candidates visit to the Florida director, Bob Cabana, who also was a member of four shuttle crews. He briefed the group on the ongoing efforts to transform the center into a 21st century spaceport. These new astronauts are an impressive group of individuals, he said. It takes me much to learn. In Kennedys Operations and Checkout Building, the candidates were briefed on prepa rations for the launch of the Orion spacecraft on Exploration Flight Test-1. Plans call for the Lockheed Martin-built Orion to launch atop a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station later this year. Inside the space centers Vehicle Assembly Building, Mary Hanna, crawler-transporter (CT) integration manager, discussed recent work to upgrade components on the behemoth the crawler to carry the greater loads anticipat ed with the agencys new Space Launch Sys tem rocket designed to take astronauts beyond 1970s.By Bob GranathNASA astronaut candidates visit Launch Complex 5 where Mercury astronaut Alan Shepard lifted off on May 5, 1961, to become Americas rst man in space. Photo by NASA/Kim Shiett7 6


Josh Cassada, Ph. D., is a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy. He is originally from White Bear Lake, Minn. Cassada is a naval aviator who holds an undergraduate degree from Albion College and advanced degrees from the University of Rochester in New York. He is a physicist by training and previously served as co-founder and chief Opus.Josh CassadaVictor Glover is a lieutenant commander in the Navy. He hails from Pomona, Calif., and Prosper, Texas. Glover is an F/A-18 pilot and graduated from the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School. He holds degrees from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, the Air University and the Naval Postgraduate School. At the time of his selection by NASA, he was serving as a Navy Legislative Fellow in the U.S. Congress.Victor GloverTyler Nick Hague is a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force. He calls Hoxie, Kan., home and is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards, Calif. Hague was supporting the Department of Defense as deputy chief of the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization when selected to be an astronaut.Tyler Nick HagueChristina Hammock, calls Jacksonville, N.C., home. She holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from North Carolina State University in Raleigh. Hammock was serving as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) station chief in American Samoa when selected.Christina HammockNicole Aunapu Mann is a major in the U.S. Marine Corps. Originally from Penngrove, Calif., she is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Stanford University and the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School at Patuxent River, Md. Mann was an F/A-18 pilot, serving as an Integrated Product Team lead at the U.S. Naval Air Station, Patuxent River, when selected to be an astronaut.Nicole Aunapu MannAnne McClain is a major in the U.S. Army and lists her hometown as Spokane, Wash. She is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., as well as the University of Bath and the University of Bristol, both in the United Kingdom. McClain is an OH-58 helicopter pilot and a recent graduate of the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School at Naval Air Station, Patuxent River.Anne McClainJessica Meir, Ph.D., is from Caribou, Maine. She is a graduate of Brown University, has an advanced degree from the International Space University and earned her doctorate from Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, Calif. Meir was an assistant professor of anesthesia at Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, when selected.Jessica MeirAndrew Morgan, M.D., is a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army and considers New Castle, Pa., home. Morgan is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and earned a doctorate in medicine from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Md. He has experience as an emergency Army special operations community and was completing a sports medicine fellowship when selected by NASA to be an astronaut.Andrew Morgan 9 8 Tyler Nick Hague inspects at the Orion heat shield inside of the Operations and Checkout Building at Kennedy Space Center. in Florida. Photo by NASA/Kim Shiett NASA astronaut candidates observe the Apollo 14 command module inside the Apollo Saturn V Center at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Photo by NASA/Kim Shiett


Technicians prepare the Project Morpheus prototype lander for its seventh free ight test March 11. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiett 10 Morpheus testing


11 KSC SCIENTIST OF THE YEARCARLTON HALLEcologist Carlton Hall is on a different kind of mission at Kennedy Space Cen ter -one to take care of and protect the centers land and resources for current and future generations. To recognize his efforts in climate change research related to Kennedys future launch capabilities, Hall, with InoMedic Health Applications Inc., received the KSC Scientist of the Year Award during the 2014 NASA Kennedy Space Center Honor Awards ceremony. I was shocked and speechless, Hall said. Everything we do here is a team effort. Hall has worked at Kennedy for 31 years. He is the Ecological Program manager and a scientist under the Medical and Environmental Support Contract. He also was one of the founding scientists on the space shuttle and center operations ecological monitoring and research project in the early 1980s. At that time, extensive testing was conducted to assess and document environmental impacts of space shuttle launches, and the results were summarized in a recently-pub lished NASA technical publication, Ecological Impacts of the Space Shuttle Program at John F. Kennedy Space Center.By Linda HerridgePhoto by Dan Casper


12 13Hall and his team work closely with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge recently was selected by the U.S. Department of the Interior as one of three test sites nationwide to conduct research on how to enhance scrub jay habitats. Florida scrub jays have been on the threatened species list since 1987. Carlton always strives to put Kennedy at the showcase what an incredible place the center is, said John Shaffer, environmental planning lead in the Center Operations Directorate. He and his group of scientists and researchers have showcased Kennedys unique environment and ensured NASA continues to succeed with its mission. progress in determining how controlled burns are conducted for land management, proposing smaller patches of burns rather than burning huge swathes at the same time. They also work closely with the U.S. Air Force, the National Park Service and university partners to collect information and develop knowledge for environmental compliance and natural resource management needs in east central Florida. Our goal is to ensure that NASA operates the center in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way, Hall said. We are situated in an ideal place to study climate change. KSC is in the transition region between the subtropical and temperate cli matic zones. As temperatures rise, we expect to see a shift in the species of plants and animals present in our ecosystem. Hall and his group are working on a Climate Adaptation Science Investigators program to assess We are situated in an ideal place to study climate change. Kennedy is in the transition region between the subtropical and temperate climatic zones. As temperatures rise, we expect to see a shift in the species of plants and animals present in our ecosystem.Carlton Hall,en 2014 KSC Scientist of the YearPhoto by Dan Casper


the risks associated with multiple climate change scenarios at Kennedy. Areas of concern include infrastructure, workforce health and safety, critical assets and natural resources. The investigation looks at how climate change and sea-level rise could affect the centers current facilities, assets and workforce, and what it could mean for the construction of new facilities in the future. Long-term tide gauge, weather station and satellite data indicate temperatures and sea level have been rising for the last century, and the rates appear to be accelerating. that could change, and its important to identify Kennedy roads or facilities that Another concern with rise of water level is underground contaminants from past activities. Hall said a rising water table has the potential to carry unde sirable chemicals to the surface, possibly impacting human and ecosystem health. There is still so much to learn about how our ecosystem responds dy represents a unique and amazing outdoor living laboratory where this type of research can be conducted, Hall said. Hall analyzed sea-level rise projections in various areas around the center and compared them to projected facility life cycles. The data he and his group produced recently was incorporated into the Kennedy Master Plan and the KSC Future Development Concept document. Hall said beach erosion already is a real problem along Kennedys coastline. A sand dune restoration project currently is in progress along a mile of the Atlantic Ocean shoreline between Launch Pads 39A and 39B in an attempt to protect those facilities from storm surges and rising tides. Construction workers removed a section of the railroad west of the dunes, along with the gravel beneath, to recycle the materi als and ensure sea turtles can continue to nest successfully in the area after the dune is restored. Hall has a bachelors and masters of science degree from Texas A&M University in Col lege Station, and holds a doctorate in environmental science from the College of Engineering at Florida Tech in Melbourne. An aerial view of the Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge and its surrounding areas.14


15 a look EFT-1 updateKennedy Space Center Director Bob Cabana updates members of the media about preparations for the Orion Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1) inside the Horizontal Integration Facility at Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on March 17. The event was held to showcase two of the three ULA Delta IV boosters for the Orion EFT-1, mission. EFT-1, is scheduled to launch in 2014 atop a Delta IV rocket and in 2017 on NASAs Space Launch System rocket.-By Linda Herridge Full story: by Kim Shiett


A IRCRAFT R ESCUE & F IRE F IGHTINGSpecial Rescue Operations reghters participate in a training exercise at the Shuttle Landing Facility on March 6. Photo by NASA/Kim Shiett17 16


Hibah Rahmani likes to encourage young people, especially girls, to stay focused and dream big. Thats the philos ophy she has followed since growing up in Kuwait and looking up at the night sky in awe of the moon and stars. Today, Rahmani in NASAs Engineering and Technology Directorate, helping launch rockets from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Rahmani was born in Pakistan, but she and her family moved to Kuwait when she was just a month old. My fondest memory growing up is tak ing walks with my family at night, either in the desert or on the sidewalk by the Ara bian (Persian) Gulf, looking up at the sky to admire the moon and stars, and thinking about astronauts such as Neil Armstrong who have stepped on the moon, she said. It was around this time I developed a pas sion for science, space and astronomy. That peaceful childhood was interrupt ed when Iraqi troops invaded Kuwait in August 1990. While the attack was met with international condemnation, refugees her mother and sister were among them, taking a bus and eventually reaching an area known as no mans land near the Iraqi-Jordanian border. We arrived late at night, she said. We could not get a tent since all of them were taken by other refugees. Even though this was a tough time for us, one of the things I remember from that night was having a nice view of the sky with the golden moon and stars, while trying to sleep on the cold desert sand. It reminded me of my goals and dreams. After staying in Jordan for a few days, Rahmani, along with her mother and sister, traveled to Pakistan. Rahmanis father was in the United States at the time of the with his family. By Bob GranathHibah Rahmani is an avionics and ight controls engineer in NASAs Engineering and Technology Directorate. She supports Kennedys Launch Services Program, working expendable launch vehicles. Photo by NASA/Dan Casper19 18


The U.S.-led coalition was successful in expelling the Iraqi forces from Kuwait signed on Feb. 28, 1991. Rahmani and her family moved back to Kuwait the following year and her aspira tions continued as she decided to become an engineer. My parents always emphasized the value of a good education and hard work, Rahmani said. Math and science were my favorite subjects in school. Math was also my dads favorite subject and he used to tell me that I should try to get 100 percent marks on my math tests. After completing high school in Ku wait, Rahmani moved to the United States in 1997 to pursue a bachelors degree in computer engineering at the University of Central Florida (UCF). exam, she said. I went to the library and spent hours and hours there, reading phys ics books and practicing problems. When that I needed to get exactly a 100 on the exam to get an A in the class. I could not believe that I received a 105 on the exam. I even got the bonus question right. This experience reemphasized to me that anything is possible with consistent hard work and dedica tion, and to never give up on your goals and dreams, she said. After graduating from UCF in 2000, Rahmani went to work for Boeing at Kennedy as a systems engineer working on processing the International Space Station (ISS). I was involved with integrated testing of the ISS components and sometimes astronauts would stop by to either view or participate in the testing, she said. It is during this time that I developed a strong desire to become an astronaut and started taking steps toward that goal. This new ambition led to a new objective -while still working full-time. I knew that in order to become an astronaut I had to pursue an advanced degree, she said, so between 2002 and 2005, I obtained a masters degree in electrical and computer engineering from Georgia Tech. In 2008, Rahmani accepted her cur rent position with NASA at Kennedy in the Engineering and Technology Direc torate. I support NASAs Launch Services Program, working on expendable launch vehicles such as the Pegasus XL and Falcon 9, she said. I provide technical expertise, follow launch vehicle testing, perform data reviews and provide technical assess ments of engineering issues. Pegasus is Orbital Science Corp.s rocket dropped from beneath an L-1011 aircraft for launching payloads such as NASAs Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) solar observatory. Falcon 9 is the SpaceX launch vehi cle used to boost the Dragon spacecraft for space station resupply missions and has also been selected to launch the Jason-3 spacecraft. The happiest and most exciting moment of my job is to watch a rocket take off from the launch pad and go into space, she said. Passion for her work is evident when Rahmani volunteers for outreach activ ities to inspire others. I have the privilege of working with an amazing team, while doing what I love, she said. I speak to students at local schools about my career and have volunteered as a science fair judge. For Rahmani, her key to success is setting high goals and putting in the effort to get there. The experiences of my life have taught me to always dream big and to never give up, she said, because you can achieve whatever you want if you work hard. During expendable rocket countdowns, Hibah Rahmani monitors launch vehicle avionics telemetry from a console in the Telemetry Laboratory in Hangar AE at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station., Fla. Photo by NASA/ Dan CasperHibah Rahmani likes to encourage young people, especially girls, to stay focused and dream big.Hibah Rahmani, at about four years of age, plays in the sand in Kuwait along the Arabian (Persian) Gulf. She said that some of her fondest memories growing up were taking walks with her family either in the desert or on the sidewalk by the gulf. Photo by family of Hibah Rahmani My parents always emphasized the value of a good education and hard work, Hibah Rahmani said. At age ve, she studies in her home in Kuwait. She developed a passion for science, space and astronomy at about that time. Photo by family of Hibah Rahmani21 20


Workers take part in the 2014 Kennedy Space Center Walk/Run on March 18 at the Shuttle Landing Facility in Florida. Photo by NASA/Dimitri Gerondidakis23 22Walk and Run


Florida Scrub Jay I you probably wont see them right away. But theyll see you. As you move among the saw move to see if youre a threat. jays natural curiosity to kick in -and one or more of the blue-and-gray birds might come a little closer to get a good look at you. InoMedic Health Applications (IHA) at NASAs three remaining large scrub jay populations. The Florida scrub jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens) one anywhere else in the world. Its similar to the back of the scrub jays head. But there is one social/behavioral characteristic that sets this bird apart from most other birds -including its distant The big difference is that they have a cooperative defend their territory and feed future generations of young. Theyre in evolutionary and ecology textbooks around the world because the cooperative scrub jays for 30 years. He and colleagues and to help with the decision-making process in endangered species habitat management.By Anna HeineyFound only in the Sunshine State, the intelligent, social Florida scrub jay serves as an environmental indicator of the health of the states scrub habitats. Ecologists at Kennedy Space Center are supporting adaptive resource management science to help save the species. Because of high winds, this Florida scrub jay appears as if it has a crest on top of its head. The scrub jay actually lacks the crest and is the only species of bird endemic to Florida. Photo by NASA/Dan Casper25 24


Florida scrub jay populations across the state have generally been declining by 25 to 65 percent per decade. Florida scrub jays live in families numbering between two and eight birds. They eat small vertebrates and insects during most of the year. In the fall, each jay will cache 6,000-8,000 acorns in open, sandy areas, and the family will rely on this private stash when tempera tures drop in the winter. A breeding pair mates for life and makes a home in a territory typically encompassing about 25 acres of land. One bird will serve as a sentinel, keeping an eye on the familys territory to defend it against intruding scrub jays or, more importantly, predators. If a threat is de tected, the lookout bird makes a telltale ground predator call and territorial boundary lines are temporarily aban doned as all the able-bodied jays in the area converge on the intruder, mobbing it until it leaves. The landscapes full of early warning systems, Breininger explained. If a predators coming through that landscape, and the scrub is nice and open so the jays can see well, you can hear them calling to each other. They know whats happening. Many of the scrub jays predators are The Florida scrub jay was added to the endangered ing its not yet at the brink of extinction, but likely will be in the near future. Preserving, restoring and maintain ing the birds remaining habitat is the key to saving the species. The 140,000-acre Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge overlays the space center on central Floridas east coast. Roughly 300 Florida scrub jays call the refuge their home. But the birds statewide population continues to decline, due not only to habitat loss, but also to the overgrowth and unsuitability of the habitat that remains. This is a bird that is very intelligent, very social, and tends to be very curious about humans.David Breininger,en wildlife ecologist with InoMedic Health Applications at NASAs Kennedy Space Center in FloridaPhoto by Dan Casper27 26


natural: the Coopers hawk that stealthily glides into the scrub undetected or the snakes that prey on jays nests, devouring the unhatched eggs and nestlings. The jays have to defend against these threats every day. But the loss of their habitat and the degradation of whats left are wider-scope, systemic problems. When scrub land becomes unsuitable, the impact shows in declining recruitment, the number of young whove survived to become adults. Their mortality rates exceed their recruitment rates, and so populations just gradually wink out, Breininger said. Were working on developing strategies to bring back the habitat to where recruitment exceeds mortality rate, so populations can grow. Scrub refers to ancient beach dunes, a result of woods. Scrub jays need medium-height oaks inter spersed with sandy expanses where they can forage, cache their acorns and see predators. These areas have been prime sites for development, and over time, the birds natural habitat has been fragmented and built upon. What remains is often thick and overgrown due to that once occurred regularly across Florida now are put out quickly, before they can spread. The result: thick only can jays not survive in such areas, once the area contain. Today, Breininger and many others are working to better understand how to restore these remaining habi tats using controlled burns or strategic cutting of over growth. We recently had all the land managers from east central Florida who have scrub jays come join us for an approach called adaptive resource management, which is a direct integration of science and land management, he said. This collaborative method brings together scientists, land managers and other stakeholders to agree on an ob jective and choose the best action to take. But it doesnt stop there. You look at the habitat and at the state of the scrub jays, and you make a decision, based on a set of models using past data, about what would be the best manage ment action. Then you perform that action -it may be no action, burn, cut and burn -and you measure the response. You then use the response to update your models, Breininger explained. This repetitive, ongoing process widens the knowl edge base, improves models, reduces uncertainty and Scrub jays are a management indicator species for a whole group of animals and plants that are not adapted to this overgrown, dense, scrubby-type environment, Breininger said. Usually if you restore habitat to whats good for scrub jays, you restore an entire ecosystem. The Florida scrub jay has been a Sunshine State resident for at least 2 million years. With the help of ecologists at Kennedy and across the state, these smart, inquisitive birds will thrive once again. Photo by Dan Casper 28


Bearing the heat A ground support technician applies heat to a casing of crawler-transporter 2 (CT-2) inside the Vehicle Assembly Building on March 11. Photo by NASA/Kim Shiett29


MMaria Collura may not have been Who MARIA: -MARIA COLLURA///////////////////////////////////////Fathers footsteps inspire effort to lead Americas path back to spaceIt takes a lot for a team of 20 plus people, all from different disciplines, to come together and agree on something as important as the next commercial vehicle for American human spaceight.Maria Collura, Certication Manager, Commercial Crew Program ON THE RECORD{Interview by Rebecca Regan }C ommercial C rew P rogram MARIA: MARIA: MARIA: MARIA: Photo by Ben Smegelsky31 30


SpM: What will it feel like when a CCtCap announce ment is made later this year? MARIA: (Deep breath) Oh my God . I cant even tell you. It will be exciting! I will feel very privileged to have been a part of the leadership of this procurement and making it possible. To know that we accomplished this big thing not many people thought was possible, Ill probably be speechless. Awarding this contract will ultimately be the best scenario for NASA and the country -having the capability to meet our International Space Station crew rota tion needs right here from the U.S. in my back yard again. And then Ill be anxious to watch the continued development. Flight tests will be even more amazing because then were actually light iousness and enormous responsibility all mixed together. Of course, theres risk involved in human weve got enough oversight and insight and the right level of safety involvement. SpM: watch? MARIA: No matter what is launching, even satellite or payload missions today, I hold my breath every time they go up. Its just one of those things that carried over from when I was a kid watching launches from the river in Titusville. I always held my breath then. In a few years when a crew climbs aboard and were launching from U.S. soil, ultimately our goal will be achieved -well have work brought back to the area and well be prospering together as a nation. The best part is that will make history. It will be like reading a really good book and youre ready for the next chapter -theyll just keep coming! SpM: What qualities does a good leader possess? MARIA: I am 100 percent convinced that everyone needs to respect one another in order to have a success ful team. Respect and integrity go hand-andhand in my mind. And those two things can get you through anything. For the CCtCap Source Evaluation Board, we have to come to a con sensus on the proposals were evaluating. And weve developed this ca maraderie because in the end when were reporting up to the selecting to say Yes, and I stand behind that.It takes a lot for a team of 20 plus people, all from different disciplines, to come to gether and agree on something as important as the next SpM: What advice would you give to young women? MARIA: Explore and understand what makes sense for you before you make a career choice. Always trust know that you are going to make mistakes. And its OK as long as you learn from them. I had a boss once that told me, Look, if you never make a mis take then youre not working. You havent tried hard enough to push the boundaries. Always try to challenge yourself and others. Maria Collura and her father share a moment in an airplane her brother piloted while in the U.S. Air Force. Photo provided by Maria Collura 32


This graphic depicts the goal of NASAs Commercial Crew Program (CCP) heading into the Commercial Crew Transportation Capability contract known as CCtCap. This phase of the CCP will enable NASA to ensure a companys crew transportation system is safe, reliable and cost-effective. The certication process will assess progress throughout the production and testing of one or more integrated space transportation systems, which include rockets, spacecraft, missions and ground operations. Requirements under CCtCap also will include at least one crewed ight test to the space station before certication can be granted. Read more at: Image by NASA/Greg Lee33


a look robot rocket rallyA miniature humanoid robot known as DARwin-OP, from Virginia Tech Robotics, plays soccer with a red tennis ball at the Robot Rocket Rally. Robots developed by NASA, universities, high schools and private industry showed off their skills with demonstrations and hands-on exhibits during the three-day event, which was designed to raise public awareness and encourage students to consider pursuing careers in the STEM elds of science, technology, engineering and math. -By Anna Heiney Full story: 34




W hile most 6-year-olds are eager to get an autograph of their favorite pro athlete or theme-park character, Con nor Johnson was seeking signatures for an online petition to save NASAs funding from budget cuts. When Connor learned of potential budget cuts last year that threatened his dream of working for NASA, he decided to do something about it. First, Connor wanted to donate his piggy bank, all $10.41. But after talking it over with family, Connor decided to start a petition on the White House website. And its that forward thinking that has allowed Connor and his family from Denver, Colo., to be invited as guests of the Kennedy Space Center Vis itor Complex in Florida. As a guest of honor March 15, Connor met Kennedy Director Bob Cabana, who gave him a mission patch and a bolt from the Inter national Space Station as a token of appreciation from the agency. I think its great for Connor to be so interested in the future of NASA, Kennedy Center Director Bob Cabana said. It shows great initiative on his part to do what hes done. NASA has inspired generations of children such as Connor, who says he has wanted to be an astronaut since he was three. Using social media and emails, Connors friends and family got the ball rolling. A news broadcast from a Denver TV station helped boost his tally. Connor obtained more than 22,000 signatures, but needed 100,000 to get recognition from the White House. Hes not giving up on his dream to become an astronaut and discover new worlds and asteroids. I really want our country to still be the leader in space, Connor said. I hope someday I can be an astronaut who goes to Mars. And at six, Connor is about the right age to be one of the astronauts to go to Mars in the 2030s. During his visit to the Space Coast, Connor and his family enjoyed Lunch With An Astronaut, featuring space shuttle as tronaut Sam Durrance, and encountered the Astronaut Training Experience, with space shuttle astronaut Mike McCulley. lend Connor an ear. Connor shared a recent conversation he had with former NASA astronaut Gene Cernan, the last man to step on the moon. Connor said Cernan told him, Dream the unimag inable. While at Kennedy, Connor also experienced a space shuttle mission simulation, performed hands-on space exploration activities, and learned about current astronauts and their training programs. The Johnsons also took part in the Robot Rocket Rally, a three-day fes tival celebrating the latest in robotic technology from NASA, industry leaders and universities, where Connor had the opportunity to operate a real robot. Connor and his family also toured the new Space Shuttle At lantis exhibit and got an up-close look at the Orion capsule mock-up, Americas new spacecraft for human exploration. Connor said he thinks he can accom plish his mission because NASA has taught him that any goal can be reached if one takes smalls steps. Connor proudly gave Cabana $9 to help fund NASA. Every penny helps, a delighted Cabana said. Ultimately, the budget supports what we want to do with con tinuing International Space Station re search and technology which will feed into SLS and Orion, leading to the asteroid initiative and on to Mars, Cabana said. And it will dictate how we work with commercial partners to launch our astronauts from U.S. soil. I consider this a down payment to make it happen. When asked why he wants to be an astronaut, Connor replied, I want to keep my dreams alive not just for me, but for anyone who wants to be an astronaut. Im going to need a crew you know, further right stuff. THE RIGHT STUFFBy Frank Ochoa-Gonzales NASA Kennedy Space Center Director and former astronaut Robert Cabana, left, presents a space-program memento to six-year-old Connor Johnson on March 15 in the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complexs Rocket Garden to inspire the youngster to continue the dream he has had since the age of three of becoming an astronaut. Photo by NASA/Dan Casper37FUTURE ASTRONAUT 36


38 Two manatees swim in the water near the NASA Causeway bridge March 11. Photo by NASA/Ben SmegelskyWarmer waters


TAKE A LOOK BACKThe First Spaceport NewsSpaceport Magazine brings a new look of the happenings at NASAs Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Spaceport News, which has been published since Dec. 13, 1962, is now retired. . 39 To view the Spaceport News archive, click here or go to


Paul C. Donnelly, a former NASA manager from Project Mercury through the Space Shuttle Program, died March 12, 2014. He was 90. A resident of Indian Harbor Beach, Fla., Donnelly worked in increasingly responsible roles for the space agency from 1958 through 1978. He was then employed by United Space Boosters Inc., or USBI, until his retirement in 1989. Paul Donnelly was a true pioneer of Americas space program, said Kennedy Space Center Director Bob Cabana. In the early days everything was new. All the procedures and processes had to be invented from the ground up. From Project Mercury all the way through the Space Shuttle Program, he helped lay the ground work for where we are today. Donnelly was born March 28, 1923, in Altoona, Penn. He was studying for a business degree at Pennsylvania State University when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Like many Americans he joined the war effort, enlisting in the Navy in 1942. During his time in the Navy, Donnelly married Margaret Mary Boyle, a registered nurse, in 1944. After attending the Navys elec tronics and guided missile technical schools, he helped develop the U.S. smart bomb initially used in 1945. Following World War II, Donnelly became a Navy civil service employ ee assigned to aircraft and ordnance testing at the Naval Air Ordnance Test Station at Chincoteague Island, Va. and the Naval Air Station Patux ent River, Md. While assigned to the National Bureau of Standards National Hydraulic Laboratory in Washington, D.C., Donnelly worked for Hugh Dryden, who became NASAs space agency was formed in 1958. Dryden recommended him to Robert Gilruth who had been appointed to lead NASAs Space Task Group at the Langley Research Center in Virginia. They sent me directly down (to Cape Canaveral) to help set up op erations, Donnelly said during an interview for an oral history project in August 2003. He served as a spacecraft test conductor for all Project Mercury launches, the program that placed 1961 and 1963. I was the only spacecraft test con Glenn, (Scott) Carpenter, (Walter) Schirra and (Gordon) Cooper. Astronauts Shepard and Grissom Glenn, Carpenter, Schirra and Cooper piloted orbital missions in 1962 and 1963. Following the completion of the Mercury program, Donnelly was named chief test conductor for the Manned Spacecraft Centers Florida Operations during the Gemini 10 piloted missions in 1965 and 1966. He was named launch operations manager for the Kennedy Space Center during Apollo, responsible for prelaunch processing of the spacecraft and launch vehicle, a role Apollo-Soyuz Test Project in 1975. moon during the early months of The thing that I always remember in the total (lunar landing) program, was Apollo 9, 10 and 11 that were launched 60 days apart, Donnelly said. (For) the rest of the world, Apollo 11 was important. But for people like me, 9, 10 and 11 were (all) important. of the Apollo lunar module in Earth orbit with the command and service modules. Apollo 10 Project Mercury manager was space program pioneer between March and July 1969. nauts linked up with two Soviet cosmonauts aboard a Soyuz spacecraft in 1975. In 1977, he led the NASA team conducting approach and landing tests of the prototype space shuttle Enterprise at the Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base in California. I took the group out to Edwards Dryden Space Center, Donnelly said, and did the drop tests of the Enterprise. That was my last (NASA) project. Donnelly retired from the space agency as director of Space Transportation System (space shuttle) Process ing at Kennedy in 1978. Soon after, he was named vice president of Florida Field Operations for United Space Boosters Inc. The company was the prime contractor for space shuttle solid rocket booster assembly, integration, checkout and refurbishment. He retired from USBI in 1989. Donnelly was the recipient of numerous awards and recognition, including two NASA Distinguished Service Medals in 1973 for his role in the Apollo Program and in 1981 for STS-1. He was presented three Excep tional Achievement Medals: in 1969 for Apollo 8, in 1969 for Apollo 11, and in 1978 for the shuttle Approach and Land ing Tests. In 1995, he was a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Space Club Florida Committee. By Bob GranathBefore John Glenns history ight as the rst American to orbit the Earth on Feb. 20, 1962, NASA spacecraft test conductor Paul Donnelly, right, posed with General Dynamics chief test conductor Tom OMalley, left, and Glenn in front of the Friendship 7 Mercury spacecraft. Photo by NASA Paul Donnelly stands in front of the Saturn V rocket for the Apollo 11 mission as it rolls to the launch pad on May 20, 1969. Photo by NASA41 40


Hennessey Venom GT ROCKETS DOWN SLF Aerodynamic and high-performance engine test ing at Kennedy Space Center recently saw the record for fastest production car in the world pass to Hennessey Performance following a 270.49 mph run at Kennedys Shuttle Landing Facility on Feb. 14. GPS receivers that would make a rocket engineer proud, the Hennessey Venom GT was able to col and handling throughout its performance regime. Without the real-world testing, the company could not be sure its computer models and limited evaluations were complete. The teams that have come here have all said the same thing: theres no substitute for this, said Johnny Bohmer of Performance Power LLC in West Palm Beach, Fla. They go to wind tunnels that cost $5,000 an hour. Theyll do 10 million laps on simulat ed computer programs and then they come out here and its all wrong. This runway is a tool, and its the right tool. Hennessey worked with Bohmer to use the NASA facility. Bohmer negotiated a Space Act Agreement with NASA to evaluate aerodynamic principles on cars using the runway. Testing the American-made car at such extremes in speed is only possible in a few places in the world, and the 3.2-mile-long, 300-foot-wide runway at the SLF was chosen because its concrete surface and their trials safely.Validating the Venom GTs per formance, stability and safety on such an incredible runway is why we came here, said John Hennessey, owner of the Seeley, Texas-based auto maker. I wanted to be an astronaut when I was a kid. Neil Armstrong was my childhood hero. Even though the astronaut thing didnt work out for me, I am humbled to have had the opportunity to conduct our testing on the hallowed grounds of the Kennedy Space Center. All the cars that are tested at Kennedy have to record measurable engineering data as part of their agreement. Its not a joy ride, in other words. The information that automakers and race teams gather doesnt have to be shared, but its expected to feed into future innovations and ultimately improve everyday cars at some point. nessey to try out the Kennedy surface, both auto makers said there are not many places in the world to safely perform the critical evaluations that the public. You can do all the modeling programs you want, you can do all the simulations and computers but you have to go out and hit the real world, Bohmer said. Now if somebody goes out in the car and wants to push the car, he knows the car will be safe. By Steven Siceloff43 42


National Aeronautics and Space Administration John F. Kennedy Space Centeren Kennedy Space Center, FL 32899en SPACEPORT MAGAZINE FS-2014-02-058-KSC