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National Aeronautics and Space Administration October 2018 Vol. 5 No. 10 Final Delta II Rocket Carries NASAs ICESat-2 to Measure Earths Ice


THE SPACEPORT MAGAZINE TEAM Editorial Writers Group Creative Group Editor ............................ Linda Herridge Jim Cawley Anna Heiney Amy Lombardo Cassandra White Asst. Editor ................... Anna Heiney Bob Granath Linda Herridge Richard Murrey Matthew Young KENNEDY SPACE CENTERS SPACEPORT MAGAZINE To get the latest Kennedy Space Center updates, follow us on our Blog Flickr Facebook and Twitter CONTENTS For the latest on upcoming launches, check out NASAs Launches and Landings Schedule at Want to see a launch? The Kennedy Space Center closest public viewing of launches from Kennedy Space Center and Cape Tickets are available for some, but not all, of these Call 321-449Find out and sign up for alerts at 4 ................... ICESat-2 launches on nal ight of Delta II rocket 6 ................... Commercial Crew ights draw nearer 9 ................... NASA: 60 Years and Counting 13 ................. Kennedy team puts space sensor to use on the ground 14 ................. Innovators Launchpad: Michael Hogue 16 ................. Mobile launcher on the move to Vehicle Assembly Building 22 ................. Students turn NASA robotic experience to high altitude technology 26 ................. Apollo 7 launched as race to Moon reached nal stretch Kennedy Space Center has its own monthly podcast. Welcome to the Rocket Ranch. Listen to Episode 4: Rocket Roundup Learn how were preparing to take humans to the Moon and then to Mars. #NASARocketRanchv The nal United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket lifts off from Space Launch Complex 2 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, on Sept. 15, 2018, carrying NASAs Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2). Liftoff was at 9:02 a.m. EDT (6:02 a.m. PDT). The satellite will measure the height of our changing Earth, one laser pulse at a time, 10,000 laser pulses per second. ICESat-2 will provide scientists with height measurements that create a global portrait of Earths third dimension, gathering data that can precisely track changes of terrain, including glaciers, sea ice and forests. Photo Credit: NASA/Kim Shiett ALEX VINSON Assistant Chief Counsel I advise Center Planning and Development and Spaceport Integration on issues related to Partnership agreement development and implementation. Im oen intimately involved in the negotiation of partnership agreements, including the leases and service agreements that allow our partners access to unique Kennedy Space Center resources in conjunction with their activities at the multi-user spaceport. When I graduated from law school, I was lucky enough to land a federal job in the civil service as an attorney for the Corps of Engineers. e skills I learned there prepared me well for practice as a NASA attorney. My wife is originally from Florida, and my interest in moving here and in the space program led me to Kennedy. I have worked here since 2013 and have supported Center Planning and Development since early 2016. It is easy to focus on the immediate task at hand, but its imperative to maintain cognizance of the centers long-term mission as a multi-user spaceport. My biggest challenge is maintaining focus on that long-range mission when the many short-term activities and needs involved in that mission demand daily attention. e great team around me allows me to focus on the future by regularly engaging me in a discussion regarding the path forward and upward. I cant wait to see what we accomplish in the next 20 years!


ICESat-2 successfully launched on nal ight of Delta II rocket BY ANNA HEINEY N ASAs Launch Services Program (LSP), based at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, launched the Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2 ( ICESat-2 ) on a three-year mission to measure the ice of Earths frozen and icy areas after a successful lifto Sept. 15, 2018, at 6:02 a.m. PDT (9:02 a.m. EDT) from Space Launch Complex-2 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. e spacecraft was delivered to Earth orbit by the United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket, which completed its nal launch after 29 years in service. With this mission we continue humankinds exploration of the remote polar regions of our planet and advance our understanding of how ongoing changes of Earths ice cover at the poles and elsewhere will aect lives around the world, now and in the future, said omas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASAs Science Mission Directorate. Using its only onboard instrument, the Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System ( ATLAS ), ICESat-2 will gather enough data to estimate the annual height change of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets to within four millimeters the width of a pencil. e high-resolution data will document changes in the Earths polar ice caps and improve forecasts of sea level rise bolstered by ice sheet melt in Greenland and Antarctica. It also will help scientists understand the mechanisms that are decreasing oating ice and assess how that sea ice loss aects the ocean and atmosphere. ICESat-2 builds upon the record of ice height measurements started by NASAs original ICESat mission, which operated from 2003 to 2009. ese measurements were continued by the agencys annual Operation IceBridge airborne ights over the Arctic and Antarctic, which began in 2009. Data from ICESat-2 will be available to the public through the National Snow and Ice Data Center e rst ICESat mission launched in January 2003, also on a Delta II from Vandenberg. Im thrilled that we were able to close the chapter on Delta II with a huge success for an incredibly important science payload, said NASA Launch Manager Tim Dunn. ICESat-2 is going to do cutting-edge scientic data gathering; the precision measurements its going to make from space are going to be incredible. So to be able to say we launched this very important science mission on the nal ight of the industry workhorse is just a huge accomplishment for the entire team, he added. A host of small satellites, known as CubeSats, also were carried into space aboard the Delta II. Managed by LSP, the Educational Launch of Nanosatellites ( ELaNa ) XVIII payload included University of Central Floridas SurfSat; California Polytechnic State Universitys DAVE (Damping and Vibration Experiment); and UCLAs ELFIN (Electron Losses and Fields Investigation (ELFIN) and ELFIN-STAR (Spatio-Temporal Ambiguity Resolution). e CubeSats, which ew inside Poly Picosatellite Orbital Deployers (P-PODs) mounted to the rockets second stage, were successfully deployed on time, more than an hour after lifto. (Above) At Space Launch Complex 2 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, technicians prepare three poly picosatellite orbital deployers, or P-POD containers, with tiny satellites, called CubeSats inside, for installation on the second stage of the United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket, on Aug. 31, 2018. Photo credit: USAF 30th Space Wing/Julio Paz (Right) The rst half of the United Launch Alliance Delta II payload fairing is secured around NASAs Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) on Sept. 4, 2018, at Space Launch Complex 2 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Photo credit: USAF 30th Space Wing/Alex Valdez The United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket launches with the NASA Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) on board, Sept. 25, 2018, from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Photo credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls 5 4


Launch dates to be updated more regularly as Commercial Crew ights draw nearer A s NASAs Commercial Crew partners Boeing and SpaceX crew transportation systems are within months of being ready for the rst test ights of their spacecraft that will carry astronauts to and from the International Space Station from U.S. soil, the scheduling of launch dates enters a new phase. e near-term scheduling balances the commercial partners readiness with NASA and the International Space Stations schedule and the availability of the Eastern Range to establish a target launch date. NASA plans to provide up-to-date launch planning dates on the Commercial Crew blog which will be updated approximately monthly, with near-term launches also appearing on NASAs launches and landing schedule. As we get closer to launching human spacecraft from the U.S., we can be more precise in our schedules, said Phil McAlister, director of Commercial Spaceight Development at NASA Headquarters. is allows our technical teams to work eciently toward the most up-to-date schedules, while allowing us to provide regular updates publicly on the progress of our commercial crew partners. SpaceX and the Commercial Crew Program are working together to have the hardware and associated activities ready for its rst test ight Demo-1 in December 2018, but the launch will occur in January to accommodate docking opportunities at the orbiting laboratory. Boeings targeted readiness for its Orbital Flight Test is March 2019. Both test ights will be uncrewed missions. NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley are training to y on SpaceXs Crew Dragon Demo-2 mission, with a planning date of June 2019. NASA astronauts Eric Boe and Nicole Aunapu Mann and Boeing astronaut Chris Ferguson are slated for Boeings Crew Flight Test targeted for August 2019. As with all human spaceight development, learning from each test and adjusting as necessary to reduce risk to the crew may override targeted launch dates. is new process for reporting our schedule is better; nevertheless, launch dates will still have some uncertainty, and we anticipate they may change as we get closer to launch, McAlister said. ese are new spacecraft, and the engineering teams have a lot of work to do before the systems will be ready to y. Following the test ights, NASA will review the performance data and resolve issues as necessary to certify the systems for operational missions. e readiness date for the rst long-duration Expedition crew mission is targeted for August 2019 and a second mission is targeted in December 2019, with the specic spacecraft yet to be determined. Boeing and SpaceX have made signicant strides in the development and operation of a new generation of spacecraft and launch systems in partnership with NASAs Commercial Crew Program is public-private partnership marks the beginning of a new era of human spaceight to design, develop, and test their systems to ensure safe, reliable and cost-eective commercial transportation for astronauts to low-Earth orbit. e success of these human spaceight systems will be an unprecedented achievement for the commercial space industry and will enable NASA to focus on deep space exploration with NASAs Orion spacecraft and Space Launch System as we return humans to the Moon and on to Mars. An artist image of Boeings CST-100 Starliner spacecraft and SpaceXs Crew Dragon spacecraft above Earth with the International Space Station in the distance. Image credit: NASA/Matthew Young NASA is partnering with Boeing and SpaceX to build a new generation of human-rated spacecraft capable of taking astronauts to the International Space Station and expanding research opportunities in orbit. The upcoming ight tests are part of NASAs Commercial Crew Transportation Capability contract with the goal of returning human spaceight launch capabilities to the United States. NEW ERA IN SPACEFLIGHT 7 6


F rom 2018 through 2022, NASA is marking a series of important milestones the 60th anniversary of the agencys founding by Congress in 1958, and the 50th anniversary of the Apollo missions that put a dozen Americans on the Moon between July 1969 and December 1972. Celebrations already are under way. Some are complete, some are scheduled in the coming months, and some are still being planned. e celebrations continued June 1-2 with Space, the Next Frontier , a tribute to NASA by the National Symphony Orchestra Pops at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington. e center is named for President John F. Kennedy, who had not only a vision for cultural advancement, but also a vision for technological advancement in the form of landing Americans on the Moon. Kennedys legacy to the space program was highlighted along with six decades of NASA achievements in an exhibition at the Kennedy Centers Hall of Nations. In July, NASA marked the 60th anniversary of its formation by the passage of the National Aeronautics and Space Act. One of the federal agencies absorbed into NASA was the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics, which by 1958 had already begun sending pilots to the upper reaches of the atmosphere. NASAs story begins with the transformation of the NACA into NASA and planes into spacecraft Explorer 1 NASA kicked o its 60th anniversary Jan. 31 by remembering the 1958 launch of the rst U.S. satellite, Explorer 1 from Cape Canaveral, Fla. An experiment on the satellite discovered belts of charged particles trapped in space by Earths magnetic eld, now known as the Van Allen Belts. NASA also is preparing to mark the 50th anniversary of the Apollo program, starting this month with the anniversary of the launch of Apollo 7. On Oct. 11, at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, the U.S. Mint will unveil the design for an Apollo 11 commemorative coin that will go on sale in January 2019. In December, NASA will join the National Air and Space Museum in recalling the 50th anniversary of the ight of Apollo 8, whose crew of three spent Christmas 1968 in orbit around the Moon. e focus will turn to Apollo 11 in July 2019. Celebrations are planned in Washington and at NASA centers that were crucial to the success of the Apollo Program. On July 19, NASA TV will broadcast live from the refurbished Apollo Mission Operations Control Room at NASAs Johnson Space Center and several other locations with Apollo connections coast to coast. NASA: 60 Years and Counting Image credit: NASA Explorer 1 was the rst U.S. satellite and the rst to carry scientic instruments. The satellite was launched from the Cape Canaveral Missile Annex (now Cape Canaveral Air Force Station) on Jan. 31, 1958. Photo credit: NASA The X-15 #2 launches away from the B-52 mothership with its rocket engine ignited. Photo Credit: NASA Click on the image for more information. Click on the image for more information. 9 8


10 Inside the Space Station Processing Facility high bay at NASAs Kennedy Space Center, technicians work on the pump package assembly (PPA) on Aug. 30, 2018. The payload will be carried to the International Space Station on SpaceXs 16th Commercial Resupply Services mission. The PPA will be used to continuously drive the cooling water in the space stations thermal control system. The assembly includes a centrifuge pump, a ne lter and gas trap for pump protection, a coarse outlet lter, sensors, and an accumulator. The PPA also will provide a reservoir used for makeup of coolant if leakage occurred. CRS-16 is scheduled to launch to the space station later this year. Photo credit: NASA/Glenn Benson


Space Weather Satellite Mission: NASAs Ionospheric Connection Explorer, or ICON Launch: 4:00 a.m. EDT on Friday, Oct. 26, 2018 Lift Off: Northrop Grumman Pegasus XL rocket carried aloft by an L-1011 Stargazer aircraft Aircraft Take-off: Skid Strip at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida Launch Vehicle: Pegasus XL rocket, 57 feet long, 4.2 feet in diameter ICON Satellite: 634 pounds Payload: The ICON satellite will study the dynamic region high in the atmosphere where terrestrial weather meets weather in space. Inside the Northrop Grumman facility in Gilbert, Arizona, NASAs Ionospheric Connection Explorer, or ICON, satellite is tilted on a work stand for inspection on June 12, 2017. It later was shipped to Vandenberg Air Force Base in California for mating to the Pegasus XL rocket. Photo credit: Northrop Grumman ICON to study region where Earth, space weather meet For more on ICON: Kennedy team puts space sensor to use on the ground BY LEEJAY LOCKHART N ASA Kennedy Space Centers use of a technology widely employed in sophisticated manufacturing supports the agencys space exploration eorts and also has led to improvements in the products design. e technology is a sensor called a residual gas analyzer/mass spectrometer, or RGA. At each step in the process of producing complex items like semi-conductors, which can involve thousands of RGAs for process control, the devices can rapidly detect vacuum leaks as well as contamination that, if left unchecked, could result in manufacturing defects. RGAs also can determine the type and location of a leak by identifying its chemical composition. A team at Kennedy leveraged their experience working with RGAs while they worked with members of industry to troubleshoot Kennedys thermal vacuum chamber, or TVAC. e chamber can simulate various space environments to test and prepare hardware for ight. e NASA researchers, members of the Water Analysis and Volatile Extraction (WAVE) team, are developing RGAs as payloads for landers to detect resources on the Moon, such as water that astronauts can drink or convert to rocket fuel. During testing of the TVAC, engineers had detected pressure spikes indicative of small, invisible leaks. e WAVE team and members of industry demonstrated how to use a RGA sensor to troubleshoot the leaks by identifying gases present in the chamber which would indicate the source of a leak, thus avoiding a costly and time-consuming delay to operations. is was not their rst collaboration. e NASA researchers had already put their RGA through numerous ight verications, and had worked with the vender to resolve issues that arose when adapting the technology for space. Vibration testing, in particular, highlighted several ways in which RGA manufacturers could make their devices more robust. Ken Wright, chief scientist and instrument development lead for sensor manufacturer Incon, said working with NASA produced at least three direct improvements to the companys residual gas analyzer. Our main product is now better because of this collaboration, Wright said. Janine Captain, a researcher at Kennedy, said the work was benecial to everyone involved. is collaboration makes the center stronger and better equipped to provide testing facilities to our customers, she said. Working with commercial providers enables us to continue expanding our capabilities. Employing the RGA sensor to troubleshoot Kennedys thermal vacuum chamber while preparing the same equipment for use in space is another example of harnessing innovation to develop the agencies capabilities and using technology to drive exploration. Janine Captain, a researcher at Kennedy, at left, and Dan Ciarlariello, thermal vacuum chamber engineer, center, discuss best practices for using a residual gas analyzer/mass spectrometer to detect leaks and contamination in a vacuum with Ken Wright, chief scientist and instrument development lead for sensor manufacturer Incon, at right. The TVAC can simulate various space environments to test and prepare hardware for ight. Photo credit: NASA 13 12


NASAs Kennedy Space Center Innovators Launchpad: Please explain your job in a single sentence. I am a Ph.D. physicist who performs research into the electrostatics and electrodynamics of extraterrestrial regoliths. What do you nd most exciting about your job as a lab manager and researcher for NASAs Kennedy Space Centers Electrostatics and Surface Physics Laboratory (ESPL)? I like to develop new things and new knowledge to support Americas space program. Besides, it is fun. What is a typical day like for you? A typical day entails ensuring lab safety in the pursuit of our various research projects, ensuring the calibration and availability of lab equipment. I also am a principle investigator or a co-investigator for various projects in the ESPL and I do research and development in support of these projects. Additionally, I develop proposals for new work. Was your rst month at NASA anything like your current work? I was like a deer in the headlights my rst month here as an intern, or co-op student, as they were called then. Working for NASA was a dream job that I was blessed to strive for and earn. I knew that I wanted to do science, and through the years here at Kennedy I have worn many hats but always came back to science. Now that I have my Ph.D. in physics and am working research and development to further our mission of exploration and discovery, I am still quite awed. What is your educational background and why did you choose to study those areas? I have a Master of Science in space systems from the Florida Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Central Florida. I have always enjoyed science and working for NASA. I can say that I have a job that I love to do. How do the era and place in which you grew up shape how you approach your work? I grew up in rural Mississippi and my interest in science made me a rather odd person in my high school class. Science ction and the Moon landings had always helped fuel my desire to become a part of the space program. I saw from my upbringing that only hard work, preceded by and in parallel with even harder thinking, would bring results. What motivated you to want to work for NASA? My love of science and space exploration. Why does conducting research and developing new technology matter to you? Research and development is what creates new knowledge, products, and processes, which help make human life better. What is the most challenging problem you have overcome or are currently working on at NASA? e most dicult problem I had was getting the necessary education to do the job I wanted to do. Fortunately, the NASA graduate fellowship program helped greatly in that respect. How do you think your NASA research or the agency as a whole benets people on Earth? My research is into the electrostatics and electrodynamics of extraterrestrial regolith, ground support equipment, and ight hardware. is body of work will help make it safer for people to access space. Do you have any advice for people about trying to foster innovation in their workplaces? Seek ways to do things better. Learn to think outside the box. Michael D. Hogue 15 14


NASAs mobile launcher, atop crawler-transporter 2, traveled from Launch Pad 39B to the Vehicle (VAB) Assembly Building at the agencys Kennedy Space Center in Florida, on Sept. 7, 2018. Arriving late in the afternoon, the mobile launcher stopped at the entrance to the VAB. Early the next day, Sept, 8, engineers and technicians rotated and extended the crew access arm near the top of the mobile launcher tower. Then the mobile launcher was moved inside High Bay 3, where it will spend about seven months undergoing verication and validation testing with the 10 levels of new work platforms, ensuring that it can provide support to the agencys Space Launch System (SLS). The 380-foot-tall structure is equipped with the crew access arm and several umbilicals that will provide power, environmental control, pneumatics, communication and electrical connections to the SLS and Orion spacecraft. Exploration Ground Systems is preparing the ground systems necessary to launch SLS and Orion on Exploration Mission-1, missions to the Moon and on to Mars. Cliff Lanham, NASA project manager for the mobile launcher, takes a break to attend the employee event for the mobile launcher move to the Vehicle Assembly Building on Sept. 7, 2018, at NASAs Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The mobile launcher, atop crawler-transporter 2, began its trek from Launch Pad 39B along the crawlerway after undergoing a t check and several days of systems testing with the pad. This is the rst time that the modied mobile launcher made the trip to the pad. Photo credit: NASA/Cory Huston NASAs mobile launcher is inside High Bay 3 at the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) on Sept. 11, 2018, at NASAs Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Photo credit: NASA/Frank Michaux Mobile Launcher on the Move 17 16


A dolphin surfs in the wake of a research boat in a waterway at NASAs Kennedy Space Center. The Florida spaceport shares boundaries with the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, including the land and waterways within its 144,000 acres. Photo credit: NASA/KEMCON/Russ Lowers Kennedy Space Center Annual Sustainability Report Now Available NASAs sustainability policy is to execute the agencys mission without compromising our planets resources so that future generations can meet their needs. is also means taking action now to provide a future where the environment and living conditions are protected and enhanced. In implementing sustainability practices, NASA manages risks to mission, the environment and to our communities. To this end, NASA seeks to use public funds eciently and eectively, promote the health of the planet, and operate in a way that benets our neighbors. View the Fiscal Year 2017 Sustainability Report at Commercial Crew 2019 Artwork Calendar Contest NASAs Commercial Crew Program is partnering with private companies to develop new spacecraft to y astronauts on NASA missions to the International Space Station, and we want kids to have a fun way to learn more about this program while being creative! e Commercial Crew Program is holding an artwork contest from Sept. 17 through Oct. 17 for children around the world ages four to 12 years old. e winning artwork will be used to create a 2019 calendar with dierent spacerelated themes for each month. e themes educate students about the International Space Station astronauts, growing food in space and more! Unique and original artwork will be selected for each month. Once the calendar is complete, it will be transmitted to astronauts aboard thespace station. e calendar also will include supplemental education materials for kids here on Earth to learn more about the space-related themes. Formore information about the competitions themes, rules and deadlines plus the entry form, download the PDF Get your parents permission, of course! 19 18


The Orion crew module pressure vessel for Exploration Mission-2 is in a work stand called the bird cage inside the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building high bay at NASAs Kennedy Space Center on Sept. 11, 2018. The pressure vessel was transported in its Crew Module Transportation Fixture by super-wide transport truck from Michoud Assembly Facility near New Orleans. The pressure vessel is Orions primary structure that holds the pressurized atmosphere astronauts will breathe and work in while in the vacuum of deep space. Photo credit: NASA/Frank Michaux SpaceX installed the Crew Access Arm on Launch Pad 39A that NASA astronauts will use when they board the Crew Dragon prior to lifting off from the agencys Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Photo credit: SpaceX


In a hangar at the Columbia Scientic Balloon Facility in Palestine, Texas, Dan Koris, software and electrical team lead for Durham Techs participation in the balloon program, helps assemble and test the teams Robotic Arm Manipulation and Materials Matching, or RAM3. The experiment was developed for ight aboard a NASA balloon as part of the High Altitude Student Platform program. Photo credit: Durham Technical Community College/Julie Hoover Viewed during ight from an on-board television camera, the Robotic Arm Manipulation and Materials Matching, or RAM3, ips switches and turns knobs during a balloon ight at 120,000 feet. The experiment was developed by a High Altitude Student Platform team from Durham Technical Community College, in Durham, North Carolina. Above the knobs and switches are bar codes similar to those on the cubes used in the Swarmathon competition. Along for fun is a toy dog. Photo credit: Durham Technical Community College/Chris Fields As social media and communications coordinator for the Durham Technical Community College Swarmathon group, Meredith Murray was the primary producer of the teams award-winning video documentary. Photo credit: Durham Technical Community College/Meredith Murray TO THE EDGE OF SPACE Students turn NASA robotic experience to high altitude technology BY BOB GRANATH C ommunity college students who participated in NASAs Swarmathon robotic programming competition at the agencys Kennedy Space Center in Florida recently contributed to a program that tests technology at the edge of space. eir eorts may help astronauts nd resources while exploring the Moon or Mars and could contribute to robotic satellite servicing missions. e students from Durham Technical Community College in North Carolina participated in the High Altitude Student Platform or HASP, upper atmospheric balloon program of NASAs Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. HASP is a platform set up so teams can mount payloads on a gondola launched into near space on a balloon, and is funded by the agencys Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP). e payloads are conceived, designed and built by college and university students and can achieve a variety of goals. Dan Koris, team lead for Durham Techs participation in both the Swarmathon and HASP projects, noted that it started with the Swarmathon. e skills I learned and gained, opportunities I had, led to participation in this years HASP project, he said. e HASP program was established to provide ight opportunities on a helium-lled balloon carrying multiple payload experiments to near-space altitudes for up to 20 hours. Fellow Durham Tech students Meredith Murray and Soham Pai Kane are the other members of the Swarmathon team who participated in the HASP eort. Earlier this year, the Swarmathon competition involved progrmming Swarmies small robotic vehicles. e robots searched arenas, looking for resources in the form of small cubes with AprilTags similar to bar codes. During the Swarmathon, students gain experience with code integration, hardware testing, software engineering, project management and team collaboration critical to their future success in robotics and computer science, said eresa Martinez, MUREP STEM Engagement manager in Kennedys Academic Engagement Oce. eir eorts will further advance swarm robotics technology for future NASA space exploration missions to the Moon and Mars. We hope some students will return and help us. At the conclusion of this years robotics event, the 13-member Durham Tech team was presented the rst-place award, receiving a $5,000 cash prize. Our rovers performed much better than I could have ever believed, said Kane, who was a software engineer for the Swarmathon. As perfectionists, we couldnt help but worry about minor code bugs that could keep us from our maximum potential. But, we were more than satised with the outcome. In addition to winning the physical competition, the Durham Tech team was awarded second place for their team technical report and rst place for the team video. As social media and communications coordinator for the group, Murray was the primary producer of the video documentary. is was a huge learning experience for me, said Murray. It involved a lot of trial and error. But we succeeded because we have good leadership that knows how to utilize people and talents. We have team members who are curious individuals that are willing to work a problem until solved. While working on their successful Swarmathon project, Koris, Murray, Kane and seven other HASP team members submitted an application to be a part of the 2018 balloon ight. Durham Techs team was one of only 13 colleges accepted to participate in this 22 23


Puerto Rican students, educators, eagerly engage in NASA STEM Program BY JIM CAWLEY A recent trip to Puerto Rico to foster interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math), and to spark enthusiasm for NASA, showed six Kennedy Space Center employees that the passion for education and the agency is very much alive on the Caribbean island. Everybody across the island wanted to come; they wanted the information, said Priscilla Moore, a lead program specialist for the Communication and Public Engagement (PX) Education Projects and Youth Engagement Oce. It was so heartwarming. Moore was accompanied on the late August 2018 trip by eresa Martinez, PX education program specialist; Pablo Aguayo and Jose Lopez from the Engineering Directorate; Greg Clements from Exploration Research and Technology Programs and Richard Rodriguez from the Diversity and Equal Opportunity Directorate. e NASA Days, Condensed Program involved presentations, robotic team demonstrations, facility tours including teaching labs established through NASA grants a decade ago and one-onone discussions with students, teachers and administrators. e Kennedy group was able to reach more than 700 students, covering ve universities throughout Puerto Rico in four days. e ambitious schedule included visits to: Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico, Hato Rey; University of Puerto Rico, Arecibo Campus; Inter American University, Arecibo Campus; University of Turabo, Ponce Campus; and Inter American University San Juan, Faculty of Law. Kennedy employees werent the only ones who logged signicant miles to be a part of the program. It was amazing to know that some highly motivated students drove as much as 2 hours to be at this event, Martinez said. e students were eager to hear what we had to say and excited to chat with us after the sessions. Aguayo, Lopez, Martinez and Rodriguez all hail from Puerto Rico. at was a distinct advantage, said Clements, who observed how signicantly it resonated with the students. It was an honor to be able to go to my country of origin and speak to STEM students, Aguayo said. I was very impressed with the enthusiasm that the university directors, educators and students showed toward having this opportunity to have NASA engineers speaking to them. Just a year removed from the devastating Hurricane Maria striking their island, Puerto Ricans displayed resiliency and optimism in their desire to keep progressing, Clements said. He also noted that local government and chamber of commerce ocials were united in their support of NASA, striving to grow their technical base on the island. ey have had to overcome a lot of adversity in recent months, Clements said, but everyone I spoke to was not frowning about the past they were looking toward the future. ey want to see Puerto Rico move forward in a renewed way. e NASA Days concept was developed by PX Deputy Director Hortense Diggs in 2010. It focuses on encouraging students at minority serving institutions to study STEM and pursue a career with NASA. Clements, who has attended many of these trips, relishes every opportunity he gets to interact with eager students. Its a stark reminder of his own experience when he was a student at Georgia Tech more than 30 years ago. I feel so blessed because NASA really reached out to our school and encouraged us, and I want to pay it forward to get more people plugged into NASA, Clements said. As long as PX will give me the honor and opportunity, Im going to try to contribute. Clements knows that a small contribution he makes now, could pay huge dividends one day for NASA and for mankind. We need sharp minds, all kinds of people, to help make the space program successful in the future, he said. Students I visit now may be the ones who help guide our missions to the Moon and Mars. Jeannette Vzquez, CEO & president, Creative Skills Enterprises Inc., third from the left, is accompanied by NASA Kennedy Space Center employees. From left to right are Jose Lopez, Pablo Aguayo, Richard Rodriguez, Priscilla Moore, Theresa Martinez and Greg Clements at Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico. Vzquez worked with schools in Puerto Rico to coordinate the visit by Kennedy employees, who were promoting STEM studies and generating enthusiasm for NASA. Photo credit: NASA Island Enthusiasm In a laboratory at Durham Technical Community College, software engineer Soham Pai Kane develops code for the teams Swarmathon rovers. Through the Swarmathon, students gain experience with code integration, hardware testing, software engineering, project management and team collaboration critical to their future success in robotics and computer science. Photo credit: Durham Technical Community College/Meredith Murray A Swarmie robot nds a resource cube marked with an AprilTag. In the Swarmathon competition, students were asked to develop computer code for the small robots, programming them to look for resources in the form of cubes with AprilTags. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiett years event. e program is supported by the Wallops Balloon Program Ofce and the Louisiana Space Consortium at Louisiana State University. Our team built a robotic arm to perform tasks at 121,000 feet (23 miles) in the atmosphere, said Koris, who has since graduated from Durham Tech and now is studying computer science at the University of Colorado-Boulder. e group developed a device called Robotic Arm Manipulation and Materials Matching, or RAM3. ey built and programmed a robotic arm to perform basic kinetic tasks such as turning knobs and pushing buttons, as well as sealing and unsealing a Velcro strip. For several years, engineers at Kennedy and NASAs Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, have been developing similar robotic satellite servicing technologies necessary to bring in-orbit inspection, repair, refueling and component replacement capabilities to Earth-orbiting spacecraft needing aid. NASAs HASP balloon launched on Sept. 4, 2018, from the Columbia Scientic Balloon Facility in Palestine, Texas. e Durham Tech team was able to follow RAM3s progress with an on-board television camera. Watching our robotic arm move while more than 100,000 feet o the ground was amazing, Murray said. During the ight, the team allowed followers to monitor their progress with a Facebook blog. Were ipping switches and turning knobs at 120,000 feet, their post stated. e HASP gondola has reached oat altitude. RAM3 is still turning knobs and performing brilliantly. After the successful ight of RAM3, Koris also thanked those who led Kennedys Swarmathon eort, believing that experience helped with their HASP eort. Know that you are a part of this, he said. So, a huge thanks to your team! 25 24


Photographed during training on May 22, 1968, the Apollo 7 crew pose at the hatch of their spacecraft. From left are command module pilot Donn Eisele, commander Wally Schirra and lunar module pilot Walt Cunningham. Installation of a quick-opening hatch mechanism was one of the crucial improvements added after the loss of the Apollo 1 crew. Photo credit: NASA Apollo 7 launched as race to Moon reached nal stretch BY BOB GRANATH O n Oct. 11, 1968, three American astronauts launched to Earth orbit aboard Apollo 7 It was the rst piloted mission of the spacecraft designed to meet President John F. Kennedys challenge to land on the lunar surface. e 11-day ight took place as the race to the Moon was heating up between the United States and the Soviet Union. A month earlier, the Soviets launched the unpiloted Zond 5, a simplied version of their Soyuz spacecraft designed for cosmonauts. e capsule became the rst to circle around the Moon and return safely to Earth. Both nations also were recovering from tragic losses. ree Apollo 1 astronauts perished in a launch pad re on Jan. 27, 1967. at same year, the lone cosmonaut aboard Soyuz 1 died when the spacecraft crashed on April 24. Following almost two years of Apollo spacecraft redesign and testing, Paul Donnelly, Launch Operations manager at NASAs Kennedy Space Center in Florida, expressed condence in the men and women who worked tirelessly to prepare for the ight. We have a great group of specialists from government and industry trained to work as a team, he said. Just as the astronauts are ready to y to orbit, we are ready to get them there. Serving as commander of Apollo 7 was NASA veteran Wally Schirra, a U.S. Navy aviator and captain. He ew Mercury 8 on Oct. 3, 1962, and commanded Gemini VI on Dec. 15-16, 1965. Schirra was joined by two members of the third astronaut class, both making their rst spaceight. Command module pilot Donn Eisele was a U.S. Air Force colonel and test pilot. Walt Cunningham had been a colonel and ghter pilot in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. Although there was no lunar module (LM) on this ight, as the third member of the crew, Cunningham was designated LM pilot. During liftoff on Oct. 11, 1968, the Apollo 7 Saturn 1B rocket is photographed more than 35,000 feet above the Atlantic Ocean from a C-135 aircraft using an Airborne Lightweight Optical Tracking System. Photo credit: NASA 26 27


(Left) During the rst television broadcast, Apollo 7 commander Wally Schirra, right, displays a message for viewers on Earth as command module pilot Donn Eisele looks on. Photo credit: NASA Television For more information about NASAs plan for the future, visit: NASA Exploration: Back to the Moon and On to Mars (Below) Apollo 7 lunar module pilot Walt Cunningham is making notes about subjects photographed on the lm cartridge oating above his hand. Photo credit: NASA Following a awless lifto atop a Saturn 1B rocket from Launch Complex 34 at Cape Kennedy (now Cape Canaveral) Air Force Station, the command-service module (CSM) separated from the second stage. Eisele then practiced a simulated LM docking. During launch with a LM, it would have been housed inside the adapter between the second stage and the CSM. A key objective of Apollo 7 was testing spacecraft systems, especially the crucial service propulsion system (SPS) engine at the base of the spacecraft. On lunar missions, the SPS would be used to place the spacecraft in lunar orbit and later, re the crew on a trajectory back home. On Earth orbital ights, the SPS would be red to slow Apollo for re-entry. e rst test of the powerful SPS took place on ight day two. When it red with 20,500 pounds of thrust, Schirra radioed that it was a real kick. Yabbadabbadoo, he exclaimed in a favorite saying of the television cartoon character Fred Flintstone. ats like a ride and a half! George Low, manager of the Apollo Spacecraft Program Oce at NASAs Manned Spacecraft Center (now Johnson Space Center) in Houston, later noted that all eight rings of the SPS went extremely well. We had a tremendous workout of the service propulsion system, he said. I believe that is more than any space propulsion system has ever been used in any one ight Another goal was broadcasting live television from the spacecraft. ree days after lifto, the Apollo 7 camera was turned on, allowing Mission Control and viewers around the world to watch the crew in orbit. I can see Eisele there, said spacecraft communicator Tom Staord, a fellow astronaut. Hes holding a sign and it says, From the lovely Apollo room, high atop everything. e crew red the SPS engine on Oct 22, splashing down in the Atlantic Ocean eight miles from the recovery aircraft carrier, the USS Essex. After the ight, Schirra described the Apollo CSM as a magnicent ying machine. Lt. Gen. Samuel Phillips, director of NASAs Apollo Program Oce, considered Apollo 7 a perfect mission. We were able to accomplish a major step in our progress toward the lunar landing, he said. I have every condence that the progress of this mission will let us accomplish that by the end of next year. Following launch, the Apollo 7 crew photographed the expended Saturn launch vehicles second stage, called the S-IVB. NASAs Kennedy Space Center and Cape Kennedy (now Cape Canaveral) Air Force Station are visible on the lower left. The round, white disc inside the open panels of the S-IVB is a simulated docking target similar to that used for docking with a lunar module. Photo credit: NASA NASA Marks the Legacy of Apollo From October 2018 through December 2022, NASA is marking the 50th anniversary of the 11 piloted Apollo missions that included landing a dozen Americans on the Moon between July 1969 and December 1972. Today, NASA is working to return astronauts to the Moon to test technologies and techniques for the next giant leaps challenging missions to Mars and other destinations in deep space. Image credit: NASA 28 29


National Aeronautics and Space Administration John F. Kennedy Space Center Kennedy Space Center, FL 32899 SPACEPORT MAGAZINE NP-2018-09-1227-KSC Apollo 7 lifts off from Cape Kennedy (now Cape Canaveral) Air Force Stations Launch Complex 34 on Oct. 11, 1968. It was the rst of several piloted ights designed to qualify the spacecraft for the half-million-mile round trip to the Moon. Photo credit: NASA