Spaceport news

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Title:
Spaceport news
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Serial
Language:
English
Creator:
Kennedy Space Center
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External Relations, NASA at KSC
Place of Publication:
Kennedy Space Center, FL
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Copyright Date:
2009

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serial   ( sobekcm )
Spatial Coverage:
United States -- Florida -- Brevard -- Cape Canaveral -- John F. Kennedy Space Center
Coordinates:
28.524058 x -80.650849 ( Place of Publication )

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Source Institution:
University of Florida
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University of Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
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UF00099284:00035


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PAGE 1

Commercial ops sought for pad 39A N ASA released a synop sis May 17 announc ing plans to issue an announcement for proposals for the commercial use of Launch Pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center. The announcement is expected next week. Use of the launch pad by industry is designed to encour age commercial space activities along Floridas Space Coast and fully use the historic launch complex. Launch Pad 39A originally was designed to support NA SAs Apollo Program and later shuttles. Today, the agency is modernizing nearby Launch Pad 39B to support government and commercial launches, includ ing NASAs heavy-lift Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft, which will provide an entirely new capability for human exploration beyond low-Earth orbit. We remain committed to right-sizing our portfolio by reducing the number of facilities that are underused, duplica tive, or not required to support the Space Launch System and Orion, said Kennedy Center Director Bob Cabana. Launch Complex 39A is not required to support our asteroid retrieval mission or our eventual missions to Mars. But its in the agencys and our nations best interest in meeting our commitment and direction to enable commercial space operations and allow the aerospace industry to operate and maintain the pad and related facilities. Assessments show Launch Pad 39A could serve as a plat form for a commercial space companys launch activities if and technical responsibility of the complexs operations and management. Commercial use of the pad would further support NASAs goal to encourage the commercial use of property the agency does not need for the foreseeable future. A dynamic infrastructure is taking shape, designed to host many kinds of spacecraft and rockets capable of send ing people on Americas next adventures in space. NASA An aerial view shows the Launch Pad 39A area at Kennedy Space Center in 2006. NASA plans to issue an announcement for proposal in May for commercial use of the pad. By Rebecca Regan Spaceport News Inside this issue... Page 7 Truss revamped Page 6 Orion tackles tests Page 3 Dream Chaser tests Page 2 Engineers showcase

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Page 2 Engineers focus on super-cold propellants S toring super-cold propel lants is not easy on Earth, and it doesnt seem to be much easier to accomplish in space. Thats not stopping engineers from trying to perfect technologies, though. The longest weve kept liquid propellants in orbit is a matter of hours in the size of large propellant stages like Apollo and Centaur, engineer Adam Swanger told an audience during a Kennedy Engineering Academy session at Kennedy Space Center. Some of NASAs far-reaching plans, most notably space-based fuel depots that would act as gas stations for interplanetary spacecraft, potentially would require the reliable storage of fuel and oxidizer for months at a time. Before addressing these issues on a large scale, engi neers are looking at promising techniques on a very small level as part of the academys Accelerated Training Program (ATP). One approach requires the International Space Station, while the other is a CubeSat de to show that super cold materi als can safely be stored in space without boiling off. ATP is a six-month assign ment with on-the-job training opportunities and diverse and targeted work assignments designed to establish the ongoing work relationship, job maturity and technical expertise necessary to perform effectively within the organization. The program is based on internship, with direction from a mentor. At the end, participants are required to complete a written project plan and formally pres ent the project results to a board. Although space often is thought of as a cold place, satellites typically experience dramatic temperature swings of 500 degrees or more depending on whether they are in sun light or not. Insulating liquid hydrogen, which at minus 423 degrees is one of the coldest materials known, poses a tre mendous challenge to designers. Swangers experiment aims to liquefy and store the hydro gen and methane created by the life support system on the space station. Now, the excess chemi cals are vented from the station regularly to disperse in space. since researchers have not tried to liquefy gases in space before, Swanger said. The idea is, if we somehow could capture these commodi ties, plumb them back into an experiment, we would then be able to liquefy them us ing a cryo-cooler and test zero boil-off and test microgravity liquefaction technologies, Swanger said. The proposal calls for a device to be placed on the Japanese Experiment Modules exposed pallet, the platform on that is open to space. Swanger said the pallet loca tion offers power and cooling feeds to the experiment, and also is close to the NASA-built Tranquility module where the excess chemicals are produced. Helium would be used in heat exchangers to cool the materials the same way a refrigerator uses water to cool air. We think with further feasible to liquefy the gaseous from the system on the Interna tional Space Station, Swanger said. Jared Bergs focus was to create a tiny storage facility a bit smaller than a shoebox that could be launched as a second ary payload and operate on its own, keeping the chemicals inside cold. The spacecraft, slated for launch in 2014, is called Cryo Cube-1 and uses the proven architecture of the experimental nanosatellites known as Cube Sats. The cube would have foldout sunshields and solar arrays on each end, along with doors that would open and close to either release heat from around the six-centimeter-diameter tank or shield it further from warm sunlight. Instruments on the satel lite will gauge how the liquid behaves in space. The ATP study was to prove that we could get temperatures low enough to condense oxygen on a satellite, Berg said. We wanted to see how sensitive the (satellite) would be. Kurt Smiths ATP effort cen tered on a concept for ground support equipment needed for NASAs Space Launch System (SLS), a massive rocket com parable to the Saturn V. Smith worked on a design to retract a 1,500-pound plate that will hold umbilical lines to the rocket dur ing processing and countdown, but safely pull away as the rocket lifts off. One of the things we try to do is keep the designs as simple as possible, Smith told the group. Smith said he employed a childhood erector set to test his different thoughts, along with the numerous design tools avail able to engineers. The ATP session took the design through a third of its development. Future work will complete and helping an SLS into space. By Steven Siceloff Spaceport News Jared Berg shows his design for a cubesat, called CryoCube-1, that would evaluate storage and movement of super-cold chemicals in space during a Kennedy Engineering Academy (KEA) Training Showcase inside the Operations and Support Building II on May 2. NASA/Dimitri Gerondidakis

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Page 3 Dream Chaser tests ongoing at two centers A s part of NASAs Commercial Crew Program (CCP) agreements, Si erra Nevada Corporation (SNC) Space Systems this week on opposite coasts of the United States. On the West Coast, SNCs Dream Chaser NASAs Dryden Flight Research Center in Edwards, Calif., May 15 and runway landing systems. Tests at Dryden will include tow, captiveof the Dream Chaser. A truck will tow the craft down a runway to validate performance of the nose strut, brakes and tires. The captive-carry ine the loads it will en is carried by an Erickson Skycrane helicopter. The will test Dream Chasers aerodynamics through landing. The tests are part of pre-negotiated, paid-forperformance milestones with CCP, which is primarily based at Ken nedy Space Center. CCP is facilitating U.S.-led companies develop ment of spacecraft and rockets that can launch from American soil. The overall goal of CCP is to achieve safe, reliable and cost-effective U.S. hu man access to and from the International Space Station and low-Earth orbit. On the east coast, several NASA astronauts were at the agencys Langley Research Center simulations of a Dream Chaser approach and landing to help evaluate the spacecrafts sub sonic handling. The test measured how well the spacecraft would handle a number of atmospheric conditions and assessed its guidance and naviga tion performance. Unique publicprivate partnerships like the one between NASA and Sierra Nevada Corporation are creat ing an industry capable of building the next generation of rockets and spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to ground of low-Earth orbit, said William Gerstenmaier, NASAs associate administrator for human exploration and operations in Wash ington. NASA centers around the country paved the way for 50 years of American human actively working with our partners to test inno vative commercial space systems that will con tinue to ensure American leadership in exploration and discovery. The Dream Chaser space system is based on Langleys Horizon tal Lander-20 (HL-20) lifting-body design con cept. The design builds on years of analysis and wind tunnel testing by Langley engineers dur ing the 1980s and 90s. Langley and SNC joined forces six years ago to update the HL-20 design in the Dream Chaser orbital crew vehicle. In those years, SNC worked the spacecraft design. SNC will continue to test models in Langley wind tunnels. Langley researchers also helped develop a cockpit simu lator at SNCs facility in Louisville, Colo., and the assessed at the center. NASA is partnered with SNC, Space Exploration Technolo gies (SpaceX) and The Boeing Company to meet CCP milestones for integrated crew transpor tation systems under the Commercial Crew Inte grated Capability (CCi Cap) initiative. Advances made by these compa nies under their funded Space Act Agreements ultimately are intended to lead to the availability of commercial human government and com mercial companies. By Rebecca Regan Spaceport News With its wings and tail structure removed and shrouded in plastic wrap for ground transport, Sierra Nevada Corporation Space Systems Dream Chaser engineering test article is hauled program in collaboration with NASAs Commercial Crew Program this summer. To watch a video of the Dream Chasers arrival, click on the photo. NASA/Tom Tschida Bruce Jackson, an aerospace engineer at NASAs Langley Flight Research Center, briefs astronauts Rex Walheim and Gregory Johnson as they evaluate Sierra Nevada Corporations Dream Chaser landing simula tion, in support of NASA Commercial Crew Program efforts, Wednesday, May 15. The simulation makes use of the Synthetic Vision SV and Enhanced Vision EV systems in the centers Cockpit Motion Facility. For more information about NASAs Commercial Crew Program, click on the photo. CLICK ON PHOTO NASA/David C. Bowman CLICK ON PHOTO

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Page 4 Upgraded ML will carry SLS to Pad 39B N ASAs Space Launch System (SLS) heavylift launch vehicle will be carried to Launch Pad 39B at Kennedy Space Center atop an upgraded mobile launcher (ML) for missions to near-Earth asteroids, Mars and other new destinations in the solar system. The agency has awarded a contract to J.P. Donovan Construction Inc. of Rockledge, Fla., to modify the ML, which is one of the key elements of ground support equipment that is being upgraded by the Ground Systems Develop ment and Operations (GSDO) mission in 2017. at the end of this month and is targeted to be completed in 18 months. Completing more of the work sooner will create more time to validate systems later as for the new SLS vehicle, said Mike Canicatti, the technical in tegration manager in the GSDO The mobile launcher that currently is positioned near the Vehicle Assembly Building originally was constructed in 2008 and 2009, and now will requirements for NASAs new mission. The major work to be completed under this contract is widening the exhaust space in the mobile launcher base to support two solid rocket boosters and four main engines. Essentially, the exhaust hole will be increased from an ap proximate 24-by-24-foot space to a 32-by-65-foot space. Upgrades to the ML are part of Kennedys efforts to expand its ground support infrastruc ture to support the SLS rocket and a variety of other launch vehicles. When this contract is completed, another contract will begin to install the umbilicals, access arm and other ground support equipment on the mobile launcher. Were on a tight schedule to get everything in place on the mobile launcher and check 47 different subsystems, Canicatti said. Midwest Steel Inc. of Detroit will be a major subcontractor to J.P. Donovan Construction. send an uncrewed Orion space craft into lunar orbit. NASAs asteroid initiative, which is part of the agencys proposed 2014, will use SLS and Orion to send astronauts to study a small asteroid that will have been redirected robotically to a stable orbit near the moon. The mobile launcher (ML) is shown on the crawlerway at Kennedy Space Center on Nov. 30, 2011. The ML will be upgraded beginning in June 2013 to support NASAs Space Launch System heavy-lift rocket. By Linda Herridge Spaceport News

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Page 5 Kennedy Space Center Director Bob Cabana, right, met with representatives of PaR Systems Inc. on May 10, including Brian Behm, president of the companys Robotics Division. NASA recently established a partnership agree ment with PaR to operate the Hangar N facility and its non destructive testing equipment located at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, adjacent to Kennedy. NASA/Jim Grossmann Mexican culture and food were highlighted during a rain-delayed Cinco de Mayo celebration May 9 at KARS Park II. The event featured Latin music, dancing lessons, refreshments and a salsa recipe competition. Scenes Around Kennedy Space Center passes by Launch Pad 39A during the Rocketman Florida Triathlon on May 5. She placed in the top 40 percent of the female competitors. Stockwell, also a three-time paratriath lon world champion, received the Purple Heart and Bronze Star for her service. CLICK ON PHOTO At the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex on May 10, technicians monitor space shuttle Atlantis as its payload bay doors are fully opened. Atlantis is being prepared for display in the Space Shuttle Atlantis exhibit, a 90,000-square-foot facility, scheduled to open June 29, 2013. NASA/Jim Grossmann Kennedy Space Center Director Bob Cabana, right, mingled with members of the National Space Club Florida Committee on May 14 at the Radisson Resort at the Port in Cape Canaveral, Fla., before his presentation on the the Fiscal Year 2014 Budget and Kennedys path forward. From left are Smokey Stover, Abacus Technology deputy program manager; Melvina Gasco, Boeing manager, state and local government operations; and Margo Witcher, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company spokeswoman. NASA/Jim Grossmann

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Page 6 Orion crew module undergoes static loads test By Linda Herridge Spaceport News C ompletely surrounded by a massive 20-foothigh structure called the crew module static load test is being put through a series of tests that simulate the massive loads the spacecraft would ex perience during its mission. Orion is NASAs new explo ration spacecraft, designed to carry humans farther into space tion Flight Test-1 (EFT-1), it will travel 3,600 miles into space and return to Earth. This will allow NASA to evaluate Orions performance in prepa ration for future deep-space journeys. Lockheed Martin Space Systems began static loads testing May 3 on the Orion EFT-1 crew module inside the Operations and Checkout (O&C) Building at Kennedy Space Center. Technicians are using cylinders to slowly apply pressure to various areas of the vehicle to simulate the loads it will be exposed to at different phases of the mission. The tests will run throughout May and June, with different phases simulating launch, as cent, launch abort, launch abort system separation, re-entry and landing. Lockheed Martin is conducting the tests based on a ments. We perform these tests to ensure the structural integrity of the crew module, said Carlos Garcia, a test engineer in the Kennedy. During the months and weeks leading up to the static tests, NASA and Lockheed Martin engineers and techni and staged the associated equipment and hardware that would be needed to verify Orion is one step closer to The pressurized crew module will be put through a series of eight different load tests, each one taking up to three days to complete. Each test will focus on a different area of the crew module and require a different actuators attached to it. the ascent regime and the last regime, Garcia said. One of the tests also will allow engineers to test repairs In April, the Orion crew module for Exploration Flight Test-1 was secured in a special test stand and a platform was installed on top inside the Operations and Checkout Building high bay. NASA and Lockheed Martin engineers and technicians are running a series of tests, called static loads tests, to verify the integrity of the spacecraft. CLICK ON PHOTO they made to cracks in the crew modules aluminum bulkhead that occurred last November. The cracks appeared as the vehicle was being pressur ized for a proof pressure test aimed at verifying the vehicles structural integrity and validat ing engineering models used to design it. These tests provide an oppor tunity to repeat the proof pres sure tests to ensure that repairs will hold. More than 1,600 strain gauges have been attached to Orions external surface and inside the crew module to verify the crew cabin structure. Cameras have been placed around Orion to record any movement during the load tests. Several other sensors have been attached at various loca tions around and beneath Orion expansion during the repeat of the proof pressure test. The set of tests are criti cal to build the foundation for Steve Cook, the Lockheed Martin Project Orion mechanical test engineer lead. We learn from our successes and challenges. Lockheed Martin and NASA engineers will monitor the tests from the control room in the completely refurbished lower level of the high bay, called the tunnel, to fully execute the tests and compare the results with stress model predictions. assembly and checkout facility for Orion. EFT-1 is scheduled to launch atop a United Launch Alliance Delta IV heavy rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in 2014. The agencys Space Launch System rocket will begin launching Orion in 2017. The set of tests are critical to build the foundation for the future of spaceight. Steve Cook, Lockheed Martin Project Orion mechanical test engineer lead

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Page 7 Entrepreneur gives shuttle truss new uses A truss design devised to help workers process space shuttles contin shuttle engineer-turned-entre preneur adapts it to everything from a solar-powered electric generator to a mobile cellphone tower. The structure, which is constantly being redesigned into smaller packages that unfold to larger sizes, also is envisioned for Mars or other space destina tions where it could be deployed to connect modules for astro nauts. Jim Fletcher, who worked for United Space Alliance during the space shuttle era, began working on the truss 10 years ago and started a company two years ago called CPI Tech nologies dedicated to producing them. He is working closely with the Florida Solar Energy Center in Cocoa and the Space Coast the design since it is clean and renewable energy. The design began life as an extendable work platform that would reach over the shuttles cargo bay. We were trying to come up with a way to reach out and retrieve something while the shuttle was out at the pad so we wouldnt have to roll it back to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB), Fletcher said. Engineers built a truss that ultimately was put to use in the Orbiter Processing Facility, spanning the cargo bay. From there, Fletcher built a portable solar-powered electric generator that stretched two pair of 21-foot-long trusses out from the center, complete with solar panels that locked into the top. He demonstrated the concept by deploying the prototype in the VAB parking lot where it generated enough electricity to power a house, except the air conditioning. Fletcher returned to the VAB recently, where the truss has been stored, to collect NASAs prototype for demonstrations at the FSEC in Cocoa since it is clean and renewable energy. The prototype will be made into a fully operational model and returned to NASA. made, Fletcher has built a few more advanced versions that open longer and wider and produce more electricity while taking up no more folded space than the original. Youd have a 165-foot ar ray on a trailer the same size as this, Fletcher said. It can produce 10 kilowatts of peak power. Part of Fletchers adjustments to the design include making the individual sections, or bays, of the truss able to unfold indepen dent of the other sections so the truss can be varied in its size. The original design, in which all the truss sections had to be unfolded before any could lock in, met a standard requirement for space. In space, its a good thing because you can use one mecha nism to deploy the whole thing. On the ground, its not necessar ily an advantage, Fletcher said. The new design makes it easier to deploy in a rough environ ment. Thanks to interest from India and South Africa, Fletcher is looking to take the truss vertical. Extending 100 feet up from a six-foot-high box, the truss is strong enough to hold cell phone equipment and the solar panels to power them. As the Earth-bound business takes shape, Fletcher has not given up on putting the concept to work in orbit or on other worlds. We had in mind all along deploying this thing in space, or at least a one-sixth or one-third gravity environment, Fletcher said. With robust connections, a to deploy it in different ways, Fletcher said the truss is a good plans. The mechanism could serve as the basis for an unfold ing crew module in space, for example, or a frame for a small base on Mars. At the moment, though, Fletcher and the consortium are working the business through the early stages of growth. Its been a good experience, its really challenging, Fletcher By Steven Siceloff Spaceport News Jim Fletcher packs the prototype solar power generator inside the Vehicle Assembly Build ing at Kennedy Space Center on May 3. NASA The solar power generator prototype was unfolded in the Vehicle Assembly Building parking lot in 2011. Since then, the design has been modied to make a larger array that produces more electricity and folds up into the same amount of space. said. Were doing pretty good.

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Page 8 http://www.nasa.gov/kennedy KSC-Spaceport-News@mail.nasa.gov. Managing editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Stephanie Covey Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Frank Ochoa-Gonzales Looking up and ahead . All times are Eastern 2013 May 28 Mission: Expedition 36/37 Launch Vehicle: Soyuz TMA-09M Launch Site: Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan Launch Window: 4:31 p.m. Description: Soyuz TMA-09M will carry three Expedition 36/37 crew members to the ISS. June 5 Mission: ISS Automated Transfer Vehicle 4 Launch Vehicle: Ariane 5 Launch Site: Guiana Space Centre, French Guiana Launch Pad: ELA-3 Description: The European Space Agencys ATV-4, also known as the Albert Einstein, will deliver several tons of supplies to the ISS, docking with the Zvezda Service Module on the Russian segment of the station June 15. June 26 Mission: Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) Launch Vehicle: Pegasus XL Launch Site: Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. Launch Window: 10:25:04 to 10:30:04 p.m. Launch Time: 10:27:34 p.m. Description: IRIS is designed to provide signicant new information to increase our understanding of energy transport into the suns corona and solar wind and provide an archetype for all stellar atmospheres. July 24 Mission: ISS Resupply Launch Vehicle: ISS Progress 52 Launch Site: Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan Description: Progress 52 will carry supplies, hardware, fuel and water to the ISS. Aug. 12 Mission: Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) Launch Vehicle: Minotaur V Launch Site: Wallops Flight Facility, Va. Launch Pad: Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Pad 0B Description: LADEE will gather detailed information about conditions near the surface and environmental inuences on lunar dust. A thorough understanding of these inuences will help researchers understand how future exploration may shape the lunar environment and how the environment may affect future explorers. Sept. 25 Mission: Expedition 37/38 Launch Vehicle: Soyuz TMA-10M Launch Site: Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan Description: Soyuz TMA-10M will carry three Expedition 37/38 crew members to the ISS. Oct. 16 Mission: ISS Resupply Launch Vehicle: ISS Progress 53 Launch Site: Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan Description: Progress 53 will carry supplies, hardware, fuel and water to the ISS. To watch a NASA launch online, go to http:// www.nasa.gov/ntv NASA Spinoffs: Did You Know? For more about NASA Spinoffs, go to http:// www.nasa.gov/ spinoffs A stronauts have limited equipment for performing medical checks on the International Space Station. Tools at most doctors disposal -such as MRIs, CT scanners and even X-ray machines -are too bulky to carry to space. A doctor at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit had the solution. Dr. Scott Dulchavsky, chair of the Department of Surgery and professor of surgery, molecular biology and genetics at Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit, taught them how to operate a portable ultrasound for use aboard the space station. The technology originally designed to transmit ultrasound data quickly from the orbiting outpost to Earth is helping patients on the ground, too. A company called Mediphan of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, can compress and transmit high-quality ultrasound images rapidly for doctors to examine at a distance. In April, the companys successful technology spinoff from space station research was inducted into the 2013 Space Technology Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame honors world-class technology and those who transform technology originally developed for space exploration into products that help improve the quality of life on Earth. Expedition 29 Commander Mike Fossum scans Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency crew member Satoshi Furukawa using the Ultrasound 2 on the International Space Station. The controller is about the size of a laptop computer. NASA