Spaceport news


Material Information

Spaceport news
Physical Description:
Kennedy Space Center
External Relations, NASA at KSC
Place of Publication:
Kennedy Space Center, FL
Publication Date:


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

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
System ID:

This item is only available as the following downloads:

Full Text


June 1, 2012 Vol. 52, No. 11 Spaceport News John F. Kennedy Space Center Americas gateway to the universe Inside . 'Special' Kennedy K-9 dies Page 2 Dream Chaser reaches milestone Page 2 Former Apollo engineer visits Orion Page 5 No ceiling necessary for this clean room Page 6 High energy, innovation prevail at Lunabotics Mining Competition By Linda Herridge Spaceport News L unabotics Team NA SACAR from the University of Alabama, partnering with Shelton State Community College, both in Tuscaloosa, took the overall grand prize, the Joe Kosmo Award of Ex cellence. This, after a week of high-energy competition at NASAs third Lunabotics Mining Competition, May 21-26, at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida. It was a close competi tion, said team leader and sophomore Adam Melton. The professional qual ity and level of every team member helped us to achieve this honor. For their efforts, the 12-member team of un dergraduate and graduate students was awarded a school trophy, a $5,000 team scholarship, Kennedy launch invitations and up to $1,000 in travel expenses for each team member and one faculty advisor to attend one of NASAs remote research and technology tests. The team also took second place in the Mining Compe in the Team Spirit, Slide Presentation and Demonstra tion categories. Lunabotics Emcee Kim berly Land thanked every team for making this years Lunabotics Mining Com petition fun, exciting and unique. Land is the educa tion, public outreach and communications manager for NASAs Game Chang ing Development and Earth Programs.See ENERGY Page 3 CLICK ON PHOTO NASA/Glenn Benson A team of competitors works with its robot during NASA's Lunabotics Mining Competition at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex on May 25. For more on NASA's third annual competition, click on the photo. Photo courtesy of Michael Altenhofen, SpaceX SpaceX Falcon 9, Dragon make history with mission By Steven Siceloff Spaceport News S paceX completed a landmark mission May 31 that saw its Dragon capsule deliver halfa-ton of supplies and equip ment to the International Space Station and return safely to Earth. craft to rendezvous with the International Space Station. Its true impact is expected to be seen in coming months as the company sends regular resupply missions to the orbiting outpost. "We are hoping to contin ue working with NASA and three years," said Elon Musk, the founder, CEO and chief designer for the Hawthorne, Calif.-based Space Explora tion Technologies, better known as SpaceX. NASA engineers worked closely with SpaceX throughout preparations for the uncrewed demonstration mission. "As a country, we should be very proud," said Mike Suffredini, NASA Interna tional Space Station pro gram manager. We took a capability that this agency has nurtured over many years, combined that with a different thought process in spacecraft design and created a team that worked very well. The SpaceX team learned a lot and so did our NASA engineers." The SpaceX mission com bined the goals of two sepa Commercial Orbital Trans portation Services Program, known as COTS. Originally and then come back to Earth, SpaceX and NASA agreed to let the Dragon connect to the laboratory as long as a string of performance tests were successful. "We all remember the transcontinental railroad that opened the Western frontier," Pettit told reporters. "It was celebrated and completed by a golden spike. This is kind of the equivalent. No one remembers who pounded it in, but its completion was important and remembered." Photo of launch, Page 4


Page 2 SPACEPORT NEWS June 1, 2012 Sierra Nevada tests Dream Chaser design near Rockies By Rebecca Regan Spaceport News S ierra Nevada Corporation Chaser design passed one of its most complex tests to date with a successful captive-carry test conducted near the Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport in Jefferson County, Colo., on May 29. Just like the space shuttle before through extensive testing to prove its wings will work. The company Dream Chaser spacecraft to carry out the evaluations. Backdropped by skyscraping summits, an Erickson Air-Crane helicopter lifted the full-scale orbital crew vehicle to verify proper aero handling during the landing phase of a mission. The captive-carry test marks the completion of another milestone for Photo courtesy of Sierra Nevada Corp. an Erickson Air-Crane helicopter near the Rocky the Dream Chaser Space System as part of the Commercial Crew Development Round 2 (CCDev2) cial Crew Program (CCP). "This is a very positive success for the Dream Chaser team and their innovative approach. I applaud and encourage the designers and engineers to continue their efforts in meeting the objectives of the rest of their CCDev2 milestones," said Ed Mango, CCP program manager. SNC is one of seven companies working to develop commercial crew transportation capabilities to ferry U.S. astronauts to and from low Earth orbit and the International Space Station. The Dream Chaser is designed to carry as many as seven astronauts to space, and is the only spacecraft under CCDev2 that in corporates wings and is designed to land on a conventional runway. "The successful captive-carry a program that could culminate in crewed missions to the International Space Station for NASA," said Steve Lindsey, former NASA astronaut operations for SNC. Before the company took to the Rocky Mountain skies, it conducted an interface test to demonstrate the release mechanism between the Dream Chaser prototype and the heavy-lift helicopter. It also con ducted a ground-based landing gear readiness review with engineers, technical experts and representatives from SNC and NASA. Another recent milestone included an evaluation of the separation sys tem compatibility of Dream Chaser with its initial launch vehicle, the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket, which would be used to re lease the spacecraft from the rockets second stage after it has placed the spacecraft into low Earth orbit. Data from the captive-carry test will provide the company an early opportunity to evaluate and prove hardware, facilities and ground op erations in preparation for approach and landing tests scheduled for later this year. All of NASAs CCDev2 partners, including SNC, continue to meet their established milestones in devel oping commercial crew transporta tion capabilities. More information For more information about NASA's Elite Kennedy K-9 remembered for illustrious career By Stephanie Covey Spaceport News H e protected Presi dent Obama, numerous congress man and woman, astronauts, as well as space shuttles and him a hero, but to the Ken nedy Protection Service, he just was known as Carlos, an eight-and-a-half-year-old Belgian Malinois and an explosive detection dog at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Carlos was an elite member of the K-9 Unit that has served Kennedy since the Apollo program. Capt. Christopher Vaughn, Kennedys Kennel Master and K-9 Supervisor, trained Carlos as a 2-year-old puppy and said he exhibited a high work ethic, high motivation and was a very professional dog. He was the dog every K-9 handler wants, but few deserve, Vaughn said. Hes that dog you want to clone. In November 2004, Carlos arrived to Kennedy from the Netherlands. He was tion, tracking and criminal apprehension. Vaughn said that once Carlos was assigned to Ken rome Player, his handler, his full potential was unleashed. Carlos and Player were Space Center. gave his life to the people featured on the cover of Carlos, who died May and missions of Kennedy the May/June 2009 issue of Space Center and will not Police K-9, a national maga Players home. be forgotten by those who zine, for protecting Kennedy Vaughn added, Carlos served with him.


Page 3 June 1, 2012 SPACEPORT NEWS From ENERGY Page 1 Its always an awesome pleasure to see how each team accomplishes the task with innovative designs and ideas. You should all be very proud of what youve ac complished over the last few days, Land said. In all, 55 U.S. and inter national college and uni versity teams spent months designing and building their versions of remote-con trolled or autonomous exca vators, called lunabots. Then they descended on Kennedy Space Center en masse to put their lunabots to the test with lunar regolith simulant with a rocky terrain. The 17 international teams came from Bangla desh, Canada, Colombia, India, Mexico, Romania and South Korea This competition gets bigger and better each year, with different ideas from people who dont do this every day, said Pat Simp kins, director of Kennedys Engineering Directorate. This is testing out concepts for what man is going to use to go beyond Earth orbit and explore. At the opening ceremony, May 23, Kennedy Deputy Center Director Janet Petro welcomed the teams to the competition. This competition was designed to engage students in the study of science, NASA/Jim Grossmann Winning Teams Joe Kosmo Award for Excellence (Grand Prize) collaboration with Shelton State Community College On-Site Mining Award First Place collaboration with Wartburg College Second Place of Alabama in collaboration with Shelton State Community College Third Place Milwaukee School of Engineering Judges Innovation Award Communications Power Award students to build machines that could collect soil such as the material found on the moon. Working inside the Caterpillar with Wartburg College Colombia technology, engineering ler said. We also required one of the originators of the Slide Presentation andand mathematics, or STEM, the teams to consider vari-competition, has watched Demonstration Award courses, but its amazing ous design operation factors the competition grow from First Place Alabama in collaboration withto think that the innovative such as dust tolerance and Shelton State Community Collegeconcepts from today, from projection, communications, along with Kennedy Educa-Second Place West Virginia this week, could actually vehicle mass, energy or tion Specialist Gloria MurThird Place result in ideas and solu-power required and the Andes of Colombia tions that could be applied level of autonomy. a gap between high school Outreach Projectto real lunar excavation in The on-site mining and the job market. Report Award the not-too-distant future, was only a portion of the Murphy is lead for two of First Place collaboration with Wartburg College Petro said. competition. Each team also NASAs Human Exploration Second Place Montana StateBuilding on the previcompeted in other categories and Operations Mission DiThird Place ous two years itinerary, to collect points toward the rectorate education projects this years competition coveted top honors, includ-at Kennedy. Systems Engineeringhad a few twists and turns. ing writing a systems engi-A competition of this Paper Award First Place Montana StateAccording to lead technical neering paper, performing caliber gives the students expert and head judge Rob education outreach, creating a taste for what its like to Second Place Mueller, each team had two, a slide presentation and be on a multi-disciplinary Third Place 10-minute rounds to operate demonstration, team spirit, team that develops a product Urbana-Champaign their lunabot to collect and to solve a complex prob-Team Spirit Award deposit a minimum of 10 of power and use of social lem, Murphy said. These First Place kilograms of lunar simulant. media. lunabot entries are helping Alabama in collaboration with Shelton State Community CollegeScoring for the min-Mueller, who is a senior NASA develop ideas for Second Place Instituto de ing category was not based technologist in the Surface prototypes for mining on the Astrobiologia Colombia IAC Third Place solely on the amount of moon, something that has material excavated, Muel-Engineering Directorate and never been done before. NASA/Jim Grossmann Children work with family members to build and program robots at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex on May 25. Kennedy families participate in free robotics workshops College students were not the only ones building and programming robots during the 2012 Lunabotics competition. NASAs Kennedy Space Center also invited K-12 grade students to build and program LEGO Mind storms NXT robots May 25 at the Exploration Station in the Center for Space Education at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Com plex during the competition. Students also were invited to interact with the Lunabotics teams as they participated in the mining competition. "It was a pleasure teach ing children of all ages how to program the NXT robots," NASA Education Specialist Linda Scauzillo said. "The parents were amazed at how easily the children learned the programming proce dures." The students participated in an hour-long session, spending 30 minutes build ing the robots and the other half participating in the competition. There were 81 participants, making it a huge turnout for the work shops. -Brittney Longley Spaceport News


Kennedy workers take part in the 61st annual National Day of Prayer Hundreds of Kennedy Space Center workers annual National Day of Nation Under God," is "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord." Photos by NASA/Gianni Woods Page 4 SPACEPORT NEWS June 1, 2012 Scenes Around Kennedy Space Center CLICK ON PHOTO NASA/Dimitri Gerondidakis more information about Space Center Houston, click on the photo. to the SpaceX engine test complex outside McGregor, Texas. The surplus railroad cars were used in support of the Space Nine Merlin engines ignite under the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket May 22 at Space NASA/Jim Grossmann CLICK ON PHOTO CLICK ON PHOTO NASA


Page 5 June 1, 2012 SPACEPORT NEWS Former Apollo engineer meets with Orion spacecraft By Steven Siceloff Spaceport News T he last time James Murphy set foot inside the Operations and Checkout Building at Center in Florida, the high bay gleamed from polished teemed with spacecraft destined for the moon being After 40 years, that de and his family were given a VIP tour through the facility that now serves as Lockheed the Orion spacecraft being prepped for a new genera tion of deep space journeys. "White is bright," Mur -phy said while looking high bay was used as the spacecraft to take astronauts Jules Schneider, Lockheed Murphy worked for AC the ground test article of preparation area for space to deep-space locales. Delco on the navigation the Orion spacecraft. "It shuttle modules, including Two altitude chambers Orion Assembly, Integra -systems used in the Apollo looks very familiar, but of the SpaceLabs that astro still are in place, though tion and Production. "They spacecraft. He worked on nauts worked in while in only one is working. The didnt have a guidebook. Apollos 8 through 14 in dif the other spacecraft in here orbit. massive cylindrical cham They thought they were ferent capacities during his these days, which is what I Lockheed Martin reno bers were constructed large doing the right thing, but two years at Kennedy. remember. The command vated the vast assembly hall enough to hold Apollo they had no way of knowing "It seems like a long time module looks very similar. in 2009 so it could be used spacecraft to test for leaks. if they were doing the right but some of these things are We had the lunar module to build the Orion space They also were used for thing." like they happened yester and Saturn lunar module craft. Workers pulled out leak checks of International The State of Florida day," Murphy said. "I felt adapter." antiquated cables, electrical Space Station modules such previously funded $35 mil -very fortunate to be here to Between serving as an gear and pipes and recoated as the Destiny laboratory. begin, not thinking I would assembly area for capsules "These guys laid all the high bay for Orion assembly ever get there, but hoping I and service modules, the a suitable area to build a groundwork for us," said and checkout. would." NASA/Glenn Benson By Brittney Longley Spaceport News T heres an old saying that succeed, pick yourself up and try again. That is exactly what Florida Agricultural and Mechani cal University (FAMU) did during the 2011-12 NASA Launch Initia tive on Braggs Farm in Toney, Ala., on April 22. FAMU received the Closest to Altitude award, reaching 5,270 feet in the air, a mere 10 feet from the cial victory for FAMU, which was unable to launch last year because it did not have a proper landing system. gest triumph was winning the alti tude award at the Student Launch Projects Challenge, said Associate Professor Clement Allen, who is the teams advisor. While the team took home an unexpected award, it faced the dilemma of having to replace mem bers in the midst of the semester change. There was near 100 percent turnover in the team from the fall semester to the spring semester, Allen said. That led to us essen tially reforming the team during the spring semester, which was chal lenging. The challenge was over come by the talent, enthusiasm and commitment of the new members. FAMU also is a grantee of NASAs Minority University Research and Education Program (MUREP) Small Projects (MSP), which focuses on minority research and enhancing capabilities of mi nority schools. The school received the Minority Innovation Challenges Institute (MICI) grant. Kennedy Space Center MSP Project Manager Theresa Marti nez said, FAMU has exceeded all my expectations. They have participated and excelled in NASA challenges themselves, and through the MICI grant, also have generated other minority institutions in NASA challenges. MICI mentors and trains minor ity undergrad students to compete in NASA technology challenges, allowing them to attend educational sessions with no cost or fee. success this year will inspire future students to get involved and that next year and in future years more and more students will get involved, and the experiments performed for the project will be increasingly creative.


Page 6 SPACEPORT NEWS June 1, 2012 By Steven Siceloff Operations and Checkout ness standards with the area Spaceport News Building are using this around Orion given an extra layer of protection. T urns out a clean idea," said Doug Lenhardt, In the VAB, the requirement is to keep visible con sarily need a roof, Ground Systems Develop-taminants, such as specks of NASA is learning as it ment and Operations Pro-dirt and dust, off the outside tries out a design that could of the capsule. be assembled around the It may not sound like a Orion spacecraft where it is The test, which involves a big deal for something that prepared for launch in the room built around a full-will be exposed to space, Vehicle Assembly Building scale Orion model, has been but an earthly bit of pollen (VAB) at Kennedy Space running for two weeks on or sand or even a human Center in Florida. hair can confuse a star trackThe key to the concept, the VAB and will continue er, lead to a build up around developed by Astrotech, another two to three weeks. an exhaust port or block a is two 10-foot-high walls "The results have been en -thruster, for example. couraging," Lenhardt said. And there are lots of parpositioned 30 feet apart to ticles looking for a place to push and pull the air in one -settle in the VAB, especially direction across the cap ing. when the doors are open and sule, keeping particles from The demands of a clean wind is swirling around. room in the VAB are not "Conditions in the VAB surface. A set of clear walls comnearly as strict as those are bad. It is much worse pletes the box, but there is in the Operations and than being outside," said Checkout Building where Walt Turner, senior integra because engineers want to the Orion capsule will be tion engineer with Sierra use the large cranes already built. In fact, the techniin the VAB to lift the Orion cians in the O&C already dust creator." spacecraft and its shell into are working with a similar The amount of particles place as it is assembled on setup to build the capsule in the VAB surprised John top of the Space Launch components into a working Weeks, an operations engiSystem rocket. If they have spacecraft. Because even a neer overseeing the clean to build a clean room with slight contaminant can cre-room evaluation. its own crane, the cost ate problems inside a cap-"The particle environ would be much higher. "The guys over in the bay is kept to high cleanli-week of this test, it was an NASA/Dimitri Gerondidakis particles inside the VAB from collecting on the outside of the spacecraft during processing. eye-opener for me," Weeks take place on platforms said, adding that opening more than 300 feet above the doors sees contaminants arrangement similar to that "They spike tremendously." used to assemble Apollo Engineers are not worried spacecraft atop Saturn V about the dirt getting inside Orion while it is in the VAB Orion and the Space because the spacecraft alLaunch System are being ways will have its hatch shut designed with deep space or be covered by the rela destinations in mind, too. tively sterile white room. Coming on the heels of The clean room they want will protect Orion for a few hours or maybe a couple in a generation NASA engi of days at most, when the neers have developed a new shrink wrapping over the spacecraft to send people capsule has been removed into deep space. but before the aerodynamic shell is connected around the conical spacecraft. nity to work in the developThe work to prepare the ment phase of a spacecraft," capsule and mount it to the Weeks said. top of the massive Space NASA/Dimitri Gerondidakis The clean room is designed to keep particles inside the VAB from collecting on the outside of the spacecraft during processing. Launch System rocket will opportunity, really."


Page 7 June 1, 2012 SPACEPORT NEWS By Kay Grinter Reference Librarian N ASAs commitment to fostering stu dent retention and achievement in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics areas of study is long-standing. Known as the STEM disciplines, NASA relies on to advance the technology needed for space exploration. Building a robust cadre of scientists and engineers for the future is a high priority for NASA. Since its inception in June 2010, the Student Space science and exploration mis sions to encourage students to pursue a STEM-centric school curriculum. SSEP gives 300 to 1,000 students across a community the opportunity to propose and design real micrograv Earth orbit. space shuttles Endeavour and Atlantis on the STS 134 and STS-135 missions, respectively. A third round of experiments now has made its way to the International Space Station. A suite of 15 SSEP experiments were aboard the SpaceX Dragon capsule when it docked with the station on May 25 and will in orbit by space station astronauts. Known collectively as Aquarius, the experiments More information To learn more about Experiments Program, including future opportunities for student participation, visit NASA/Ryen Bean will assess the effects of microgravity on physical, chemical and biological systems. The students have been immersed in every facet tion of the investigation to experiment design, proposal writing and a formal NASA proposal review for selection As an added incentive to consider technical careers, the student investigators were treated like their adult counterparts and were invit ed to view the Dragon launch from the NASAs News Center at Kennedy Space Center, not far from where their experiments lifted off into space on neighboring Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Student investigators on three of the experiments made themselves available for interviews before the on May 19. Tenth-grader Ryan Puri from San Marino High School in San Marino, Calif., was enthusiastic about his participation developing the entry Effect of Microgravity on the Antibacterial Resis tance of P. aeruginosa. It was actually a really professional experience, Puri said. I was really sur prised to see that it was really much like an actual research program where you actually feel like a real scientist. For guidance on handling the bacteria and antibiotics involved in the experiment, he and his team members visited a laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., where they got to put on lab coats, and our goggles and gloves and everything and really got to use all these machines. Puri assessed the experience: It was really fun! Co-investigators Jack Barth, JP Peerbolte and Cam eron Zandstra, all seventhand eighth-graders from Highland Christian School in Lake County, Ind., were excited to be at Kennedy representing their entry, The Effect of Microgravity on the Quality and Nutritional Value of the Seed Sprout of a Ger minated 92M72 GeneticallyThis is like super great, Zandstra said. Its like one of the best things to happen to me so far. Just to see how doors have opened for us just by writing this paper, Barth added, and especially in program. Peerbolte spoke for the team when he said, Its amazing to see our soybeans on top of a rocket going to space to the International Space Station and micro gravity. Emily Soice, an eighthgrader at Johnston Middle School in Houston, was principal investigator for her communitys entry, Hepatocyte Development in Bioscaffolds infused with TGFB3 in Microgravity. Soice was aware of the was feeling very excited and honored that I get to be payload. Its a very cool experience. Puri echoed her senti ment: I think its really an incredible experience, to be part of the next step in space exploration history. The SSEP also takes the opportunity to inspire students artistic side through a competition to design a mission patch to accompany their communitys experi ments into space. The winning elementary patch for Charles County Public Schools in Maryland was designed by Lauren ter J. Mitchell Elementary School in Charles County, Md. ONeil also agreed to be interviewed as any novice artist would. "My science teacher, Mrs. Krebeck, told us about the competition and asked us if we wanted to partici pate, Lauren reported. "My brother Hayden has a lot of books about space so I looked through them for inspiration." Once she had completed her research, she chose her medium -markers. Tucked in the lower left-hand corner is a slogan near and dear to the hearts of space enthusi asts everywhere: The skys not the limit. The students especially were thrilled to receive a visit from a couple of reallife astronauts who stopped by the News Center to offer them some words of encour agement and a special thankyou for their hard work. Those astronauts sometimes are better known for the posi tions they now hold within NASA -Kennedy Space Center Director Bob Cabana and NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden. CLICK ON PHOTO CLICK ON PHOTO This winning elementary patch was School in Charles County, Maryland. For more on the mission patches, click on the photo.


Looking up and ahead . All times are Eastern 2012 Page 8 SPACEPORT NEWS June 1, 2012 In celebration of Kennedy Space Center's 50th anniversary, enjoy this vintage photo . FROM THE VAULT nestled on the west bank. NASA photos Some like it hot, hot, hot that help the elderly and disabled, including Meals on Wheels. Below is the team's storefront. Spaceport News published online on alternate Fridays by Public Affairs in the interest of KSC civil service and contractor employees. Contributions are welcome and should be submitted three weeks before publication to Public Affairs, IMCS-440. E-mail submissions can be sent to Managing editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Candrea Thomas Copy editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Kay Grinter