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Spaceport news
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Oct. 5, 2012 Vol. 52, No. 20 John F. Kennedy Space Center Americas gateway to the universe Spaceport News Celebration honors rich 50-year history T he massive, white Saturn V rocket suspended from the ceiling of the Apollo/Saturn V Center, served as the backdrop for celebration, Sept. 22, to mark Ken nedy Space Centers 50th Anniver sary and the achievements of the last The galas theme, Celebrating the Past and Preparing for the Future, former NASA civil service and con tractor employees, dignitaries and guests mingled, reminisced about days past and reconnected with col leagues from the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo and Space Shuttle Programs. They also attended to hear about the The event was presented by Ken nedy and the National Space Club Florida Committee (NSCFC). Master of Ceremony Jim Banke, the host of Space Talk on WMMBAM, welcomed guests to the celebration. Lets take a few moments to honor the rich history and promising future of this great national asset that is so important, and continues to be important, to all of us here tonight, Banke said. announced that the organizations Florida National Defense Space Award would be renamed the For rest McCartney Memorial Florida National Defense Space Award to honor the late Gen. McCartney who to 1991. I cannot think of a better place to celebrate 50 years of Kennedy Space Center than here at the Saturn V facility, under this phenomenal rocket, said Kennedy Director Robert Cabana. All of the centers play a critical role in NASAs success, but nowhere else does it come together like it does here at Kennedy, Cabana said. This team has seen a lot in the last 50 years and weve contributed to great successes at NASA. Included in these successes, Cabana said, were men on the moon, on its own amazing 30-year history, the phenomenal achievement of the International Space Station, the Hubble Space Telescope, and the Curiosity rover on Mars. Throughout those 50 years, theres been one common theme, and thats an insatiable desire to explore, to send humans and robotic S paceX is set to launch the missions for NASA to deliver more than 1,000 pounds of supplies to the International Space Station on Oct. 7. Launch time is 8:35 p.m. from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, just a few miles south of the space shuttle launch pads. The spacecraft will be joined to the station three days later. cial Resupply Services-1 (CRS-1) will launch and perform the same rendezvous with the station as a previous SpaceX craft. The SpaceX Dragon capsule will ride into space on the strength of the company's Falcon 9 rocket keroseneand oxygen-powered Merlin engines. The Falcon 9's second stage uses a single Merlin engine to boost the Dragon into its Eleven minutes after launch, when the Dragon capsule is safely in orbit, a pair of solar arrays will deploy from the sides of the Drag on and controllers on Earth will begin testing rendezvous sensors. The mission is similar to the a Dragon was grappled by the sta tion's robotic arm to complete the a private spacecraft at the space station. The SpaceX craft will spend about three weeks connected to the station, then it will be released to return to Earth. A major difference for this mission is that the Dragon will be Inside this issue... Payload doors close Page 3 Page 2 Page 4 Roto landing idea Page 7 New eateries By Linda Herridge Spaceport News See GALA Page 6 By Steven Siceloff Spaceport News See SPACEX Page 6 CRS-1 restores US resupply capability SpaceX technicians rotate a Dragon spacecraft for mating with its Falcon 9 launch vehicle Sept. 30. NASA/Ben Smegelsky CLICK ON PHOTO

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Page 2 SPACEPORT NEWS Oct. 5, 2012 I nside Orbiter Processing Facility-2 at Ken nedy Space Center, Tim Keyser, the midbody mechanical lead with United Space Alliance (USA), and Ray Propst, USA Atlantis space shuttle Atlantis two doors were closed for the Its a proud moment for me helping to prepare this orbiter for display, Keyser said. It doesnt get any bet ter than this. Propst said, Its an honor to work with these folks, who continue to skillfully perform these complex tasks in spite of the obvious dis tractions. During shuttle missions, the payload bay doors were power down of Atlantis oc curred on Dec. 22, 2011, the operation to close the doors would have to be accom plished a different way. In his role as move direc tor for the Atlantis payload bay door closure operation, Keyser carefully monitored all of the activities and gave the go to close the doors. Bob Emerson, a USA mechanical engineer used the payload retention latch control box, which was con nected to Atlantis door drive motors, to begin the process of slowly closing the left, or portside door, and then the right, or starboard door. Im looking forward to seeing how Atlantis is going to look on display, Emerson the shuttle program here and move on to be part of NASAs next space exploration program. The entire process took only about an hour, with the actual closing of both doors taking under two minutes. Technicians on plat forms at both ends of the payload bay doors used speed wrenches in gear boxes located on Atlantis to lock the doors in place. Another technician slowly was moved along in a bridge bucket above Atlantis to lock the centerline latches in place. Closing the payload bay doors is part of NASAs Transition and Retirement work on the remaining space shuttle at Kennedy. NASA Flow Director for Orbiter Transition and Retirement Stephanie Stil son said preparations have been going extremely well Atlantis is completed. Closure of Atlantis pay load bay doors is one of the in order to prepare Atlantis for its move to the Ken nedy Space Center Visitor By Linda Herridge Spaceport News Complex, Stilson said. We are always proud to achieve a milestone on schedule, but it also is sad that this was the last time our team performed this task. According to Propst, the yellow strongbacks on the payload bay doors will be removed, a portion of them reattached to the payload bay doors to support their reopening for display at the visitor complex. On Nov. 2, Atlantis will be transported atop the Orbiter Transport System along Kennedys roadways en route to the visitor com plex where it will be housed until the display facility is completed. Were staying focused on getting Atlantis safely to the visitor complex, Keyser said. mission, STS-135, Atlantis miles, orbited the Earth 4,848 times, and carried 207 astronauts into space along with several components to help construct the Interna tional Space Station. Atlantis spent 307 days in space on 33 missions during NASA/Jim Grossmann NASA/Jim Grossmann United Space Alliance technicians install a television camera in the payload bay of for display. Sept. 20. During the course of its 26-year career, Atlantis spent 307 days in space during 33 missions. United Space Alliance technicians remove the two external fuel tank doors from the space shuttle Atlantis in bay 2 of the Or Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. For more on other Transition and Retirement activities of Atlantis, click on the photo. NASA/Jim Grossmann

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Oct. 5, 2012 Page 3 SPACEPORT NEWS Common ground key to certifying commercial systems N ASA managers and aero space industry representa tives met Sept. 19 for a chance to discuss the request for proposals that will begin NASA's crew transportation systems. This NASA to eventually purchase to and from the International Space Station. Contract (CPC) pre-proposal con ference at Kennedy Space Center, commercial crew and space station tions and answered industry ques tions about the two-phase acquisi tion strategy the agency is taking to certify these new systems to meet its crew transportation needs no later than 2017. "Why is this (CPC) important?" asked Maria Collura, program the risk for us as we enter Phase enabling the readiness for services as soon as possible." Beginning in February 2013 when awards are anticipated, Phase 1, called CPC, will allow NASA to work with CPC contractors to es tablish critical systems engineering plans so that Phase 2 can be spent actually building, verifying and validating the systems. It will be up to the companies to decide how they prove their systems are safe but the agency will certify the sys tems through the use of this phased contract prior to allowing missions crewed by NASA astronauts. both parties so that we can move forward together into Phase 2 on common ground," said Tom Si mon, chair of the CPC Evaluation Team. "It's very important to agree on what's required for a NASA expectations so that when the plans are executed we can focus on determining if the results meet the Up to this point, NASA's Com mercial Crew Program (CCP) and its industry partners have been operating under Space Act Agree ments. That strategy has continued to advance the development of systems for the country as a whole through NASA's Commercial Crew Development Rounds 1 and 2 and the newly awarded Commercial Crew Development Integrated Capability (CCiCap). CCP's phased acquisition will allow NASA and industry to iron out how systems in development could meet all of NASA's safety and performance requirements for crewed missions to the space station. "Just to be clear, those require ments have been locked in place for quite some time," said Ed Mango, CCP manager. "All we have been doing is updating them our supporting information helping to make sure that they are clearer for industry to understand." "The CPC effort is critical to to the International Space Station," Mango said. The transition between the two phases is expected to take place in mid-2014. While both phases will be open to any company to submit a proposal, Collura said Phase 2 will build on Phase 1, and compa nies that are interested in receiving a contract for NASA crew trans portation are encouraged to submit proposals for Phase 1. "You absolutely will get the disposition, which will help pre pare you for Phase 2 and actually reduce risk to both of us during that phase as well," Collura said. "If you are a company out there who is developing a commercial crew transportation system and you're at the appropriate level of maturity in the design and devel opment process, we want to work with you in Phase 1," said CCP's Deputy Program Manager Brent Jett. "We think it's very critical to engage with the developers of these systems in Phase 1 to disposi tion those products so that you can make the right decisions in your designs as you approach the critical design state and get ready to com pete for Phase 2." By Rebecca Regan Spaceport News More information Proposal Conference can be found on the contract's procurement website at: http://procurement.jsc.nasa.gov/ccpcpc Crew Program, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/commercialcrew conduct experiments in four areas: human health and exploration, technology testing for enabling future exploration, research in basic life and physical sciences, and earth and space science. NASA/Jim Grossmann NASA/Cory Huston

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SPACEPORT NEWS Page 4 Oct. 5, 2012 Roto system gives new spin to landing spacecraft A team of researchers brought a pair of scale model space capsules to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at Ken nedy Space Center to try out a rotor system that could be used in place of parachutes on returning spacecraft. The design would give a capsule the stability and control of a heli copter, but would not be powered. Instead, the wind passing over the rotors as the capsule descends would make the blades turn, a process called auto-rotation that has been proven repeatedly on helicopters but never tried on spacecraft. "The purpose of the testing we're doing here is to study how to get the rotor starting to spin," said Jeff Hagen, an engineer at Johnson Space Center in Houston. "We're trying to build as much of that story as we can." Inside the cavernous VAB, team members were spread out at different level, about halfway up to where the two-pound model capsule hung on a line 480 feet above the concrete Holding a helicopter radio-control unit, he remotely changed the rotors' pitch and slowed the fall four times as the unpowered craft landed on a stack of foam. "It's like running four separate tests in one drop," said Meehan, an engineer at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. The intent is to give real spacecraft a soft landing with enough control that they could touch down anywhere in the world, whether on a runway or the top of a building. In other words, wherever a helicopter could land, a spacecraft could land, too. "You can land gently and you can land where you want. You don't have to land out in the ocean," Meehan said. "Compared to a parachute, you get a soft landing and you get a targeted landing." with spent rocket boosters, Hagen said. Instead of throwing away the stage and its valuable engines, rotors could be built into the booster frame and unfurled as the stage descends to Earth. Just as with the capsule, the stage would be controllable the whole way down and would land softly to save the all-important engines. One might think the blades would fold up like an umbrella on a windy day the moment they touch the air stream around the capsule, but Hagen would be balanced, so the blades would hold strong. The researchers note that their work is about incorporating different elements together into something that is innovative. "A hundred years ago, there were cameras and there were phones and there were wireless devices to send Morse code and they were all sepa rate technologies on their own," said Les Boatright, an engineer at Ken nedy. "Now you have a telephone that does all three of those things and it's a merger of technology. Well, this is taking the capsule entry technol ogy and helicopter rotor technology and merging those in an innovative way to make something that didnt exist before out of two things that did exist before." The development team also notes returning spacecraft could use a the difference being that the capsule's blades would start spinning almost immediately after opening. Control capsule, too, to keep it from revolv ing with the blades. According to the engineers, the testing is extremely simple compared to the high-tech evaluations that must be done before such an experimental but the analysis is critical to moving through the early phases of develop ment to convince people it's an idea worth pursuing. The idea is not all that new. In fact, NASA researched the concept for the Apollo capsules but opted for the parachute return for the sake of shortening development time during the moon race. Testing of the concept will get more demanding over time, includ ing the possibility of hauling a roto-capsule miles into the sky on a high-altitude balloon for release. And before rotors are entrusted with the lives of astronauts, designers expect to try them out on a small capsule returning fragile science samples from the space station. For that task, which at this point cannot be done by another spacecraft since the retirement of the space a successful niche pretty quickly, researchers said. Hagen said, "That's kind of a big leap from something that's a small test article to something that's on a manned system, but in between you could have something that's a small-scale sample return that's cargo only," By Steven Siceloff Spaceport News A model capsule is used for drop tests inside the Center to test a rotor system landing design on Sept. 20. The design would give a capsule the stability and control of a helicopter, but would not be powered. The intent is to give real spacecraft a soft landing with enough control that they could touch down anywhere in the world, whether on a helicopter could land, a spacecraft could land, too.

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SPACEPORT NEWS Page 5 Oct. 5, 2012 Scenes Around Kennedy Space Center the next issue of Spaceport News. for temporary storage. The work is part of a centerwide refurbishment initiative under the Ground Systems Development and Operations, or GSDO, Program. and a variety of other spacecraft. imaging. Space Center on Sept. 20. NASA/Randy Beaudoin, VAFB CLICK ON PHOTO CLICK ON PHOTO NASA/Jim Grossmann CLICK ON PHOTO CLICK ON PHOTO

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Page 6 Oct. 5, 2012 SPACEPORT NEWS at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Apollo/Saturn V Center on Sept. 22. The gala was coordinated by Kennedy Space Center and the National Space Club Florida Committee with the theme, Celebrating the Past and Preparing for several former Kennedy Space Center directors. From GALA Page 1 our home planet, in a neverending quest to expand our knowledge of the universe, Cabana said. But, as great as those last 50 years have been, Cabana said he truly believes that the next 50 years are go ing to be even better. The center is putting in place the infrastructure to send humans further into the solar system than theyve ever gone before. A spaceport of the future, once science commercial and government, crew and cargo, orbital and well beyond planet Earth. I am sure of this success, because of the quality, drive, dedication and enthusiasm of this outstanding Kennedy team, Cabana said. We are charging into the future. Guests were treated to a special greeting from International Space Station Expedition 33 Commander Sunita Williams. On behalf of astronauts everywhere, we thank you for your hard work, Wil liams said. We cant wait for the future missions, from Kennedy and where those missions will take us. NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden said that for millions of our citizens, and billions of people around the world, the Kennedy Space Center is synonymous with mankinds greatest achieve ments in exploration of the universe. With retirement of the shuttle program, we stand on the cusp of a new era in is again at the center of this action, Bolden said. As we stand on the shoul ders of 50 years of greatness here at Kennedy, I ask you to join me in looking forward to an even brighter future. Bolden said we are not just on a mission to discover the universe. Were on a mis sion to discover ourselves. We cant forget that the purpose of space exploration is to make life better here on Earth, Bolden said. PBS NewsHour Sci ence Correspondent Miles OBrien closed the program with his unique view of NASAs space program, Kennedy Space Center and its workers. Here you take tremen dous pride in everything you do. And all of it for the right reasons, OBrien said. What strikes me the most is the way all of you conducted yourselves as you wrote the epilogue to an amazing epic story. Tonight we celebrate much more than an accident of geography. We celebrate, we venerate, the minds, the hands, the accumulated knowledge and the ingenuity that made this place great for 50 years, and will make it great for as long as we continue to go to space. Some of Kennedys former directors and retired work accomplished at the center. Richard Smith, Kennedys center director from 1979 to a great history, but its true resource is the people. Bill Parsons, center director from 2007 to 2008, was delighted to be among friends and colleagues. They are the true icons of this business, Parsons said. I am so blessed that I get to be a part of this business. Roland Norris was the lead for mechanical systems launch. He arrived at Ken nedy during the end of the Mercury program and spent 45 years at the center, work ing all the way through to the Space Shuttle Program, before retiring in 2003. It was a privilege work ing here during such an historic time, Norris said. It was challenging and very rewarding. We were working country. Wayne Owens, a design engineer, arrived at Kennedy Im here because of my love for NASA, Owens said. able for an operational mission. enough items to prove the capsule would do its job as a cargo hauler. This time, the manifest will include samples, a powered middeck locker with an experiment inside along with a variety of materials for the astronauts living and working on the space station. NASA's Commercial Resupply Services contract, which is paying SpaceX for 12 cargo runs to the orbiting laboratory. The station also is serviced by Russian Progress cargo capsules, European-made and launched Automated Transfer Vehicles, or ATVs, and Japaneseproduced H-II Transfer Vehicles, or HTVs. All the cargo ships operate without astronauts or crew mem bers aboard. Once the spacecraft arrive at the station, the astronauts and cosmo them with used materials or un needed equipment before releasing them. Here, SpaceX again does some thing unique. The Dragons are built with heat shields to survive a plunge through the atmosphere and splashdown safely in the ocean under billowing parachutes. The other cargo craft do not carry heat shields, so they just burn up in the atmosphere. On its return trip, the Dragon capsule will carry more than a ton ing space station research, along with the freezer the samples have been stored in. Astronauts also will load used station hardware into the capsule for return to Earth where at it. A second American cargo craft also is being developed. The Or bital Sciences' Cygnus spacecraft and Antares rocket are due to make year. From SPACEX Page 1 Falcon 9 rocket is being prepared Sept. 30 for the or CRS-1, mission to send a Dragon spacecraft to NASA

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Page 7 Oct. 5, 2012 SPACEPORT NEWS Scientists mitigate dust problem for explorers O ne of the challenges in exploring the moon or planets is dust kicked up by engines during landing or activity on these distant worlds. Scien tists in the Electrostatics and Surface Physics Laboratory at Kennedy Space Center are developing ways to mitigate this problem. Electrodynamic dust shield, or EDS, technology is based on concepts originally developed by NASA as early versity of Tokyo. In 2003, NASA, in collaboration with the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, started develop ment of the EDS for dustparticle removal from solar panels to be used on future missions to Mars. Dr. Carlos Calle, lead scientist in Kennedy's Electrostatics and Surface Physics Lab, is developing instrumentation to deal with the problem of electrostatic dust phenomena during fu ture planetary exploration missions. "Our laboratory is now de veloping an electrodynamic dust shield to prevent debris from accumulating on vari ous surfaces," Calle said. Long-term testing is planned for an experiment being developed for launch to the International Space Station aboard a SpaceX Dragon resupply mission in 2015. "Our payload called Elec trodynamic Dust Shield for the Materials International Space Station Experiment-X, or MISSE-X, will be mount ed on an external station platform to verify the effects of the space environment," he said. "The electrodynamic dust-shield experiment will contain four panels and an electronics control box. Test ing will include a transparent EDS for optical systems and solar panels, two EDS panels for thermal radiators and an EDS on fabric for spacesuit dust protection. "What we learn on the space station experiments," Calle said, "should allow us to be better prepared to miti gate dust problems the next time humans visit another planet." Many of today's state-ofthe-art digital, single-lens similar device to periodically vibrate, shaking dust off the light sensor that creates the photographic image. How ever, Calle explains the EDS does not actually vibrate. "This technology works that propagates out like the ripples on a pond," he said. "This could prevent dust accumulation on spacesuits, thermal radiators, solar panels, optical instruments and view ports for future lunar and Mars exploration activities." Much of this research is a follow-up to lessons learned from the lunar missions of the early 1970s. lunar-landing missions included three moonwalks of up to seven-and-a-half hours. Astronauts said the soil was stuck to their pressure suits and helmet visors. "Jack Schmitt said that on Apollo 17 he had to keep brushing the dust off his vi sor," Calle said. "By the end of the third moonwalk, his glove had so badly scratched to see." Harrison "Jack" Schmitt was the lunar module pilot on Apollo 17, which landed on the moon in Decem ber 1972. He and mission commander Eugene Cernan spent over three days on the lunar surface. They and other Apollo astronauts reported they were not able to leave the dust problem outside. "On each landing mission, the Apollo crews said they tried to brush off the moon's dust," Calle said, "but a good bit of it stayed on their space suits. Once inside the atmo sphere of the lunar module, could be inhaled. That's not a serious problem for a three-day stay, but during a three-month expedition on a lunar base, it could become a health hazard." With the electrodynamic dust shield embedded in the fabric of future spacesuits, particles can be removed by these electrodes to remove dust and also prevent its ac cumulation. "So far, our testing has shown the electrodes can re move most of the dust," said Calle. "The electrodes are made from different conduct are imbedded in surfaces such as fabrics and can be made transparent on clear surfaces for optical devices, windows, visors, thermal radiators or solar panels." These applications would be helpful with the type of dust problems that affected Mars Exploration Rov ers Spirit and Opportunity, which landed on the Red Planet on Jan. 4 and Jan. 25, 2004, respectively. "Unlike the moon, Mars has an atmosphere which blew dust on to the solar panels of Spirit and Oppor tunity," Calle said. "Both ro botic probes could have been jeopardized. Fortunately, that By Bob Granath Spaceport News same atmosphere created dust devils that blew much of the dust off. This kept the rovers going." A dust devil is a small whirlwind over land, visible as a column of dust and debris. They are not phenom ena to be dependent on, and future missions may not be as fortunate, thus requiring mitigation technology. "We believe electrody namic dust-shield devices could protect the solar panels from dust accumulation," Calle said. Extensive testing in simulated laboratory envi ronments and testing on a that high levels of dust can be removed. "To simulate the condi tions of space, our tests have been performed in both a vacuum and low gravity," said Calle. "We call it the Reduced Gravity Flight Experiment." A vacuum chamber was creating brief periods simu lating the one-sixth Earth gravity of the moon and the Martian gravity that is about 38 percent of Earth's. Under these conditions, layers of dust were placed on materi als embedded with electrody namic dust-shield devices. "When activated, 99 per cent of the dust was removed from the surfaces protected by the dust shields," Calle said. The image on the left shows dust-covered glass. During high vacuum testing, removing virtually all the debris. NASA surfaces protected by the dust shields. NASA

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Page 8 Oct. 5, 2012 SPACEPORT NEWS FROM THE VAULT In celebration of Kennedy Space Center's 50th anniversary, enjoy this vintage photo . 68 Assistant managing editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Stephanie Covey Copy editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Kay Grinter www.nasa.gov/kennedy SP-2012-09-210-KSC Spaceport News 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 KSC-Spaceport-News@mail.nasa.gov NASA Employees of the Month: October NASA NASA Employees of the Year NASA Looking up and ahead . All times are Eastern 2012 Oct. 7 SpaceX Launch/Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (SLC-40): Falcon 9, Dragon C3 Launch window: 8:35 p.m. Oct. 23 NASA Launch/Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan: Expedition 33/34, Soyuz TMA-06M Launch window: TBD Oct. 25 USAF Launch/Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (SLC-41): Atlas V, Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV) Launch window: TBD Oct. 31 NASA Launch/Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan: ISS Progress 49 Launch window: TBD Dec. 19 NASA Launch/Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Expedition 34/35, Soyuz TMA-07M Launch window: TBD Dec. 13 NASA Launch/Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (SLC-41): Atlas V, Tracking and Data Relay Satellite-K (TDRS-K) Launch window: 11:57 p.m. to 12:37 a.m. To watch a NASA launch online, go to http:// www.nasa.gov/ntv