Spaceport news

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Spaceport news
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John F. Kennedy Space Center Americas gateway to the universe Spaceport News www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/news/snews/spnews_toc.html April 4, 2008 Vol. 48, No. 7 Recovery crew launches as STS-123 lands A s the crew of space shuttle En deavour prepared for an evening landing at Kennedy Space Centers Shuttle Landing Facility on March 26, a crew was making preparations on the ground. A recovery crew of nearly 200 NASA and contractor workers, along with 40 vehicles, headed toward the run way with one thought on their minds to ensure the orbiter is safe once it touches down and comes to a stop. For United Space Al liance workers Ray Zink and Richard Van Wart, the sound of the twin sonic booms signaled the begin ning of a well-orchestrat ed, post-landing process vehicle and moving it to the orbiter processing facility. Zink is manager of shuttle recovery op erations and serves as the orbiter move director after the shuttle lands. He said the pace on the runway, hour or so after landing, is brisk as everyone works to meet timed requirements. We are ready, because as a team, we are focused and prepared, Zink said. Weve all stud ied our lines and rehearsed our parts. The orbiter is hot during landing process but cools down quickly once on the ground. The auxiliary power units, or APUs, are running during re-entry and for about 15 minutes on the ground. they vent, which are more noticeable during night landings. most important task is to verify the orbiter is free of toxic vapors. Once that is con to assist with Flight Crew egress and initiate the Purge air and Freon cool ing systems, Zink said. Then we work to prepare the orbiter for towing. Crew equipment and payloads are removed. Or the external tank doors, in stall various plugs, inspect the landing gear and then connect the tow bar and tow vehicle to the orbiter. Van Wart, who is an advance system techni cian, said this is where things get really interest ing as he takes a seat in the tow vehicle and puts his foot on the accelerator. It takes a lot to get that 200,000 pound ve hicle to start moving, Van Wart said. Its actually a little intimidating look ing back and seeing the nose of the orbiter, then the wings its massive. Van Wart said the trip from the landing facility to the orbiter processing facility at 5 miles per hour can take one to two hours depending on which run way the orbiter lands. He said its a challenge to get the vehicle up and over the bridge on State Road 3. Then as we begin the trek down the other side suddenly the orbiter is pushing me, so its kind of like driving on ice, Van Wart said with a smile. I cant stop, I just take my foot off the gas and the orbiter pushes me down the road. The entire move pro and nine hours depending on destow operations and even the weather. Zink said Shuttle Recovery Operations is a classic example of how everyone works together to make even the most critical tasks seem routine. A typical recovery operation utilizes a number of folks representing many groups and disciplines from across the space shuttle program, Zink said. We are all brought together for this event and it works. It works well, because we are a team. By Linda Herridge Staff Writer A recovery crew of nearly 200 workers, along with 40 vehicles, ensure the orbiter is safe once it touches down and comes to a stop. The March 26 landing of Endeavour marked the end of the STS-123 mission, a 16-day ight to the International Space Station to deliver the rst seg ment of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agencys Kibo laboratory and the Canadian Space Agencys two-armed robotic system, known as Dextre. NASA/Kim Shiett

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Page 2 SPACEPORT NEWS April 4, 2008 I t is T-12 months and new Ares I rocket, the booster intended to ferry astronauts to the Interna tional Space Station and later help them on their way to the moon. The pieces of the new vehicle are starting to come together in different parts of the country and Kennedy Space Center is reshaping its own facili ties to accept them and put them together for the launch in April 2009. Here are some of the changes under way at Kennedy: Launch Pad 39B is er, the launch complex still is being kept in condition to allow a shuttle launch toward the end of the sum mer if one is required. The clude construction of a trio of 594-foot-tall steel and make up a new lightning protection system for the Ares I rocket. Bay 3 inside the Ve hicle Assembly Building is being reconditioned to ser vice the 323-foot-tall Ares I rocket. The Ares stack is nearly 140 feet taller than the space shuttle stack, so workers are revamping platforms inside the high bay that have not been used since Saturn V rock ets were processed there in the 1970s. Workers are mak ing enormous changes to Firing Room 1, the same control area used by Kennedys launch team for in 1981. The room is expected to be used by launch controllers for the April 2009 test launch. The Ares system does not require as many controllers as the more complex shuttle, so the room is not expected to house as many consoles and related equipment as space shuttle launches required. The Operations and Checkout Buildings high bay is being refurbished so it can be used to work on the Orion spacecraft. It is the same area used during the Apollo program to checkout Apollo com mand and service modules before they were launched to the moon. Parachute techni cians already are stitching the fabric at the Parachute Refurbishment Facility for the parachutes slated for use on the Ares test launch. At the Assembly and Refurbishment Facil ity, workers are modify ing solid rocket booster skirts so they can act as ments tall instead of the four segment version used by shuttles. However, the By Steve Siceloff Staff Writer Some of the process ing steps used for recent space shuttle missions have been used to help engineers learn how to handle the known as Ares I-X. Engineers were able to collect information from an unusual stacking opera tion for STS-122 during which each booster was assembled on the mobile launch platform by itself so engineers would see what weight and balance changes the platform and crawler-transporter will encounter with the Ares I. The Workforce Transition Strategy Report will be available at: www.nasa.gov/transition and www.nasa.gov/reports View the report The shuttle also provided a proving ground for operating Constellation ing performing a paperless power-up of an orbiter. A prototype heat shield for the Orion space craft has been evaluated so new methods of moving it around during processing can be developed. The changes highlight to extend humanitys reach back to the moon. The countdown to April 2009 is on. A s you may know, NASA sent a re port to Congress explaining the agencys plans for the workforce as we retire the Space Shuttle and transition to our new Constellation Program. The report is a living document and will be sent to Congress every it posted at www.nasa. gov/transition. We have been talking about this transition for a while now, so this information is not we have given it out in this manner. This transition is about the reinvention and rein vigoration of NASA. Our primary goal will continue to be carrying out our hu safely and effectively. We need a skilled workforce to fest. That skilled workforce is you. We have a lot on our plate and many excit ing upcoming missions in the next few years. I know this change will be dif Kennedy Space Center. It will require open, honest communication and trust throughout this period. This will be a team effort between NASA, KSC, and all the outstanding con tractors that are a part of this team. It will require leadership at all levels. Please know that the workforce numbers included in the report are just an estimate and should be considered preliminary at best. The exact numbers in this report should not be taken as a plan or goal. Our greatest asset is and always will be our people. NASA is trying to identify what future work can be assigned to KSC. Several Kennedy facili Constellation right now. The state provided $35 million to help bring the Orion assem bly work to KSC bringing in hundreds of jobs. And, in just one year, we will launch the Ares I-X test already begun. Our plans for Constel lation ground processing until NASA competes and selects the contractor in FY09, which is well ahead of the last space shuttle mission. We are partnering with federal, state and local agencies, so employees have options during this transition. This includes career assessments, train ing and career transition services. I would like to remind you, NASA is not going out of business, but transition is necessary to enable a new line of space business for the next 30 to 50 years. Our workforce is the future, and I am proud to lead such an exceptional group of indi viduals here at Kennedy. Current revisions at a glance Launch Pad 39B is being modied to host Ares I test ight Bay 3 in VAB being reconditioned Firing Room 1 undergoing renovations Parachute technicians stitching fabric for Ares test launch Workers modifying solid rocket booster skirts for rst stage of Aries I

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SPACEPORT NEWS Page 3 April 4, 2008 T he new Shuttle Launch Experi ence which opened in May 2007 at the Kennedy Space Cen ter Visitor Complex is getting high marks. The attraction was honored with a Thea Award at the 14th Annual Thea Awards Ceremony in Anaheim, Calif., on March 8. The Shuttle Launch Experience was selected for outstanding achieve ment in the attraction category and was judged to represent the highest standards of excellence and creative achievement in the arts and sciences }of compelling places and experiences. The organization presenting the award, the Themed Entertainment Association, honors and celebrates excellence in the themed entertainment and experience design industry. TEA is the only association representing almost 500 companies in 39 countries who employ more than 6,500 of the worlds leading creators, developers, designers and producers of compelling places and experiences. The Thea Awards are internationally recognized. This year, 120 highly evaluated with 17 being selected as recipients. Representatives who accepted the award on behalf of Kennedy Space Center were Pam Steel of NASA External Relations, Dan Leblanc of Delaware North Companies, Chuck Roberts of BRC Imagi nation Arts and veteran Astronaut Charlie Bolden, who serves as host for the attractions simulation experience. I ts not everyday the president of the United States recog nizes the hard work and achievements of someone at Kennedy Space Center. But thats what happened earlier this year when Launch Vehicle Process ing Director Rita Will coxon was among 23 Federal employees who received the Presi dential Meritorious Rank Award during a ceremony in Washington, D.C., hosted by NASAs Dep uty Administrator Shana Dale. It was an honor to receive this awardand quite a surprise, Will coxon said. The reason any of us receive these awards is because of the great work that the people in our organizations do to accomplish our missions. Each year, the president recognizes and celebrates a small group of career senior execu tives with the Presidents Rank Award for excep tional long-term accom plishments. Recipients of this prestigious award are strong leaders, profes sionals and scientists who achieve results and consistently demon strate strength, integrity, industry and a relentless commitment to excellence in public service. A panel of judges reviews each candidates to seven years, which include leading change, leading people, results driven, business acumen and building coalitions. Meritorious Rank Awards are awarded to only 3 per cent of federal executives each year. Willcoxon came to Kennedy in 1988 in the Payload Operations Directorate. She has had an exceptional career touch ing almost every aspect of Kennedys mission, including positions in shuttle processing, spaceport engineering and technology, expend able launch vehicles and payload processing. In addition to her well-recognized con tributions to Kennedy, she also has led several agency-level teams with distinction. Willcoxon has dedicated herself to Ken nedy and at the agency level to ensure NASAs exploration mission becomes a reality. She has demonstrated extreme dedication and commit ment to achieving the NASA strategic goal of shuttle in 2010. Since becoming a leader in the shuttle pro cessing organization her team has launched eight successful missions. Over the years, Will coxon has earned numer ous awards, including the Silver Snoopy award, two Exceptional Achievement Medals, the Outstanding Leadership Medal and an Exceptional Service Medal. Being a part of the shuttle program has been a highlight of my career, but I am very excited about being a part of the Constellation Program, Willcoxon said. There are great challenges ahead for the Kennedy work force as we transition from shuttle into the new program but, as always, our Kennedy team will rise to the occasion. In receiving this award, Willcoxon follows in the footsteps of other award recipients from the Shuttle Processing organization at Kennedy, including Chief Engineer Charlie Abner, Associate Director for Engineering and Technical Opera tions Mike Wetmore, and Shuttle Launch Director Mike Leinbach. By Linda Herridge Staff Writer Former astronauts were among the rst to enjoy the Shuttle Launch Experience at Kennedys Visitor Complex. In the front row are (from left) Rick Searfoss, Charles Bolden and Norm Thagard. NASA le From left are: NASA Deputy Administrator Shana Dale, Rita Willcoxon, Ritas husband Jim, and NASA Associate Administrator Chris Scolese. NASA

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Page 4 SPACEPORT NEWS Celebrating around Kennedy Space Center April 4, 2008 2008 All-American Picnic at KARS 1 O nce again, the KSC All-American Picnic provided a stress-free Saturday for employees to spend time with each other and their friends and families, and enjoy endless food and fun. We scored a perfect 10 on the weather which translated into strong attendance at the picnic of about 6,000 people. On behalf of the 2008 KSC All-American Picnic Team, we are very pleased our efforts resulted in so many employees and families having an enjoyable day, Picnic Chair Jack Fox said. During the March 29 event at Kennedy Athletic, Recreation and Social (KARS) Park, live entertainment kept the mood upbeat. The and tents, games and a train won more smiles. Other activities included an automobile and motorcycle exhibition, animal rescue booths, a tiger show, rock climbing and astronaut autograph signings. In addition to lunch, drinks, and snacks, the popular chili and dessert contests offered even more food choices. Meals were served on biodegradable and compostable dishes, and recycling stations were located throughout the park resulting in the picnic making an environmental impact too. Fox said the effort raised awareness and they discovered ways to improve the process next year. Picnic goers enjoyed hamburgers, veggie burgers, chicken sandwiches and hot dogs and the plates and utensils eventually will become soil for use at Walt Disney World. Hundreds enjoyed the Chili Cook-Off which had three competitions: Ofcial Chili, Peoples Choice Chili and Best Store Front. There were lots of oohs and ahhs at the Car and Motorcycle Show. NASA/Debbie Odom NASA/Debbie Odom NASA/Debbie Odom NASA/Kevin OConnell Matt Nylen and Rockit performed a great rendition of The Edgar Winter Groups Frankenstein.

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Page 5 SPACEPORT NEWS Celebrating around Kennedy Space Center April 4, 2008 NASA Day at Space Coast Stadium N ASA and the Wash ington Nationals teamed up for a day of preseason baseball and space agency education on March 24. About 5,000 fans watched Kennedy Space Center Director Bill Parsons and the Visitor Complexs Space Man mascot throw Coast Stadium in Viera, Florida as the Nationals took on the Detroit Tigers. NASA personnel from Kennedy Space Center an swered questions from fans and handed out educational material about the agencys space exploration programs, aeronautics research and NASA NASA NASA Kennedy Space Center Director Bill Parsons threw out the honorary rst pitch. Fans of all ages were successful in getting their favorite players autograph. Visitor Conplexs Space Man was a hit at Space Coast Stadium on NASA Day as the Washington Nationals faced the Detroit Tigers in a Spring Training game on March 24.

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Page 6 SPACEPORT NEWS April 4, 2008 A technician loads a test tank during evaluations at Kennedy Space Center for handling the Ares I roll control system. The Ares I control system is based on designs proven in other launchers. NASA/Kim Shiett T he American Veterans Col or Guard, made up mostly of spaceport workers, plans to march in the 2008 National Memorial Veterans Day Parade in Washington, D.C., on May 26. Because the group has performed so well in other events, it will be positioned toward the front of the parade and march down Constitu tion Avenue from Capitol Hill to the White House. Founded in 2002 by InDyne employee Gary Cassell and Space Gateway Support employee George Hoggard, the AVCG performs upon request at parades and patriotic events. This unique group claims to represent the spaceport, as well as those who have given their lives during the many wars our country has experienced. The color guard consists of 11 primary members and several alternates. Members purchase their own uniforms and carry authentic, oper gun salutes on request. About 30 AVCG members and their family hope to make the trip to Washington. For more information on the AVCG, call Sam DiBlasio at 321861-8824 or 321-544-7816. American Veterans Color Guard buy their own uniforms and carry authentic, fully functional rearms. NASA By Steve Siceloff Staff Writer N ASA and United Space Alliance engineers and technicians working at Kennedy Space Center tested pro cedures they will rely on to handle and load the propellant tanks that will be used on the roll control sys tem of the Ares I. The latest testing on the new Ares I rocket brought together components from an Air Force mis sile program with support equip ment invented for handling space shuttle parts. The evaluation is the latest in a series of studies at Kennedy scheduled for April 2009. The and mainly is a chance to evaluate the performance of the rocket dur The roll control system is a set of thrusters aligned to turn the Ares I stack soon after liftoff to line the rocket up with its proper heading. The thruster system is the same design as the one used by the Air Forces Peacekeeper missile a decommissioned Peacekeeper as stand-ins during the test for the Ares I parts. The Ares I is part of the Constellation Program. The 323foot-tall rocket is a pencil-shaped a liquid-fueled upper stage. The stack is topped with an Orion spacecraft. The Ares I will loft astronauts to the International Space Station. Later missions call for the rocket to of a trip to the moon. But before astronauts can ride the new spacecraft, it has to be who will prepare the rockets need to learn how to do so safely. Thats where this round of testing came in. NASAs David Tomasic, a said both the propellant system components and the ground sup port equipment the teams were trying out worked well. The team focused particularly on the helium react when pressurized. The group also studied the large titanium tanks that will hold hypergolic fuel and oxidizer. Rather than perform the test using the hazardous fuel, though, the and measured the results. We learned to make some adjustments on our ground support equipment, Tomasic said. Every lessly. With the evaluation behind it, the team is looking forward to the arrival in September of the compo When you get hardware sitting down at KSC, you know youre moving, Tomasic said. An Ares I rocket lifts off from Kennedy Space Center in this artists concept. The Ares I will loft the Orion spacecraft into low Earth orbit. NASA

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Page 7 SPACEPORT NEWS Remembering Our Heritage April 4, 2008 By Kay Grinter Reference Librarian A birds-eye view from the roof of the Vehicle Assembly Building as the Apollo Saturn 502 is rolled out of the VAB on its way to Launch Pad 39A. Apollo 6 was an Earth orbital mis sion without astronauts aboard. NASA le A pril 4, 1968, is remem bered more often not as the day the Apollo 6 mis sion was launched, but as the day Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was shot on the balcony of his Mem phis hotel room. This violent act was understandably the focus of the media that day and the launch received little mention. But Dr. Kings vision of working together for a common goal was apparent during the Apollo 6 mission. The most amazing thing about the Apollo Program was not the technology, but how all these people from all these organizations pulled together to achieve a common goal, said Joe Barfus, the test support controller of the mission. And while all launch campaigns are challenging, the Apollo 6 mission was no exception. Saturn V without a crew lifted off Pad 39A on Kennedy Space Center at 7 a.m. April 4, 1968. Following the success of Apollo 4, the mission was conducted primarily to V while providing the launch and began. A command and service module, or CSM, and a boilerplate lunar module were aboard. Transporting the vehicle to the pad eight weeks before launch was stressful. The 363-foot-tall Saturn V began moving out of the Vehicle Assembly Building just before noon. About 1:30 p.m., the winds picked up and rain began to pelt the area. After a two-hour delay caused by a communications failure, the crawler proceeded in the driving rain. By the time the rocket reached the top of the pad shortly after 7 p.m., the storm was over. Former NASA Shuttle Launch Director Jim Harrington was in charge of the rollout. It was my supervisor, he recalled. When the communications failed, the transported by security to the crawler-transporter where we conducted the rest of the trip to the pad. Other former NASA employees on his crew were Art Franklin, the assistant test supervisor; John Copeland, the launch vehicle test conductor; Charlie Stevens, the spacecraft test conductor; and Barfus. vehicle and spacecraft at the pad was also challenging. Former NASA Shuttle Launch Director Bob Sieck was a spacecraft test team project engineer assigned to the CSM. The CSM carried a mechanical man, a computer that was mounted in place of one of the crew seats, Sieck recalled. Early in its testing, some fuses blew, but issue was still open during the Flight Readiness Review. However, as the access blankets were being a clamp around one of the wire bundles had been crushed. We were relieved to solve the mystery before launch. The launch on April 4 went smoothly, but problems with the engines developed two minutes caused the vehicle to bounce like a giant pogo stick for about 30 seconds. These oscillations had degree. However, except for the Shortly after the second stage stopped. The other three had to the second stage did not reach the desired altitude and velocity before its fuel ran out. To reach the required speed, the third stage had to burn longer than planned, putting the spacecraft into an incorrect orbit. the astronauts would have returned safely, Marshall Space Fight Center Director Wernher von Braun emphasized afterward, but desired. With three engines out, we just cannot go to the moon. Investigation teams and task forces were set up to solve the engine problems. By fall, NASA forward. Apollo 6 was an important recalled. It gave the Apollo team the opportunity to become more familiar with the launch procedures and gain additional experience at working together. Today, the Apollo 6 command module is on display at the Fernbank Science Center in Atlanta, just a few miles from the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site which is administered by the National Park Service.

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John F. Kennedy Space Center Acting managing editor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Candrea Thomas Editor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Frank Ochoa-Gonzales Editorial support provided by InDyne, Inc. Writers Group. NASA at KSC is on the Internet at www.nasa.gov/kennedy USGPO: 733-049/600142 Spaceport News Spaceport News is an ofcial publication of the Kennedy Space Center and is published on alternate Fridays by External Relations in the interest of KSC civil service and contractor employees. Contributions are welcome and should be submitted three weeks before publication to the Media Services Branch, IDI-011. E-mail submissions can be sent to KSC-Spaceport-News@mail.nasa.gov Page 8 SPACEPORT NEWS The fact Ive been able to work with several contractors and the government. Giving safety guidance to the test team and safety professionals. Moving up the workforce ladder. I just hit the 20-year mark in February. The successful launches. Being a newcomer, Im like a kid in a candy store. The pad closeouts, preparation for tanking and the Constellation planning. TBD Launch/CCAFS: Atlas V, SDO; TBD Target Dec. 4 Target Feb. 16, 2009 Launch/CCAFS: Delta II, Kepler Launch/KSC: Discovery, STS-119; TBD Target Oct. 28 Launch/KSC: Atlantis, STS-125; 9:38 p.m. TBD Target Aug. 28 Launch/CCAFS: Delta IV, GOES-O; TBD Target Oct. 16 Launch/KSC: Endeavour, STS-126; TBD Launch/CCAFS: Atlas V, LRO; TBD Target May 31 Target May 16 Launch/KSC: Discovery, STS-124; at 5:01 p.m. Launch/CCAFS: Delta II, GLAST; 11:45 a.m. to 1:40 p.m. Target Mon., April 14 Launch/CCAFS: Atlas V, ICO G1; 4:12 to 5:12 p.m. TBD Launch/CCAFS: Delta IV-H, NROL-26; TBD Target June 30 Launch/CCAFS: Delta II, GPS 2R-20 (M7); TBD Target Aug. 2 Launch/CCAFS: Atlas V, WGS SV 2; TBD Target Sept. 11 Launch/CCAFS: Delta II, GPS 2R-21 (M8); TBD Target November Launch/CCAFS: Atlas V, AEHF 1; TBD April 4, 2008 TBD Launch/CCAFS: Atlas V, GPS 2F-1; TBD TBD Launch/CCAFS: Delta IV, WGS SV 3; TBD NASA Employees of the Month: April NASA/ Tom Farrar From left: Herb Rice, Constellation Project Ofce; Renee Y. Vessels, Engineering Directorate; Kevin Clinton, Launch Services Program; Diana Kiesling, Safety & Mission Assurance Directorate; Jared Sass, Applied Technology; Lorraine Hennig, Launch Vehicle Processing Directorate; Steven L. Larsen, Engineering Directorate; Anne Marie Keim, Information Technology & Communications Services; and Mitch Rabinowitz, Center Operations. Not pictured: Matthew Jimenez, Chief Financial Ofce. Children entering secondto ninth-grades can attend Camp Kennedy at the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. April 7-11. Tuition is $295 per child, but there is a 15 percent discount for badged employees and contractors of Kennedy, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Patrick Air Force Base and retired KSC personnel. There is extended early drop-off and late pick-up hours available free. Summer Camp sessions are available June 9 through Aug. 15. For more information and registration details, call 321-449-4444 or visit www.kennedyspacecenter.com. Camp Kennedy Spring Session begins April 7 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wed., April 9 Womens Health Seminar OSB II 5th Floor Conference Room 2 to 4:30 p.m. Thu., April 10 Kennedy Space Center Beach Clean Up Eagle 4 Tower, Beach Road to NASA/AF Boundary Rob Mueller placed second in the Table Topics contest and Welmon Speed nished third in the Interna tional Speech contest in the 2008 International Speech and Table Topics Contest in Vero Beach on March 22. What Kennedy Space Center accomplishment are you most proud of and why?