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John F. Kennedy Space Center Americas gateway to the universe Spaceport News April 18, 2008 Vol. 48, No. 7 F or three days, a group comprised of NASA and contrac tor workers from Kennedy Space Center and other NASA centers, along with the Department of Defense, participated in simulation, also referred to as the Mode II/IV Simulation, at Launch Pad 39B. According to Charlie By Linda Herridge Staff Writer MODE II/IV Simulation answers What if? Workers faced many situations during the Mode II/IV Simulation from Launch Pad 39B. Simu lated injuries were treated on site or evacuated by helicopter to local hospitals. NASA/Jim Grossman By Linda Herridge Staff Writer I nside the Vehicle Assembly Building, NASA and United Space Alliance workers watched as a crane op erator lifted the External Tank for space shuttle STS-124 mission high up out of a test cell and transom and across the Its destination was the integrated cell in high bay 3 where two solid rocket boosters were waiting atop the mobile launch platform. Alicia Mendoza is the NASA External Tank/Sol manager. She said the twoday procedure to attach the solid rocket boosters to the external tank requires Crews attach STS-124s ET, SRBs about 60 NASA and USA technicians, safety and quality personnel and the USA crane crew, as well as up to 40 engineers, and facility maintenance staff. USA External Tank 4 east, where he had a the forward attach point for the sling set. Laplante, who has been at Ken nedy for 27 years, said the external tank process and beyond to meet this milestone. Before this precise and well-coordinated procedure could take tank was transported by barge from the Michoud Assembly Facility in New to the Vehicle Assembly Building for processing in a test and checkout cell. The solid rocket segments by rail car from ATK in Utah, loaded with solid propellant in a star ered to the Rotation Pro cessing and Surge Facility, position. The Exit Cones and ered to the RPSF from the Kennedy SRB Assembly Refurbishment Facility and attached to the left and right aft segments. Men doza said stacking of the four-segment solid rocket boosters on the Mobile launch Platform takes about 22 days. During this Payton Jones, with United Space Alliance, monitors the progress of space shuttle Discoverys external tank. NASA/Kim Shiett See Simulation Page 8 See SRBs Page 8 Blackwell-Thompson, who was the NASA test director leading the ex ercise, the Mode II/IV is to certify Fire Rescue and Closeout Crew personnel. At the same time it also is an opportunity to train NASA test directors. This was a high allowed us to practice egress and rescue opera tions, Blackwell-Thomp son said. The team did a great job planning and executing during this During the exercise, an emergency condition during launch countdown was simulated and partici pants did their parts to per form an emergency egress in launch and entry suits. With the simulated emergency in play, Fire Rescue and Closeout Crew


Page 2 SPACEPORT NEWS April 18, 2008 Clean-up prepares for sea turtle nesting season S un, surf, sand shredded balloons, and a message in a bottle were some of the high nedy Space Center and U.S. Fish and Wildlife April 10. More than 130 FWS and Kennedy Space Center contract organiza items that had accumulat ed on 6.1 miles of Central the past 12 months. We try to do this ing refuge ranger Dorin Whitmore said. The goal wildlife, but it especially is targeted to support the upcoming sea turtle nest Whitmore, there are about mile of space center coast line. The majority, about 95 percent, are endangered Loggerhead turtles coming Three bus loads of beach from dunes to wa terline accumulating large amounts of waste along with a great deal of satis faction, said United Space work in a picture post-card our responsibility to take With a different point NASA operations, added, take an afternoon to enjoy the beach and meet new From Eagle Tower 4 to the boundary between Kennedy Space Center gathered enough trash bags and enough recycla 150 bags. Historically, Whaley, deputy refuge manager, But this is the separated the trash from the recyclables. It was a huge success. The whole Along with the plastic bottles of sunscreen and the occasional lone found some unexpected treasures. They included a computer monitor, lights, a large cruise-line lounge chair, a 5-gallon gas can and a fully func tional pump sprayer. This beach cleanup has truly been a team ef by the response from program specialist and proud of NASA, FWS and our contractor organiza personnel and logistical support to the cleanup so there was minimal cost impact to any one group. Hopefully, we can do it twice a year from now More than 130 volunteers from NASA, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Kennedy Space Center contract organizations cleaned about six miles of shoreline to show support of the upcoming sea turtle nesting season. NASA/Dimitri Gerondidakis By Mary Ann Chevalier Staff Writer While helping to United Space Alliance stumbled on some come straight out of a pop song -a message in a bottle. The glass bottle had washed up high on the dunes and was partially buried in sand, but its precious contents were safe and dry. After prying off the lid and gingerly poking the roll of paper inside Vogel went to work in earnest. She shook the bottle, held it upside down but failed to dis lodge the note. according to the letter. As she walked the beach picking up garbage for the rest of the afternoon, Vogel kept patting the bottle to make sure it remained safe. She had placed it in a separate plastic bag. A special bag. That bag would not go into the dumpster at the end of the day but home with her instead. months from a tiny island in the Bahamas the special bottle with the message from a nally found a home with someone who considers the mail. Then she used a small stick to prod the paper but it was stuck fast inside worked. Millimeter by millimeter the rolled paper came out of the bottle. Eureka, it was out. all manner of things went What did it say? Was it a joke? Where was it from? Who was it from? After a moment to quickly scan the message, a slow smile came to her classmates wrote letters, put then in bottles and sent them on their way hoping Message found in a bottle traveled for seven months


SPACEPORT NEWS Page 3 Blue Angels eye Kennedy for Space & Air Show April 18, 2008 E mployees at Ken nedy are accus tomed to seeing a lot of action in the skies something unusual in the airspace on April 7: a craft, one of the U.S. Na Pilots Lt. Frank Weisser and Lt. Dan Mc nedy to make preparations & Air Show at Kennedy Space Center, which is set The air show will be only the second time the formed at Kennedy. Their demonstration includes high-speed passes, fast rolls, mirror formations, tight turns and their signa ture Delta formation. To help plan for the performance, Weisser and McShane boarded a Huey helicopter for an aerial tour of the aerobatic nedy airspace where the The spaceport fantastic backdrop for an who pilots the No. 7 narrator during the Blue McShane agreed. Flying around this facil ity, seeing things that you news and in the media . Hosted by the Ken nedy Space Center Visitor demonstrations in addition to the Blue Angels, includ ing an astronaut rescue simulation performed by the 920th Rescue Wing based at nearby Patrick Air Force Base. In addi tion to the action in the air, aircraft and space-related exhibits will be displayed ing area. Astronauts from the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo and Space Shuttle for autographs and photos. and pilot astronauts, as specialist astronauts, are current and former U.S. military pilots. Many come to the space agency The chance to join a phenomenal opportu The fact that there are astronauts is something we brag about time and time again as Blue Angels, and By Anna Heiney Staff Writer NASA/Kim Shiett NASA/Kim Shiett Pilots Lt. Frank Weisser and Lt. Dan McShane visited Kennedy to make preparations for the precision ying teams performance at the 2008 Space & Air Show on Nov. 8 and 9 at Kennedy. The air show will be only the second time the Blue Angels have performed at Kennedy. Duo check out aerobic box for two-day exhibition NASA/Kim Shiett Pilots Lt. Frank Weisser and Lt. Dan McShane arrived at Kennedy to begin preparations for the 2008 Space & Air Show. Many Kennedy workers enjoyed F/A Hornet aircraft that pilots, Lt. Frank Weisser and Lt. Dan McShane, ew April 7.


Page 4 SPACEPORT NEWS Scene around Kennedy Space Center April 18, 2008 You are encouraged to send unique story ideas and exciting photos of workers in action for possible publi cation. Photos should include a short caption with the names and job titles, from left to right. Send e-mail to KSC-Internal-Comm@ Spaceport News wants your photos A racoon takes a stroll at Kennedy. Technicians are shown removing space shuttle Atlantis Orbiter Docking System last month. The ODS was detached since Atlantis is ying the Hubble mission and will not need the docking mechanism to attach to the ISS. A worker observes space shuttle Discoverys payload bay as the doors are closed in the Orbiter Processing Facility Bay 3 at Kennedy. Launch is targeted for May 31. Reader-submitted photo NASA/Jim Grossmann


Page 5 SPACEPORT NEWS Scene around Kennedy Space Center April 18, 2008 United Launch Alliance technicians check the list of activities completed on the mating of the nine solid rocket boosters to the Delta II rocket for the launch of NASAs Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope, or GLAST. Launch currently is planned in a window between 11:45 a.m. and 1:40 p.m. May 16. NASA/ Troy Cryder A worker observes space shuttle Discoverys payload bay as the doors are closed in the Orbiter Processing Facility Bay 3 at Kennedy. Launch is targeted for May 31. NASA/Chris Rhodes A group of birds ock together at Kennedy. The Centershares a boundary with the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, which is a habitat for more than 310 species of birds. NASA/Jim Grossman


Page 6 SPACEPORT NEWS April 18, 2008 Alternate Ombuds Hortense Burt, left and Ombuds Jim Thompson always are available to handle interests of the Kennedy workers by investigating and addressing daily challenges. T he work accomplished in a single day at Kennedy Space Center is complex to prising that employees performing this work face challenges. Whether the problem is serious or simple, tially handle these issues. appointed as ombuds by former who said he chose Thompson for his trustworthiness and ability to said he appointed Hortense Burt as alternate ombuds for demonstrat ing discretion and a concerned approach to the needs of center employees. They perform these duties while maintaining their as signed roles. Thompson explained that ombuds informally gather prob or represent either management or employees. policies, or make binding decisions or employee requirements. Unless there are safety or quarterly with Kennedy Center Director Bill Parsons and/or Dep indicate trends or changes, and at any time for immediate concerns. ing these meetings as well. and help them identify what their information so they can make the decision they need to make. We Burt said. swers to concerns and questions. Often an employee just wants to talk-out a problem without it becoming public. At other times, a Resources at Kennedy for more than 30 years and enjoys the winwin situations it offers. He focuses primarily on program policy and with federal unions. He also edits a human resources newsletter. Burt has spent most of her mission assurance manager. For the past three years, she has worked in Education Projects Manager. She to inspire students to seek careers in math, science and engineering. Any employee may call The NASA Ombuds Program response to a recommendation of tion Board. Staff Writer NASA le K gain national recognition, and the this elite club when it was inducted into the Space Technology Hall of Fame. resuscitation techniques. At NASA, it is used to help as tronauts reacquaint with the feeling U.S. military also use ResQPOD. ment began in 2002, according to Biomedical Engineering Chief Don Doerr, who was inducted for his contribution to making the project a reality. I am proud to represent our Biomedical Laboratory and NASA/KSC. Much good work has from the lab has captured the atten tion of a national award group. It is my hope and expectation that the ResQPOD will make an important Doerr said. The inductees were recognized at the 24th National Space Sympo sium and at the Space Technology Hall of Fame dinner. The annual Hotel in Colorado Springs from April 7-10. Due to the collabora from other contributing organiza tions also were inducted. The Space Foundation, in co operation with NASA, established the Space Technology Hall of Fame space exploration programs and to Staff Writer For more on the Space Technology Hall of Fame, go to www.spacetech More online Biomedical Engineering Chief Don Doerr was inducted in to the Space Technology Hall of Fame for his contribution in making the ResQPOD project a reality. NASA/Dimitri Gerondidakis


Page 7 SPACEPORT NEWS April 18, 2008 By Kay Grinter Reference Librarian The Pioneer 11 spacecraft launched atop an Atlas Centaur rocket April 5, 1973. Pioneer 11s mission took passed the asteroid belt, Jupiter and Saturn. NASAs launch teams from Kennedy Space Center handled nal testing and the launch. NASA le A s 1973 got under way, emotions were high for launch team as the processing for the much-anticipated liftoff of Pioneer 11 from Launch Pad 36B We were pumped up because we were going to Saturn for the chief of Spacecraft Operations, said. We also were using our Atlas-Centaur with an additional solid propellant third stage, and our largest clean room for space craft preparation where you could see the plaque designed by Carl Sagan that would send a message from Earth to beyond the solar sys tem. We had a good time support ing this mission which had a lot to do with our excellent working relationship with the Pioneer Proj ect management at Ames Research At launch time on April 4, Pio neer 10, its sister ship, already was director of Unmanned Launch Op Gossett was chief of Centaur Op operations for Centaur missions Pioneer and Voyager exploration Terry Terhune was a lead electrical engineer in Centaur Operations. The Pioneer 11 launch was the Atlas/Centaur integrated astrionics The redesign was a big step A new digital computer unit controlled the stage, working from data supplied by a new inertial measurement group guidance system, making the Centaur, in effect, a computer-controlled Pioneer Operations at Kennedy. Each Pioneer carried two nuclear radioisotope thermoelectric generators, or RTGs, to supply the spacecraft with power since distances from the sun. The RTGs were hot to the Remembering Our Heritage installed through hatches in the fairing onto a rail system on the spacecraft. After the spacecraft was released from the third stage, they keep their heat and radiation away Bill Fletcher was a payload coordinator and the local NASA custodian for the RTGs. I still remember the day the generators this time, custodianship had been held by the Atomic Energy Commission. All safety planning was Precautions were taken. Timeand-motion studies were made. Dosimeters were worn by those in proximity to the generators. Pioneer 11 returned beautiful in 1990, became one of only four spacecraft to journey outside our solar system. Its last transmission was


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 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 Page 8 SPACEPORT NEWS April 18, 2008 NASAs Science Mission Directorate has launched a new Web site that provides enhanced and engaging infor mation about NASAs vast scope of scientic endeavors and achievements. The site will provide in-depth coverage of NASAs past, present and future science missions with features that include: Interactive tables and searches for Earth, heliophysics, planetary and astrophysics missions Insight into dark matter and dark energy, planets around other stars, climate change, Mars and space weather Resources for researchers including links to upcoming science solicitations and opportunities A mapping of science questions for NASA science missions and the data they produce A citizen-scientist page with access to resources that equip the public to engage in scientic investigation Expanded For Educators and For Kids pages to provide access to a broader range of resources for learning the science behind NASA missions Easy-to-navigate design and an improved search engine to help nd information Visit NASA launches science Web site Earth Day Fair offers tours, giveaways workers aided in the extraction and rescue of the crew. Blackwell-Thompson said the three-day exercise included class and rescue technique exercises on pad where astronauts enter and exit the space shuttle. On day two, the group demonstrated and prac ticed rescue techniques at the slide wire termination area, including basket unloading procedures and bunker operations. During the afternoon, the rescue and egress exercises with On the third day, an end-to-end simulation was completed where the emergency egress and rescue operations were demonstrated from emergency declaration, through personnel transport to area hospitals. Participants included the NASA and contractor personnel the NASA/United Space Alliance B facility and planning personnel, and safety also participated. As well as NASA/Com Gateway Support security and NASA/SGS shuttle landing facil ity support, Mission Operations ters from Kennedy, DoD and First Flight Commercial carrier and Constellation Program workers, who were gathering information on emergency egress techniques rations. From Simulation Page 1 time, technicians close out the joints, connect the system wiring, and install the ordinance and range safety wiring. The ETs and SRBs are pretty much the structural backbone for the space shuttle, not to mention necessary to lift the 4.5 million pound shuttle system off of the Before mating, the boosters were pulled apart slightly using tethered bands to allow for clear ance as the tank was lowered into position. senior technician with USA. of high bay 3 he monitored the tank as it was being lowered and boosters and platforms. He communicated with the solid rocket booster shop lead and exchanged information about clearance between the tank and boosters. are the only work force in the world that performs this type of feels like we are accomplishing a great task that will make a differ From SRBs Page 1 The Kennedy Space Center Mission Brieng Room (O&C M7-0355, room 1144) will host a 2008 Earth Day Fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, April 21. The fair will include envi ronmental partners sharing information on natural resources, energy conservation and environmental stewardship. There will be eco-giveaways, contests and KSC eco-tour signups. KSC eco-tours include a KSC aquatic boat tour, scrub jay tour, manatee tour, Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge/ Visitor Center Tour and the KSC beachside corrosion control lab tour. Also, NASA transportation will display alternative fueled vehicles in the O&C courtyard. For more information, call Shannah Trout 867-1692. Launch crews mated the solid rocket boosters and external tank that are to carry Discovery to orbit on its scheduled May 31 launch. NASA/Kim Shiett