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 Nov. 28, 2008 Vol. 48, No. 24 Inside this issue . Page 2 Water recycler passes taste test Ares I-X update Page 3 Ares I-X Firing Room Page 6 Heritage: Zarya kicks off ISS construction Page 7 Endeavour pierces night sky I ts a spectacular event you wont see from anywhere else, but right here at Ken nedy Space Center. A bright or ange moon served as a backdrop for space shuttle Endeavour as it soared through the night sky and penetrated the sound barrier Nov. 14. But when its time to return to Earth, Kennedy isnt the only option. So where will Endeavour and its STS-126 crew land Nov. 30? The preferred site is the shuttles home base at Kennedy -but theres also Edwards Air Force Base in California and White Sands Space Harbor in New Mexico. About a week before every launch, more than 40 NASA and the alternate landing sites. These folks stay the entire mission, said Michael Kuta, integrated landing operations highly skilled NASA astronauts STS-126 by the numbers 7 pounds of equipment and supplies 17,000 days in orbit 16 complex spacewalks 4 1 extreme home makeover for the International Space Station See STS-126, Page 8 Photo: NASA/Rusty Backer-George Roberts More mission photos, pages 4-5 Landing scheduled for Nov. 30; Other sites remain an option

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Page 2 SPACEPORT NEWS Nov. 28, 2008 Water reclamation system among ISS improvements By Steven Siceloff Spaceport News N atures been re cycling water on Earth for eons, and now NASA is set to do the same thing above Earth on the International Space Sta tion. Space shuttle Endeav our is carrying two refriger ator-sized racks packed with a distiller and an assortment astronauts urine and sweat into clean drinking water. The station crew de pends now on water carried up aboard a space shuttle or cargo spacecraft. But an operational water recycler is expected to cut that need by 65 percent by producing about 6,000 pounds of po table water each year. Thats enough fresh water to allow the station to host six crew members instead of three. A system that operates on the station also will pro stone to developing even which will support astro nauts on the moon or on long-duration voyages into the solar system. Although Russias space station Mir recycled cosmonauts sweat, the intends to cleanse and reuse almost all the water a crew member produces. The system can recycle about 93 percent of the water it receives, said Bob Bagdigian, the Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System project manager at NASAs Mar shall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. The water recycler counts in large part on a distiller that Bagdigian com pares to a keg tilted on its side. On Earth, distilling is a simple process of simply boiling water and cooling the steam back into pure wa ter. But without gravity, the contaminants in water never separate from the steam no matter how much heat is used. In space, it becomes quite a challenge to distill any liquid in the absence of gravity, Bagdigian said. So the keg-sized dis tiller is spun up to produce The contaminants in the liq uids press against the sides of the drum while the steam gathers in the middle and is different from those used on Earth, which means they use charcoal-like materials to pull more unwanted ele ments from the water. An other process uses chemical compounds that bond with the remaining contaminants of the water, too. The water that we pro duce meets or exceeds most municipal water product standards, Bagdigian said. The system has been in different stages of develop ment ever since NASA com mitted to building a space station in the 1980s. Along the way, individual parts of on space shuttle missions for tests. The distiller mechanism said. Now the crew of the International Space Station will test the whole appara tus, but they wont drink will take numerous samples and return them to Earth for detailed testing. After the testing is complete, control lers will clear the astronauts to drink the water in orbit. development also has helped used in humanitarian efforts to make clean water in areas served only by contaminated sources. The effort to make a crew support system that reduces the need for fresh supplies from Earth in cludes an oxygen generator which already is installed in NASAs Destiny lab on the space station. Housed in one rack in stead of the two required for the water recycler, the oxy gen producer splits the oxy gen and hydrogen molecules in water and sends the oxy gen into the space station as breathable air. The hydrogen is now dumped overboard. However, another process is under development that will combine the hydrogen with other chemicals which react with each other and produce more water. While the water recy the International Space Sta tions needs, Bagdigian said work already is under way it can be used on long moon exploration missions. Well take this system and continue to push its per Bagdigian said. Bob Bagdigian describes the Water Recovery System recently delivered to the International Space Station on space shuttle Endeavours STS-126 mission. Bagdigian is a project manager with NASAs Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. Next to Bagdigian is a mock-up of the two racks that will be used. The two units of the Water Recovery System are designed to provide drinking-quality water through the reclamation of wastewater, including urine, sweat and other hygiene wastes. NASA/Dimitri Gerondidakis

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SPACEPORT NEWS Page 3 Nov. 28, 2008 By Steven Siceloff Spaceport News Weight not an issue with Ares I-X upper stage V ince Bilardo may be the only rocket designer in history without a weight problem. Instead of trying to make an upper stage simula tor for next years Ares I-X Bilardo and his team from NASAs Glenn Research Center in Ohio were given no weight restrictions, only guidelines for how it had to look on the outside. Steel replaced aluminum and other exotic materials as the designers and builders assembled 11 large cylin ders. That will change for the operational Ares I rocket when weight control will return as a primary factor for designers. This is essentially bridge construction-grade steel, Bilardo said as he walked among the cylinders inside the Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center. Even with nine cylinders of 1/2-inch-thick steel and two more of 3/4-inch-thick steel, Bilardos team had to build a place for 150,000 pounds in steel plates to ac curately simulate the weight of a fueled upper stage. The segments will be stacked on top of each other in coming months as the I rocket come together at Kennedy. The cylinders, which match the diameter of the Ares I upper stage, will be stacked on top of a solid rocket booster like the ones the space shuttle uses. be active for the Ares I-X upper stage and an Orion spacecraft at the top will be sensor-laden mass simula tors. Nor will astronauts be inside the spacecraft for the tested a new launch vehicle the space shuttle made its The Ares I-X mission Engineers have developed complex computer models to predict how the rocket will to back up their projections. space shuttles solid rocket boosters, which have always measure in detail what a single booster with a large stage standing on top of it will do as it leaves the launch pad and soars into the upper atmosphere. Its one big data probe the most demanding ascent phase, said Jeff Hanley, manager of the Constella tion Program. Constellation includes the Ares I and V rockets, the Orion spacecraft and the Altair moon lander. The upper stage simula two minutes after liftoff, it will separate and the upper stage will soar along unpow ered until it splashes down in the South Atlantic Ocean. While the rocket comes together at Kennedy for the the Constellation Program are progressing as well. Designs are moving through review stages steadily, in cluding the new engine being developed to power the Ares I upper stage. In the Vehicle Assembly Building high bay 4 at Kennedy Space Center, workers NASA/Jack Pfaller Opportunity highlights Workforce Leadership Summit By Linda Herridge Spaceport News L ocal, state and federal agency representatives participated in a Workforce Leader ship Summit on Nov. 14 at Space Floridas conference facility in Cape Canaveral. The summit, organized by Space Florida and the NASAs Of mental Affairs, helped to energize other agencies interest and involve ment in Kennedy Space Centers work force transition. They shared information with local participants on ways each agency could be tapped for resources and assistance. The scheduled retirement of will make way for the next genera tion of space vehicles. Aerospace and business leaders heard updates on the agencys work force transition efforts from NASA Administrator Director Bob Cabana. The best and brightest workers are at Kennedy. Its important we do everything we can to help transition folks who have been so good to us, a bright future for NASA and regain the capacity to get out of low-Earth orbit. We have problems in front of us, but they are the kind that lead to change and we hope in a good way, Cabana said Kennedys core capability is launching rockets and humans to space safely and expertly. He hopes for technical jobs that will contribute to the NASA mission and provide growth. We have an obligation to take care of the work force. Im dedicated to this team. We have a tremendous future in front of us, Cabana said. Space Florida President Steve Kohler said one of the keys to a suc cessful transition is engaging other agencies at the federal level. Its relevant to tap into the federal connection and the agencies that are involved, Kohler said. He noted that of Floridas 67 counties, more than 40 have companies which support the space program. A panel of state and local representatives included, Chris Hart, president of Workforce Florida Inc.; Kennedy Deputy Center Direc tor Janet Petro; Lisa Rice, Brevard Workforce Development Board, or BWDB, president; Rob Salonen, director of business recruitment with the Economic Development Com mission of Floridas Space Coast; and Kohler. Rice said BWDB formed an Aerospace Career Disbursement Panel in 2007 to focus on the aerospace industry and transition of the Kennedy work force. The board signed a Space Act Agreement with Kennedy earlier this year. Recently, satisfy a new requirement. Rice said the BWDB is focused contractor workers at the center. Our goal is to keep as many workers here in Brevard, Rice said. Hon. Michael Hager, acting Management, or OPM, in Washing ton, D.C., said OPM needs to rein vest in the agencys human capital. NASA has continued to make mission impossible possible, time and time again, Hager said. Space employees have made it possible for us to celebrate a rich history. Were looking for ways to partner with NASA to reinvest in skills. For more, go to www.usajobs.gov or www.gsa.gov/jobs More online

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Scene Around Kennedy Space Center Page 4 SPACEPORT NEWS Nov. 28, 2008 Page 5 SPACEPORT NEWS Nov. 28, 2008 Send photos of yourself and/or your co-workers in action for possible publication. Photos should include a short caption describing whats going on, with names and job titles, from left to right. Send your photos to: KSC-Spaceport-News@mail.nasa.gov Spaceport News wants your photos Astronaut Shane Kimbrough, STS-126 mission specialist, participates in the missions second scheduled spacewalk during construction and maintenance on the International Space Station. During the six-hour, 45minute spacewalk, Kimbrough and Mission Specialist Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper (not seen), continued the process of removing debris and applying lubrication around the starboard Solar Alpha Rotary Joint, replaced four more of the SARJs 12 trundle bearing assemblies, relocated two equipment carts and applied lubrication to the stations robotic Canadarm2. NASA The Railroad Operation and Maintenance Team completed the refurbishment of NASA Railroad locomotive 3 recently. The 15-month process, including a new paint scheme, dealt with extensive corrosion to the locomotive because of Kennedy Space Centers proximity to the Atlantic Ocean. Locomotives 1 and 2 also will eventually be refurbished. The NASA Railroad locomotives are SW-1500 switch engines built by Electro Motive Diesel. NASA/Amanda Diller Members of the Launch Services Program (including the Safety and Mixed Martial Arts Launch Service Division), gathered for food, fun and games to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the program Nov. 7 at KARS I Park. For NASA Computers, printers, fax machines, cell phones and other electronic equipment were collected during the America Recycles Day on Nov. 15. Kennedy Space Center sponsored the one-day event in the Vehicle Assembly Parking lot across from the Multi-Function Facility where personal E-waste was collected. After the successful launch of space shuttle Endeavour on the STS-126 mission, Kennedy Center Director Bob Cabana and STS-126 NASA Test Director Charlie Blackwell-Thompson show off their newly clipped For NASA

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Page 6 SPACEPORT NEWS Nov. 28, 2008 By Steven Siceloff Spaceport News N ASA Test Direc tor Jeff Spaulding stood in a halfempty room in the Launch Control Center with a small and a large gaggle of report ers around him. Television cameras rolled and still cameras clicked along while Spaulding talked about the upcoming launch of the Thats when you realize room. For one thing, theres not enough room between the computer consoles and equipment to hold a group together in any of the three shuttle launches. As modern as the main feature is its empti room has nothing in it other than close-cropped gray carpeting. Theres a single horseshoe-shaped console in the middle, facing the vast glass wall that looks out on the launch pads. There also are a few rows of consoles on risers looking toward the horseshoe. the way for an operational Ares I rocket and Orion spacecraft as part of NASAs Constellation Program. The Ares I will lift astronauts to the International Space Sta tion. Later, the rocket will carry Orion to a rendezvous with an Altair lunar lander launched separately aboard an uncrewed Ares V rocket that is in design. Carol Scott, deputy mission manager for the Ares I-X, said the much simpler design of the new rocket requires much less equipment and fewer con trollers to manage. Ares I-X is a very simple rocket, Scott said. Much simpler than shuttle, and also the Ares I that is coming along long-term. Because the Ares I-X much of the stack is not active. The upper stage and Orion spacecraft that top the rocket are simulators for shape and weight. That means controllers special izing in everything from the upper stage engine and fuel to environmental systems required in a crewed space craft are not needed for the be utilized for operational missions. It will take 26 control Spaulding said. That number will grow to about 100 for an opera tional Ares I mission. In comparison, I have 200 people over in the ing said. Workers gutted Fir ing Room 1 in the Launch Control Center and rebuilt tests and operational Ares I and Orion launches of the Constellation Program. Pepper Phillips, director of the Constellation Ground Operations Project, said the launch control team focused on designing a system that used fewer controllers. As we have gone through this process, we have leaned out the expecta tions for the support that is required, Phillips said. Since the Constella tion Program is a brandnew effort for NASA, Pete Nickolenko, the senior NASA Test Director, said the launch team had a chance to integrate the latest technologies and procedures into the control room and its infrastructure. That includes ways to take advantage of the individual controllers skills, too. One of the charter points was to keep it lean, to consider more or less a badgeless environment so we have the best person in the prime room, Nicko lenko said. For the Constellation Program launches, control lers also are designing a process that requires all information to be electronic instead of using paper. Spaulding said the count down will be a paperless system. I have 6,000 pages of procedures that I use for the shuttle launch countdown, Spaulding said. Here, I do not have that kind of com plexity. And Ill have the ability to have everything online. People can use wire less systems for processing at the various facilities and well all be looking at the same things. Taken together, the changes continue to bring the Ares program into focus for the launch team. console in the middle, which faces the glass wall that looks out on the launch pads. There also are a few rows of consoles on risers looking toward the horseshoe. NASA/Jim Grossman

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Page 7 SPACEPORT NEWS Nov. 28, 2008 Zarya launch kicked off construction of ISS Remembering Our Heritage By Kay Grinter Reference Librarian A three-stage Russian Proton rocket launched the Zarya Control Module in external fuel tanks. designed to provide the International Space Stations initial propulsion and power. T he International Space Station got a truly international start with the launch of zakhstan 10 years ago. The Functional Cargo Block, or FGB, lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome aboard a Russian Proton rocket Nov. 20, 1998. Dur ing the height of the Cold War, Sputnik I and Yuri to orbit Earth, also had launched from this same Russian launch complex. The U.S.-funded FGB -given the name Zarya or sunrise in English -is a U.S. component of the station, built in Russia for NASA by the Khrunichev State Research and Produc tion Space Center under a subcontract to The Boeing Company. The bus-sized Zarya is 41.2 feet long and 13.5 feet wide at its widest point. Sixteen days later, dur ing space shuttle Endeav ours STS-88 mission, the U.S.-built connecting Unity module, or Node 1, was at tached to Zarya. Designed to multitask, Zarya provided orientation control, communications and electrical power for the passive Unity module. Zaryas two large engines would be used to re-boost the conjoined spacecraft and make any major orbital changes required over the months to come. Kennedy Space Center Director Bob Cabana, a former astronaut, was com mander of that shuttle mis sion. In a recent update with agency employees, Cabana gave his impressions of our Russian partner and his op timism about our continued cooperation before the Ares I program begins operation. On a working level, when you get down and work with their engineers, you know, we speak engi neering. Its an excellent relationship, Cabana said. I think the friendships we have made with the folks in their control room, the mutual respect, hopefully, that will win out. NASA Administrator ing the work force, recalled that the Russians were a pieces of space station. He was referring to launch of the stations third component, a Russian-provided crew living quarters, known as the Zvez da Service Module, intended to enhanced or replace many of the functions Zarya was autonomously for six to eight months as planned, Zarya was not relieved of duty for almost two years. However, the Rus sians have always done what they said they would do when the negotiating was done, so I believe that, evidence to the contrary, they will continue to do so, better for the U.S. and for the world for us to be part ners on station than not. Bill Ingalls, NASA Headquarters senior con tract photographer, was in Baikonur for the launch of Zarya and has made numerous trips to Moscow to cover meetings between NASA and the Russians. I was treated with respect and observed the mutual respect between the representatives of the space agencies, Ingalls said. What a thrill it is to be working on a project like the station that does not involve aiming missiles at each other. Designed with an operational lifetime of no less than 15 years, Zarya is now used primarily for its storage capacity and 16 external fuel tanks that can hold more than six tons of propellant combined. Its side docking ports accom modate Russian Soyuz pilot ed spacecraft and unpiloted Progress re-supply ships. Since Zaryas launch, there have been 29 addition station: 27 aboard the space shuttle and two additional Russian launches. The sta tions mass has expanded to more than 627,000 pounds, and its interior volume is comparable to the size of a In the 10 years since this incredible interna tional endeavor began, 167 individuals representing 14 countries have visited the orbiting complex.

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John F. Kennedy Space Center Managing editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Candrea Thomas Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Frank Ochoa-Gonzales Copy editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rebecca Sprague Editorial support provided by Abacus Technology Corp. Writers Group. NASA at KSC is on the Internet at www.nasa.gov/kennedy USGPO: 733-049/600142 Spaceport News three weeks KSC-Spaceport-News@mail.nasa.gov Page 8 Nov. 28, 2008 Looking up and ahead No earlier than April 6, 2009 Launch/CCAFS: Delta IV, GOES-O; TBD April 24, 2009 Launch/CCAFS: Atlas V, LRO/LCROSS; TBD No earlier than April 1, 2009 Launch/CCAFS: Delta II, STSS; TBD Target Feb. 12, 2009 Launch/KSC: Discovery, STS-119; 7:36 a.m. Scheduled for March 5, 2009 Launch/CCAFS: Delta II, Kepler; 10:48 p.m. EST Target May 15, 2009 Launch/KSC: Endeavour, STS-127; 4:52 p.m. Launch/KSC: Atlantis, STS-128; TBD Target July 30, 2009 No earlier than Dec. 16 Launch/CCAFS: Delta IV, NROL-26; TBD Target Oct. 15, 2009 Launch/KSC: Discovery, STS-129; TBD Feb. 4, 2009 Launch/VAFB: Delta II, NOAA-N Prime; 5:22 a.m. EST Target July 12, 2009 Yes. Our engineers are very capable of making the equipment. We have the best of the best. Mike Felker, with NASA Would you be willing to drink from the wastewater recycling system Endeavour brought up to the International Space Station on the STS-126 mission? Yes. The system essentially does exactly what the Earth does in a matter of minutes. Maybe. Because if I knew the people I was with at the time it might be a little easier. Amber Charvet, with NASA Exchange Maybe. If they could somehow prove to me that there was absolutely no bacteria in it. Connie Wright, with NASA Exchange Absolutely. I have faith in my NASA comrades. Tom Cook, with NASA WORD STREET ON THE Victor Alvarez, with NASA success. From time to time, managers, supervisors and employees need help with solutions and communication. Milton.R.Grant@nasa.gov or 321-867-9169 for assistance with resolving workplace issues. manager for United Space Alliance. After launch and prior to landing is when we activate EOM, or end of mission, where we send another eight folks to White Sands and an other 75 to Edwards. Weather plays a key role on where the space shuttle touches down. Because rain can damage the shuttles sensitive heat shield, and more importantly cause the giant glider to lose speed and potentially not reach its intended landing spot, there cant be any rain showers within 30 miles of the landing site. Also, visibility has to be top-notch for the pilot to glide the shuttle safely weather, clear skies arent guaran teed. Edwards is much like it is here, with the same capabilities as far as runway and convoy operations, Kuta said. The only difference is we tow the orbiter to the Mate-Demate Device at Dryden, instead of the or biter processing facility at Kennedy. Astronauts and their vehicles are no strangers to the California landing site. In fact, there have been 51 land ings at Edwards since NASA began crews practice landing there before every mission -although this time around, its a little different. If we land there, it will be a temporary runway that was con structed last year, Kuta said. The main runway is being refurbished and will be complete before the STSColumbia on mission STS-3 of the White Sands landing facility high, dust and sand added weeks of cleaning time to processing. The turnaround area relocated, so wind isnt so much of a factor now, Kuta said. It can still take shuttle for its return to Kennedy because of limited capabilities. So what happens if Endeavour and its crew land at either alternate location? Kuta says about 40 mem bers of the de-orbit burn team will port the day of landing and a team of charter an aircraft the next day to support turnaround operations. Once the shuttle is ready, a Boeing 747, known as the Shuttle Carrier Air craft, will ferry it back to Kennedy. As of print time, the weather at Kennedy looked green for a Nov. 30 landing at approximately STS-126