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February 3, 2006John F. Kennedy Space Center America’s gateway to the universe Spaceport News http://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/news/snews/spnews_toc.html Vol. 45, No. 3 Challenger families attend 20th anniversary service (See MIRROR, Page 7) New Horizons speeds to PlutoNASA’S NEW Horizons spacecraft launched Jan. 19 aboard an Atlas V rocket from Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Read more about the historic mission on page 6.By Jessica Rye NASA Public Affairs N ASA named Bill Parsons the new deputy director of the Kennedy Space Center effective in mid-February. Parsons succeeds Dr. Woodrow Whitlow Jr., who is the director of the Glenn Research Center in Ohio. “Bill’s space operations background, experience and technical expertise, especially within the space shuttle program, along with his proven leadership ability Parsons to return as deputy director make him the best possible choice as our new deputy center director,” said Jim Kennedy, KSC director. “His background, knowledge and familiarity with KSC will allow him to contribute immediately to our team as we prepare for the next space shuttle mission, continue to process International Space Station hardware, prepare for critical unmanned robotic launches and carry out the first steps of the Vision for Space Exploration in 2006.” Parsons most recently served as director of NASA’s John C. BILL PARSONS will be the new Kennedy Space Center deputy director in mid-February.(See PARSONS, Page 2) By Jeff Stuckey Editor J une Scobee Rodgers, widow of space shuttle Challenger Commander Dick Scobee, expressed her husband’s love of the Florida coast to about 150 people who gathered Jan. 28 for a remembrance service marking the 20th anniversary of the Challenger accident. “This was Dick Scobee’s favorite place to work,” she said during the public ceremony at the Space Mirror Memorial at the KSC Visitor Complex. “He loved coming to Kennedy Space Center. He knew about risks and accepted them. I think the risks the astronauts take can be compared to the valor of the men and women who serve our country in the Middle East now, or during 9-11 when those firemen climbed those stairs, because without risks there is no discovery, there’s no new knowledge and there’s no new bold adventure, all of which help the human soul to soar.” The Astronauts Memorial Foundation hosted the event. Family members of the Apollo 1 and Columbia crews and relatives of the fallen T38 test pilots were also on hand as their loved ones were recognized for their sacrifice. Rodgers shared that the commander was humble in describing his profession. “Dick always said he was just a pioneer in a long succession of trailblazers and explorers traveling across the Atlantic as sailors, or as trailblazers traveling across the frontier in covered wagons. The greatest risk is to take no risk.” She also discussed the Challenger crew’s multi-faceted legacy. A total of at least 85 schools, museums, planetariums, airports and other facilities areJUNE SCOBEE Rodgers, widow of Challenger Commander Dick Scobee, talks at a remembrance service on the 20th anniversary of the accident.named after the Challenger and McAuliffe, Smith, Jarvis, Onizuka, Resnik, McNair and Scobee. Following his mother, U.S. Air Force Col. Richard Scobee explained the impact his dad had on him and the world. “This anniversary, to me, is more than being 20 years since the Challenger accident,” Scobee said. feb3color.pmd 2/2/2006, 10:55 AM 1

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SPACEPORT NEWS February 3, 2006 Page 2 Awards The Kennedy Update Jim Kennedy Center Director Stennis Space Center in Mississippi since September 2005. As space shuttle program manager, Parsons led the return-to-flight activities for the agency and played a major role in the recent success of the Discovery STS114 mission. His first stint as Stennis center director came in August 2002. He was first assigned to Stennis in 1997 as the chief of operations of the Propulsion Test Directorate. Parsons relocated to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston to become the director of the Center Operations Directorate. He later served as the deputy director of Johnson. He returned to Stennis in 2001 and served as director of the Center Operations and Support Directorate. “I could not be happier to be returning to the Kennedy Space Center for the opportunity to work with such a tremendously talented and dedicated team of individuals,” said Parsons. “I started with NASA at KSC and my family lives on the Space Coast, so it feels like coming home.” In 1990, Parsons joined the NASA team at Kennedy Space Center as a launch site support manager in the Shuttle Operations Directorate. He also worked as an executive management intern and later as the shuttle flow director of the Shuttle Operations Directorate at KSC. In 1996, he became manager of the Space Station Hardware Integration Office at the center.PARSONS . .(Continued from Page 1) G reetings, everyone! I know it’s been two weeks, but I still get excited when I think about the tremendous success of the Pluto New Horizons launch by our Launch Services Program and their mission partners. The scientific world is truly excited by this early success and many people, including Alan Stern, the principal investigator, already have July 14, 2015, circled on their calendar waiting for this spacecraft’s first encounter with this distant planet. I know I speak for Administrator Mike Griffin and everyone in the NASA family when I say our hats are off to the LSP/New Horizons team for this extraordinary effort. If figuring out how to intercept a planet billions of miles away wasn’t enough, the team also used a first-time vehicle and the spacecraft had plutonium on board, which presented challenges as high as the Vehicle Assembly Building. But by methodically taking on each challenge, conducting the proper analysis and allowing their work to be scrutinized for accuracy by experts both inside and outside the agency, the mission went off without a hitch. I continue to be amazed by the “world-changing events” we make happen at KSC and couldn’t be prouder to be a member of any team. Congratulations again and I wish you the best of luck with the ST-5 mission at the end of the month from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Monday will be a very important day for the agency and I’m inviting you all to tune in to two very special events. As a follow-up to President George W. Bush’s State of the Union address Tuesday night, Mike Griffin will hold a press conference Monday to speak directly about the proposed NASA budget for fiscal 2007. You can watch it live on NASA TV at 1:30 p.m. and it is slated to last an hour. Immediately following that, at 2:30 p.m., I will hold an all hands meeting for all employees in which I hope to address how the budget unfolds for us at KSC. For those not receiving an allotment to attend in the training auditorium, they may also see the KSC all hands on NASA TV. I anticipate speaking for 30 minutes, followed by 30 minutes for questions and answers from both the audience and phone calls. I know there’s been speculation about KSC’s future in the press and many rumors circulating about our future. I hope you will attend the all hands or tune in to hear the facts so everyone is operating on good, factual information. For those attending in the auditorium, feel free to come at 1:30 p.m. to watch Mike’s press conference on the big screen. I’m looking forward to it and hope to see you there! If you didn’t hear, we’ve begun stacking solid rocket booster segments in anticipation of the launch of STS-121. There is still much work to be done to make the May launch window and I remain optimistic. But we’ll fly again when it’s safe to fly, and I want to assure our shuttle processing team everyone is behind you 100 percent and we can’t wait to see Discovery at the pad again. Finally, the GlobalFlyer will make its world-record flight attempt from KSC in February. Because of weather, the attempt will come with short notice, so keep an eye out for KSC internal communication notices so you can watch this record-breaking event. Have a great February, everyone, and see you around the center!“I hope you will attend the all hands or tune in to hear the facts so everyone is operating on good, factual information.” T he February NASA employees of the month, from left, include: Jeanie Ward, Center Operations; Andrea Riley, Shuttle Processing; Joy Batterson, Information Technology and Communications Services; Susan Lambert, Constellation Project Office; Karl Thal, Launch Services Program; Hortense Burt, External Relations; Susie Barth, Launch Integration Office; Pam Hales, Safety and Mission Assurance; and Leticia Gomez, Chief Financial Office. Not shown is Rayelle Thomas, International Space Station and Payload Processing. February NASA employees of the month feb3color.pmd 2/2/2006, 10:55 AM 2

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SPACEPORT NEWS Page 3 February 3, 2006 Center’s outreach, space memorabilia cheer up young heart patient By Linda Herridge Staff Writer K ennedy Space Center’s outreach efforts touch many lives, sometimes one at a time. Recently, they brightened the days of an 8-yearold boy in Oregon during his recovery from a serious operation. Zachary Morgan of Beaverton, Ore., underwent open heart surgery in December and spent several weeks recuperating at home before returning to school. When asked what he’d like the most during his recovery, NASA enthusiast Zachary said “space stuff.” Zachary’s grandfather, Bob Swartz, contacted Doug Kohl, a friend who used to work at KSC. He quickly contacted the KSC News Center with a request to send some space memorabilia. KSC’s outreach team worked to assemble an assortment of space-related DVDs, books, pamphlets, photographs signed by astronauts, mission patches, pins and other items to help cheer up the young patient. When the packages arrived, Zachary’s mother said his eyes grew wide and he said, “Wow, this is amazing!” “He was very overwhelmed that people would take the time to send him so many wonderful things,” Chante Morgan said. “We opened the packages for him at his bedside in the hospital, and with each one we opened, his eyes got bigger and bigger. “It was wonderful for us to see so much excitement in his face after having gone through such an ordeal,” Zachary’s mother added. “His recovery is going well and he has enjoyed getting back to some amount of normalcy and being able to see his friends.” Zachary’s parents plan to frame many of the pictures, patches and other memorabilia to add to his space-themed bedroom. A mural of the Earth and framed pictures of space shuttle launches already hang on his walls. Zachary plans to share his new treasures with his thirdgrade classmates as they learn about space in their curriculum at Southwest Christian School in Beaverton this spring. “You’ve inspired us so much that we have decided to visit Kennedy Space Center this summer!” Zachary’s parents said. Zachary said that going through the surgery may allowZACHARY MORGAN underwent open heart surgery in December. He enjoyed a package of “space stuff” during his recovery and plans to share his treasure with his third-grade classmates in Oregon.him to help other children in similar situations. During his stay in the hospital, he said he wants to be an astronaut and, if that doesn’t work, possibly a heart surgeon. His parents added they are very thankful to those who took the time to brighten the life of a child they don’t know. My Story By Nick Pandolf Shuttle Processing This column provides Kennedy Space Center employees and retirees a chance to tell a story about their life. Readers are encouraged to submit a first-person article between 400 and 500 words. E-mail “My Story” submissions to Bruce.Buckingham-1@ksc.nasa.gov A s a child, I had a dream of space travel and always wanted to be part of it. As a young adult, I formulated a plan to go into the U.S. Air Force, and as most young boys dream, I also wanted to be a policeman. Well, today, as I near the end of a 50-year career, I can say that I have accomplished all of my dreams. After high school, I joined the Air Force and subsequently retired 22 years later, which includes a five-year break. I met my wife, Donna, in Ohio and we have two children, Nicholas and Michelle. Nick Jr. is in Santa Maria, Calif., managing a pet supply distributing company and Michelle is a webmaster for Travelocity.com. I started out in civil engineering, which taught me to fix anything in the house an education I would use for the rest of my life. I was then trained in rocket engines on Thor and Atlas missiles. As a young airman, I was in charge of the pyrotechnic team placing the new Atlas F missile on strategic alert. In 1966, I read an ad for rocket engine mechanics, to build and test the lunar module for Grumman Aerospace Engineering Corp. in Bethpage, N.Y. Upon discharge from the Air Force after eight years, I accepted the position and worked on the Apollo program until we landed on the moon in 1969. My name is on the moon, but that’s another story. I then set my sights for a new career as a police officer, and decided to accept a job in Ohio, where I was a beat officer for two years. Then I rejoined the Air Force, which got me to Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. I finished my career in developing the MX missile which was deployed in Cheyenne, Wyo., where I previously postured the first Minuteman 1 (See MY STORY, Page 7) feb3color.pmd 2/2/2006, 10:55 AM 3

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Page 4 SPACEPORT NEWS February 3, 2006 Corrosion Technology Lab developing new t By Linda Herridge Staff Writer F rom a distance, corrosion is not overtly evident at Kennedy Space Center. But closer inspection of launch pad facilities after space shuttle or expendable vehicle launches tells a different story. According to many published studies of marine environments throughout the country and other parts of the world, Kennedy Space Center has one of the highest corrosion rates. A team of 14 scientists in KSC’s Corrosion Technology Laboratory is working to reduce the impact of corrosion and even develop new corrosion-prevention technologies. The lab dates back to the Gemini program, with facilities located inside the Operations and Checkout Building, the Launch Equipment Test Facility and at a nearby beach site. The work is performed inside the electrochemistry lab, general corrosion lab, concrete corrosion lab, coatings application lab, and an accelerated corrosion lab. The beach corrosion facility includes a full weather data area, an atmospheric exposure site with hundreds of samples of coatings exposed to the elements, a seawater immersion site and an on-site laboratory. Dr. Luz Marina Calle, the corrosion lab’s lead scientist, said costs associated with corrosion in the United States are more than $300 billion per year. “At least one-third of this cost could be prevented at the design level,” Calle said. The lab group performs applied research and conducts studies for NASA, the U.S. Department of Defense and various industries. It also interfaces with the NASA Acquisition Pollution Prevention Program when investigating coatings and materials that may be harmful to the center’s ecosystem. Research is conducted for other NASA centers, including Johnson Space Center in Houston, Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama, and the Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, Calif. The lab also partners to perform corrosion investigations with universities including Florida Tech, Texas A&M University, the University of Florida, and Louisiana Tech, among others. Dr. Wendy Li, a materials science and engineering graduate from the University of Central Florida, is currently doing her post-doctoral work at the lab. Li is working on a project to develop a “smart coating,” a new technology that allows coatings to detect corrosion by changing color and inhibiting further corrosion from occurring. “KSC has wonderful corrosion labs to support the development of this important technol-Research laboratory dates back to the Gemini programogy,” Li said. At the beach site facility, remote cameras were installed by Bill Dearing from the KSC Telescience and Internet Systems Lab so that customers can actually view and download data about the corrosion performance of coating samples using the local network and Internet access. “Webcams have proven to be invaluable in monitoring site operations, viewing samples and having access during offsite conferences and presentations,” Dearing said. The corrosion team also conducted a study to recommend the best way to replace the stainless steel tubing on Launch Pad 39B for the space shuttle’s return to flight. After testing various grades of stainless steel JOE CURRAN, a senior corrosion engineer with ASRC Aerospace Corp., explains the different coating samples on the test stands at the beach site corrosion lab. NASA and other customers can view the status of samples through a Web-camera site developed by Information Technology engineer Bill Dearing. BILL DEARING, NASA Information Technology engineer, c cameras at the beach site facility weather station. feb3color.pmd 2/2/2006, 10:55 AM 4

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Page 5 SPACEPORT NEWS February 3, 2006 new techniques to preserve KSC facilities at the beach site facility and in the electrochemistry laboratory for nearly two years, a very high grade of corrosion-resistant stainless steel tubing was recommended and installed. Calle said measurements were conducted in the lab using conditions as close as possible to those of a launch. Weather conditions and exhaust from solid rocket boosters during launches are very damaging to launch pad concrete and coatings. “Exposing various grades of stainless steel and coating samples to real-life weather conditions is one of the main focuses at the beach site,” Calle said. Dr. Paul Hintze, a corrosion scientist, said the lab’s corrosion studies will also be instrumental ments is an important concern for NASA for scientific and health management reasons. “Self-cleaning, anti-microbial coatings that are integrated into spacecraft or crew habitat design would provide an affordable and easy solution to the problem of material degradation in different planetary environments,” Hintze said. Joe Curran, a senior corrosion engineer with ASRC Aerospace, said recent work included studying corrosion on the Vehicle Assembly Building’s concrete roof and coating. During repairs, engineers installed a special protection system to help prevent future corrosion. Another project involves studying corrosion of flex hoses at Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. “We can slow corrosion down and prevent failures, but it is impossible to eliminate completely,” Calle said. The corrosion lab team emphasizes that the time to think about corrosion is in the design phase. For more information on the corrosion lab, go to http:// corrosion.ksc.nasa.gov in research for future space missions to the moon and Mars. He said contamination of spacecraft or astronaut environ-WENDY LI (left), a materials science and engineering graduate student from the University of Central Florida, discusses coating samples with lab scientists, Drs. Paul Hintze and Jan Lomness. A team of 14 scientists in KSC’s Corrosion Technology Laboratory is working to reduce the impact of corrosion and even develop new corrosionprevention technologies. NASA CORROSION Technology Facility lead scientist Luz Marina Calle, Ph.D. (below), checks a stainless steel tubing sample at the lab. GRADUATE STUDENT Wendy Li checks on the progress of various metallic samples undergoing atmospheric testing at the beach site. T echnology engineer, calibrates remote e ather station. feb3color.pmd 2/2/2006, 10:55 AM 5

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Page 6 SPACEPORT NEWS February 3, 2006Federal, state agencies communicate New Horizons updatesBy Linda Herridge Staff Writer W hile the launch team at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station prepared for the launch of NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, another team was working behind the scenes to ensure crucial information was communicated to key representatives in Brevard County, the state of Florida, related industries and even the White House. A dedicated group of public affairs representatives was stationed in the Joint Information Center (JIC) at the NASA News Center, the Radiological Control Center (RADCC) at the Operations and Checkout Building, the U.S. Air Force Range Operations Control Center and the Atlas V Launch Control Center at CCAFS. They worked to make sure the most up-to-date information regarding weather conditions, launch vehicle status, and radiological updates were provided in a timely manner. As information was received byON COMPLEX 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, employees move the radioisotope thermoelectric generator into an area of the fairing containing the New Horizons spacecraft, to which it will be attached.representatives in the JIC, it was disseminated to the launch commentator, the RADCC and the NASA News Center. The Joint Information Center was managed by Dwayne Brown, a senior public affairs officer from NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. The center served as the hub for all launchrelated information being released, including the creation, editing, approval, interagency coordination and distribution of statements, news releases, advisories and other public information material. Responses to media or public inquiries pertaining to the radiological hazards associated with the launch vehicle also were handled through the JIC. “The Joint Information Center was a vital component of the overall readiness of the launch support team,” Brown said. “The various experienced members of the team were primed and ready to provide communication and instruction to ensure public safety.” Other key agency representatives stationed inside the JIC included those from the U.S. Department of Energy, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Florida Division of Emergency Management, National Weather Service and a liaison from the Brevard County Emergency Operations Center. Also in the JIC were public information officers from Lockheed Martin, the 45th Space Wing, the Jet Propulsion Lab and a NASA Headquarters liaison to communicate with the U.S. State Department. Assistance was provided by a Kennedy Space Center public information officer and a public affairs writer. E ducators attending a conference in Cocoa Beach during the launch of NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft not only gained new teaching techniques, but also enjoyed the opportunity to talk with some of the mission’s scientists and engineers. The conference was sponsored by NASA KSC, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory and the Southwest Research Institute. The educators also were updated on the sample return from NASA’s Stardust mission and an overview of information obtained from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The Educator Resource Center at Kennedy distributed materials for classroom use.Educators gain insight to New Horizons New lighthouse lamp room will include original brass structureT he roof and lamp room on top of the 160-foot Cape Canaveral Lighthouse was removed Jan. 26 as part of a $750,000 refurbishment project. The lamp room will be renovated and the roof will be replaced with the original brass structure. The project is expected to be completed July 15. THE ROOF and lamp room are removed from the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse on Jan. 26 for renovations. feb3color.pmd 2/2/2006, 10:55 AM 6

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SPACEPORT NEWS February 3, 2006 Page 7back in 1965. During my Air Force days, I completed my master’s degree in criminology, which earned me the position of reserve captain of the San Bernardino Police reserve unit. I was happy to put my past experience and formal training to work there for five years. I joined Lockheed Space Ops in 1984 at Vandenberg, and after the Challenger accident I was transferred to Dryden at Edwards Air Force Base for two years. Upon return to flight at Edwards, I escorted President George Bush (I was a safety rep there) to the shuttle to greet the returning astronauts, a thrill I will never forget. I have been at KSC since 1988 and have enjoyed several positions with the Shuttle Engineering directorate and the program office. I enjoy this work and hope the program evolves to the next stage: returning to the moon and beyond. That’s been my dream, and hopefully I will see it come true. I am very proud to be a part of this history.MY STORY . .(Continued from Page 3) Remembering Our Heritage By Kay Grinter Reference Librarian O n Jan. 15, 1976, Helios-B lifted off from Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral, the same pad used for NASA’s unprecedented New Horizons mission to Pluto last month. The launch vehicle was the powerful Titan/Centaur, the largest vehicle in the NASA arsenal following the retirement of the Saturn rockets and before the arrival of the space shuttle. A Titan IIIE booster combined with a Centaur D-1T second stage supported a total liftoff weight of 1.4 million pounds. The Helios-B spacecraft was one of a pair of deep-space probes developed in a major cooperative agreement between the United States and Germany. It carried 11 scientific instruments; a twelfth experiment, in celestial mechanics, used the spacecraft’s radio. The mission’s objective was to study the sun from an orbit 30 years ago: Record-setting Helios-B launched from Complex 41 nearer the center of the solar system than any previous attempt, an objective Helios-B successfully met. Its closest approach was 27 million miles. For Launch Director John Neilon, this was his 60th and last assignment as launch director before a full-time transfer to the space shuttle initiative. “Helios was a great project to work on — both from a scientific and personal point of view,” Neilon recalls. “Scientifically, the first Helios held the record for the closest approach to the sun until its twin spacecraft did even better. The nearness to the sun posed some interesting thermal problems for the designers. The mission requirements for the trajectory were such that a solid upper stage had to be borrowed from the Delta program to augment the already hefty capability of the Titan/Centaur.” Don Sheppard agrees. He functioned as a launch site support manager for the mission. “Planning the mission required both government and contractor officials to meet in Germany, and of course, I enjoyed the opportunity, especially my travels through Bavaria,” Sheppard says. “Helios-B traveled closer to the sun than any other object without burning up, and accomplished its mission objectives to the delight of the project scientists,” he recalls. “For the rest of us, the intangible benefits of goodwill were enjoyed for many years.”HELIOS-B LIFTED off on a Titan/ Centaur launch vehicle in 1976. At left, NASA employees process the spacecraft in Cape Canaveral.“This is not the time I remember back to what my father and crew did. I think about that every day, especially in my line of work. It is more of a celebration than anything else. It is great to see the work and dedication that is still going on at NASA to continue the mission.” Scobee, a combat pilot, is often asked about following in his father’s footsteps. He said he doesn’t see it this way, because they were totally different kinds of pilots. “I would call it more of a parallel path,” he said. “I followed along beside his footsteps. But I do enjoy those parallels and I enjoy talking to his friends.” Kennedy Space Center Director Jim Kennedy told the MIRROR . .(Continued from Page 1) audience how much the work force cares for the families who lost loved ones in the pursuit of exploration. “As I stand before you, it is as one person representing 15,000 men and women at the Kennedy Space Center,” Kennedy said. “When June (Scobee Rodgers) commented that the crew of Challenger loved KSC, I want you to know that all 15,000 of us loved the crew of Challenger, the crew of Columbia and the crew of Apollo 1. God bless you.” Kennedy also told the audience members they are a part of the NASA family. “When we experience the tragic losses that we have referred to today, it hurts down deep in our souls,” Kennedy said. “But knowing that we are in this together, with friends and family, it makes the highs that much sweeter and the lows bearable. Today, I say God’s blessings from us to you.” feb3color.pmd 2/2/2006, 10:55 AM 7

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Page 8 SPACEPORT NEWS February 3, 2006 John F. Kennedy Space Center Managing editor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Bruce Buckingham Editor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jeff Stuckey Copy editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Corey Schubert Editorial support provided by InDyne, Inc. Writers Group. NASA at KSC is located on the Internet at http://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy USGPO: 733-049/60100 Spaceport News Spaceport News is an official 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 two weeks before publication to the Media Services Branch, IDI-011. E-mail submissions can be sent to Jeffery.Stuckey-1@ksc.nasa.gov Employees view GlobalFlyer before historic takeoffB adged employees of KSC and CCAFS enjoyed the opportunity to view the GlobalFlyer at the tow way hangar adjacent to the Shuttle Landing Facility Jan. 25 and 26. At press time, GlobalFlyer was expected to launch from KSC’s Shuttle Landing Facility no earlier than Feb. 6 in an attempt to set a new record for the longest aircraft flight. Pilot Steve Fossett will attempt to land the GlobalFlyer at Kent International Airport, near London, and cover 26,084 miles in approximately 80 hours. The takeoff date for the 114-foot wide aircraft is dependent on weather and jet-stream conditions. NASA agreed to let Virgin Atlantic Airways use the Shuttle Landing Facility as a takeoff site as part of a program to expand runway access for non-NASA activities. For information, visit www.virginatlanticglobalflyer.com .EMPLOYEES ENJOY an up-close look at the Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer at the Reusable Launch Vehicle hangar. The aircraft will be used in an attempt to set a new record for the longest aircraft flight by covering 26,084 miles. N ASA kicked off a new Explorer Schools partnership with Warrington Middle School in Pensacola, Fla., on Jan. 23 when astronaut Alan Poindexter and Kennedy Space Center Director Jim Kennedy spoke to students at the school. “Just as the youth of the 1940s became the pioneers that launched our space program, the students of the new millennium will turn the Vision for Space Exploration into reality,” Kennedy said. “It was exciting to visit Warrington and share the vision, so students can find out how they can be a part of our nation’s future space exploration programs.” Poindexter and Kennedy talked to students about careers Kennedy visits new NASA Explorer School in Pensacola in science, technology, engineering, math, and NASA’s steppingstone approach to exploring the moon, Mars and beyond. Warrington was selected as a NASA Explorer School in May 2005. The NASA Explorer Schools Program provides educators, students and families with classroom resources and innovative technology based on NASA’s unique research, discoveries and missions. During the three-year partnership, NASA assists schools in addressing science, technology, engineering and mathematics needs. For information about the NASA Explorer Schools Program on the Web, visit: http:// explorerschools.nasa.gov. CHRISTINE NIXON (left), principal of Warrington Middle School in Pensacola joins KSC Director Jim Kennedy and the school’s NASA Explorer School team to recognize the new partnership with NASA.E ight undergraduate students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Operational Internship Experience program are involved in an intensive, three-week internship at Kennedy Space Center. The program, funded by the Massachusetts Space Grant Consortium, introduces students to the operational aspects of space flight and shows them the relationship between design and operations – how design decisions made in the past influence maintenance requirements today. Interns learn design, operations at center feb3color.pmd 2/2/2006, 10:56 AM 8