Spaceport news

MISSING IMAGE

Material Information

Title:
Spaceport news
Physical Description:
Serial
Language:
English
Creator:
Kennedy Space Center
Publisher:
External Relations, NASA at KSC
Place of Publication:
Kennedy Space Center, FL
Publication Date:

Subjects

Genre:
serial   ( sobekcm )
Spatial Coverage:
United States -- Florida -- Brevard -- Cape Canaveral -- John F. Kennedy Space Center
Coordinates:
28.524058 x -80.650849 ( Place of Publication )

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
System ID:
UF00099284:00242


This item is only available as the following downloads:


Full Text

PAGE 1

Americas gateway to the universe. Leading the world in preparing and launching missions to Earth and beyond. June 18, 2004John F. Kennedy Space Center Spaceport Newshttp://www-pao.ksc.nasa.gov/kscpao/snews/snewstoc.htm Vol. 43, No. 13(See FIRES, Page 2) County, Palm Bay residents very thankful for saving propertyBy Linda Herridge Staff WriterWhen wildfires in the Palm Bay and Malabar area threatened homes and property during the Memorial Day holiday weekend, a team of Kennedy Space Center and 45th Space Wing firefighters rushed to the area to help. The firefighters teamed up with task forces from Satellite Beach, Malabar, Melbourne, Palm Bay, Patrick Air Force Base and Brevard County already on site to help put out heavy flames near the 45th Space Wing resources at the Malabar Site near Palm Bay and Malabar Roads. Under a mutual aid agreement with the Palm Bay Fire Department, KSC firefighters provide fire protection coverage.KSC FIREFIGHTERS Lt. Keith Abell (left) and Chris Maupin stow gear in the aircraft firefighting vehicle used to combat recent wildfires in south Brevard County.Spaceport firefighters fight flames in south BrevardFirefighter Chris Maupin, Lt. Keith Abell and driver Von Thorne helped put out fires working from 3:30 p.m. to well into the evening, answering the call of duty on the national holiday. Maupin said the smoke was so thick he could not see more than a foot in front of him. According to Abell, the timing of their arrival was good. We were able to get in behind a portion of the fire and put it out before it reached any of the houses. The effort was well coordinated, and the teamwork between our crew and the cities went smoothly. Jim Farmer, KSC firefighters operations chief, said the neighbors in the affected area were grateful for the assistance from the Spaceport. The neighbors appreciated that we had our aircraft firefighting vehicles at the site, said Farmer. The trucks carry large quantities of water and have a long reach for putting out fires, Maupin and Abell added that they received a lot of thumbs up and cheers from the residents. On June 1, several firefighters returned to the area to check the ground and make sure it was wet enough to prevent fires from reigniting. Firefighter Michael Herndon, who worked on June 1, was satisfied with the groups efforts. We protected lives and property in a safe manner. Farmer added: One of KSCs values is safety and health. It isSpace Gateway Support Information Management (IM) employees have been shipping care packages to military troops in Iraq and Afghanistan since April. If you know of a friend or relative serving abroad and want to include them in this project, contact IM secretary Joy Antonucci via e-mail or at 8677660. To learn more about the program and to view criteria, visit www.anysoldier.US or view the IM home page. The IM Mail and Special Services Department is playing a major role in the project by picking up bagged or boxed items at mail stops and transporting them to the IM Directors office for repacking and shipping to the troops. Items being shipped include basic food, personal hygiene items, entertainment media and even small stuffed animals for the troops to pass out to local children. Some of the most requested items are eye wash, AA batteries, magazines, paperback books, crossword puzzles/word search, any type of small board or card games, powdered drinks, and snacks/breakfast food/fruits/ soups that do not melt. Each box is sent to a soldier with a thank you note inside. How to say 'Thanks' to our brave military overseas SPACE GATEWAY SUPPORT employees Elaine Brabaw (right), and Joy Antonucci, pack boxes as part of Information Management's "Support Our Troops" effort.

PAGE 2

SPACEPORT NEWS June 18, 2004 Page 2 AwardsHello, everyone. I always appreciate the opportu nity to talk directly with our great team here at KSC. Im happy to sit in for Jim Kennedy for this issue. Im sure most of you have heard that Jim has been a little under the weather lately. If you didnt see his e-mailed note, he asked me to pass on to everyone his sincere appreciation for all the cards, letters, phone messages and well wishes that you have sent during his absence. From what Ive seen during my time at KSC, nobody has more energy or works harder than Jim Kennedy and he will be back to work before we know it. In my book, hes entitled to some well-deserved rest and I know itll do him wonders. I also appreciate everyone stepping up to the plate and filling in or adjusting their schedules to accommodate Jim and myself during this time. I know most Americans took some time to observe the passing of former President Ronald W. The Kennedy UpdateDr. Woodrow Whitlow Deputy Director truly followed here on base, but also valued off base as exhibited by our firefighters commitment to help their neighbors. We are a diverse group with homes and families in many communities in Central Florida. Brevard Fire-Rescue Public Safety Officer Orlando Dominguez said: The KSC firefighters came to the south area of Brevard and worked alongside four or more different fire agencies they dont work with on a regular basis. It was truly an example of great teamwork and great fire protection. Other KSC firefighters who assisted were Chief Don Thompson, Lt. Ken Buchanan, Jeff Fisher, Lt. Mike Alsup and Bob Reed.FIRES . .(Continued from Page 1) Reagan, our 40th president. No matter your politics, its great to know our nation takes the time to honor its fallen leaders. Many people may not realize it, but President Reagan had a dramatic effect on NASA during his presidency. Most people remember his poetic and soothing speech after the Challenger accident at a time of deep sorrow for our nation. Many people may not know it was President Reagans1984 State of the Union address that proposed the International Space Station when he stated, We can follow our dreams to distant stars, living and working in space for peaceful, economic and scientific gain. Tonight, I am directing NASA to develop a permanently manned Space Station and to do it within a decade. President Reagans spirit of optimism lives on in NASA today. He would be proud to know that when we one day set foot on Mars, his proposal for an ISS will have played a key role in that success. God Bless President Reagan and the United States of America! I had the privilege to give welcome and closing remarks at the 8th Annual Cape Canaveral Spaceport Symposium highlighting the theme Partnerships for the Future. KSC, the 45th Space Wing and the Florida Space Authority combined to host this prestigious event. It was a great success, with numerous interesting panel discussions concerning the future of the Cape. For someone with an engineering and research background, it certainly was a joy to participate in a conference of this kind. Thanks to everyone involved "To me, the delay once again proves we are extremely serious about safety and our team wont launch this mission until its 100 percent ready."in planning and executing this event. My special thanks to John Hudiburg, External Relations, Glenn Vera with the Florida Space Authority and Rick Blucker with the 45th Space Wing for leading the effort. I know it takes a tremendous amount of hard work to pull off a first-class event and this definitely fit in that category. Great job everyone, and I look forward to next years symposium. Hopefully, you saw some of the news stories surrounding the Presidents Commission on Space Exploration release of its report Wednesday. Boiling it down, the commission said it endorses Americas Vision for Space Exploration outlined by President George W. Bush in January. This is exciting news for all of us, as I am confident that KSC will be the operations center for the future vision. But remember, step one of the vision is safely returning our Space Shuttle fleet to flight and that should be our number one focus at the Center. If you havent heard, because of some technical issues, the launch of the Aura satellite at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., has slipped to no earlier than July 8. Despite the delay, I know the team is excited to launch this mission and to expand the Earth Observing System. To me, the delay once again proves we are extremely serious about safety and our team wont launch this mission until its 100 percent ready. Good luck to the launch team as they solve these issues on their way to a successful launch. Thanks for giving me some of your time and have a great week. And since I know Jim Kennedy will be reading this, I just want to say, Hurry back Jim, youre missed by us all!MENTORS for the 2004 Summer High School Apprentice Research Program (above) listen to a presentation of what to expect in the upcoming year. At right, the SHARP students learn more about the program at a June 7 event.SHARP mentors, students prepare for busy summer

PAGE 3

SPACEPORT NEWS Page 3 June 18, 2004Recognizing Our PeopleBy Layla Higgins NASA Public Affairs InternThirteen KSC employees were recently presented with the prestigious Silver Snoopy Award for their service to Space Shuttle astronauts. The award is a direct honor bestowed by the astronaut corps to individuals who contribute the most to the safety and success of human space flight. Employees were recognized for their outstanding contributions to flight, the exceptional manner in which they carry out their responsibilities, exceeding normal requirements and demonstrating pride in their work. Astronaut Butch Wilmore presented a Silver Snoopy to Chuck Davis of the Spaceport Services Directorate, Mary Neville of ASRC Aerospace Corporation, Paul Hollis of United Space Alliance (USA) and four employees of the Boeing Company: Ed Simpson, Christine Layne, William Voight and Julie Anderson. Astronaut Doug Hurley presented the award to four Space Gateway Support employees: Christopher Vaughn, Larry Carr, Wanda Rucker and EdwardAstronauts show appreciation with Silver SnoopyCoyle. Astronaut Bob Behnken presented to Kelvin Polk of USA and Daniel Sweety of Boeing. Boeing employee Christine Layne felt both shocked and honored as she was presented with the Silver Snoopy. Layne has worked at KSC for six years and feels the award gratifies her work at the Center. With her family and friends at her side, she was very impressed by the entire presentation. The excitement overcame me and I missed the chance to thank everyone, but this award represents the entire company, said Layne. She also noted her surprise at just how sincere and genuinely friendly the presenting astronauts were. Chuck Davis was the only civil service employee to receive the Silver Snoopy. He has been with KSC since 1989. He, too, was shocked by the surprise ceremony. Attending his presentation were his wife Kathy, son Garrett and mother Lynne, who mother made a special trip from Georgia just for the ceremony. Davis, a storable propellant engineer, said he was speechless as he received what he feels is a huge honor.CHUCK DAVIS, a NASA civil service employee, receives the Silver Snoopy at a surprise ceremony attended by his mom Lynne (in hug), wife, son Garrett (right) and NASA astronaut Doug Hurley Below, Davis' colleagues help celebrate his Silver Snoopy award. By Jennifer Wolfinger Staff Writer Although Kennedy Space Centers workforce is dedicated to generating physical phenomena, some still may shudder when trying to understand physics, the science of matter and energys properties, changes and interactions. To ease these jitters, Dr. Carlos Calle, lead scientist in KSCs Electrostatics and Surface Physics Laboratory, is offering the general reader an overview of physics through his book, Superstrings and Other Things, A Guide to Physics.Dr. Calles Guide to Physics explains basic conceptsWhile teaching a modern physics course at the University of Virginia in the early 1990s, I became aware of the lack of grasp of the basic concepts of physics, said Calle. I realized there was a need for an accurate book on physics for the general reader where the concepts would be clearly explained. The time he spent writing the book is twice the length of his five-year career at Kennedy Space Center. Though conceived prior to his NASA tenure, the publication still applies to the Center. The book includes a description of the Mars Compatibility Assessment Electrometer development by KSC and Jet Propulsion Laboratory and its (See PHYSICS, Page 7) subsequent calibration work done at KSC, said Calle. This electrometer was developed as a flight instrument for the Mars exploration mission. Current development work for exploration in our lab at KSC is in part based on this instrument. The book fulfills NASAs mission of educating the public on its activities and discoveries, Calle said. A great deal of NASAs research and develop-Dr. Carlos Calle, a KSC lead scientist, wrote "Superstrings and Other Things, A Guide to Physics."

PAGE 4

Page 4 SPACEPORT NEWS June 18, 2004 By Sean O'Keefe NASA AdministratorFormer President Ronald W. Reagans boundless optimism about America manifested itself in many ways. Among them was his energetic and unbridled support for NASAs space exploration program. Less than three months after he took the oath of office, on April 12, 1981, the Space Shuttle Columbia launched on its first mission, and after a six-year hiatus, Americans were back in space to stay. A year later, in one of our countrys most memorable Fourth of July celebrations, Pres. Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan greeted the Columbia STS-4 crew of Thomas Mattingly and Henry Hartsfield upon the conclusion of their successful mission at Edwards Air Force Base in California. They also watched with spectators as the newly completed Shuttle Orbiter Challenger took off on top of a modified 747 jet for the Kennedy Space Center. Pres. Reagan spoke that morning about how the Shuttles were the modern day equivalent of the Yankee Clipper ships thatFormer President Reagan's optimism e mopened new horizons for our nation. Following the initial successes of the Space Shuttle program, space policy took on a new level of national importance in the Reagan Administration. In his 1984 State of the Union Address, Pres. Reagan announced plans for a permanent human presence in space with the construction of a space station, and he tasked NASA to include the international community to be a part of a project designed for the benefit of everyone on Earth. Today, the International Space Station orbits overhead as a living testament to the optimism and visionary leadership of this great man. Of course, we all remember Pres. Reagan for his eloquent speech when we lost the Challenger and its gallant crew. During his remarks, the President reminded all of us, Sometimes when we reach for the stars, we fall short, but we must pick ourselves up again and press on despite the pain. In his emotional speech he reminded us, The future doesnt belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave.COLUMBIA SPACE SHUTTLE astronauts Commander Thomas K. Mattingly (foregrounRonald Reagan and his wife, Nancy, as the astronauts begin the customary walk-arounPres. Reagan presents astronaut John Young with the Congressional Space Medal of HMedal. Astronaut Robert C. Crippen also received the Distinguished Service Medal and President's Citizens Medal. At far right, Vice Pres. George Bush looks on. "SOMETIMES WHEN WE REACH for the stars, we fall short, but we must pick ourselves up again and press on despite the pain," said Pres. Reagan at a memorial service for the Space Shuttle Challenger crew at Johnson Space Center in 1986.

PAGE 5

Page 5 SPACEPORT NEWS June 18, 2004 mbodied in NASA spirit of todaynd) and Pilot Henry W. Hartsfield salute Pres.nd inspection of the orbiter after landing. Below,Honor as well as NASAs Distinguished Service Dr. Alan Lovelace was presented with the BELOW, PRES. REAGAN jokingly asks crew members, astronauts Joe Engle and Richard Truly, if they could stop by Washington en route to their California landing site so that he might come along. Standing from left to right are: Terry J. Hart, NASA deputy administrator; Dr. Hans Mark, NASA administrator; James Beggs, JSC director; and Dr. Christopher Kraft Jr. Seated from left to right are: CAPCOM astronaut Daniel Brandenstein; Pres. Reagan; and directly above the President in the background is Eugene Kranz, JSC flight operations director. PRES. RONALD REAGAN addresses NASA employees during the Agency's 25th anniversary celebration at the National Air and Space Museum, Oct. 19, 1983.

PAGE 6

Page 6 SPACEPORT NEWS June 18, 2004By Linda Herridge Staff WriterKennedy Space Centers emergency crews firefighters, security officers and other rescue personnel are well trained to enter, evacuate, and secure unfamiliar buildings. But they never stop learning. To further increase safety at KSC, the Centers Protective Services and Safeguards Office (PSSO) is leading a state-of-theart Tactical Survey Analysis that includes photographing approximately 1 million square feet of the interior and exterior of selected facilities. The benefit for KSC is that this survey program is going to make it easier for the first responders to get in and get their jobs done easier and safer, said Gene Garcia, Tactical Survey Group project team manager. It will save lives in the long run. Two contractor organizations High Technology Solutions (HTS), Inc. of San Diego and Tactical Survey Group of Crestline, Calif. have partnered to create the first tactical surveys of critical KSC facilities. According to NASA Special Agent Roger Langevin, seven facilities were selected that represent the wide variety of facility functions found at KSC. Facility managers cooperating on this project are vital to itsNew tactical survey of KSC increases safetysuccess and have been extremely helpful, said Langevin. A team of 13 programmers and specialists, using special panoramic cameras, are shooting three-dimensional, immersive images of every square inch of the Orbiter Processing Facilities, Launch Control Center, Hazardous Maintenance Facility, Hangar AE at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and the fourth floor of Headquarters. Aerial views of the facilities and surrounding areas are also being photographed from a helicopter. Ultimately, it is our desire to have tactical surveys for all major KSC facilities to support the management of critical incidents that could occur at any time and under various conditions, said Special Agent Calvin Burch, KSC PSSO Chief. The Tactical Survey comprises pictures of the inside of each facility including doors, windows, utility shutoff points, fire hydrant and hose locations, roof access, ingress and egress routes and alarm systems. The pictures are downloaded to a computer database for editing and formatting by High Technology Solutions specialists. Data added to the tactical survey includes important facility personnel locator information and more. HTS Project Manager Kelly Mundell and his team will edit, organize and turn hours of panoramic photographs into a program that can be viewed on a computer screen. The finished product lets the viewers feel as though they are inside the location. The first phase of the project will be delivered to KSC by August, fully encrypted for copyright and security purposes. According to Langevin, the survey team will return in July to continue photographing, editing and formatting, which could take up to eight months to complete. Working with NASA and the security team has been awesome, Mundell said. They have been supportive, very professional and eager to have this tool available for use.AERIAL VIEWS OF KSC and surrounding areas are being photographed from a helicopter to create the first tactical surveys of critical facilities.At the Spaceports first Outstanding Star ceremony earlier this month, Center Director Jim Kennedy and 45th Space Wing Commander Brig.Gen. Greg Pavlovich recognized a team of NASA, Air Force, Navy and J-BOSC personnel who recently finished a project to update the J-BOSC Statement of Work. Integrated Product Teams (IPTs), made up of Cape Canaveral Spaceport Management Office personnel, the contractor and customers, ensure that daily missions at the Spaceport flow smoothly. J-BOSC services include facility operations and maintenance, engineering services, fire, security, airfield support, laboratories, propellant and life support, information technology services, administrative services and medical and environmental support.Spaceport recognizes its shining 'Stars'MEMBERS OF THE WORK Management team are recognized for outstanding service. They include Jose Mojica (kneeling), IPT lead; Standing in the second row (from left) are KSC Director Jim Kennedy, Wayne Mendez, Jerry Jorgensen, Kim Myrick, Mike Chriswell, Sharon Cadwell, Charles Malloy and Betty Valentine. St anding in the back row are:John Storm, Chris Barbe, Ric Kowalchik, Bruce McBride, Max Farley, Cindy Bixby, Jim King and 45th Space Wing Commander Brig. Gen. Greg Pavlovich.

PAGE 7

SPACEPORT NEWS June 18, 2004 Page 7By Linda Herridge Staff WriterWhile Kennedy Space Center workers painstakingly prepare Discovery for Return to Flight inside the Orbiter Processing Facilities, another group of workers from the Spaceport Engineering and Technology (SE&T) directorate are concentrating their efforts on equally important orbiter tile impact tests at the request of Johnson Space Center for NASAs Shuttle Program. Using lessons learned from a previously developed pneumatic launch assist tube, NASA and Arctic Slope Research Corp. workers designed and built a separate test fixture for impact tests using ablator projectiles at speeds up to 1,600 feet per second, according to Chris Davis, NASA KSC project manager. Ablator is an epoxy cork composite material used on the Solid Rocket Boosters and External Tank. The tests are part of the Columbia Accident Investigation Boards recommended requirements. Along with KSC, test sites include White Sands, N.M., Glenn Research Center in Cleveland and Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. According to Dale Lueck,Tile impact tests assist Shuttle return to flightNASA chemist and lead technical advisor on the project, small pieces of ablator are shot through an 80-foot-long tube, or gun, using compressed nitrogen or helium gas as the propellant. Various speeds are used to shoot the projectile toward a target containing bottom orbiter tile test panels, about 6 feet away from the end of the tube. The other sites are using ice, foam or metal for the impact tests. One of the technological challenges of this project was developing a methodology to predict the pressure required to achieve a specified velocity on any size projectile, said Jan Zysko, a NASA research and development engineer and technical advisor on the project. Accurately accelerating a mass to near sonic velocities is not a trivial task. Weve been fortunate to have some very capable and innovative folks from around the Center assigned to this task. The tests are conducted in an area west of Launch Complex 39 off of Schwartz Road by a team including NASA KSC and ASRC personnel. The point of this program is to provide data to develop refined analytical impact models, said Paul Gamble, ASRC project manager. Testing began in mid-April using a speed of 400 feet per second and then reducing the velocity. Eventually, tests were run at 70 feet per second. According to Lueck, each series of test velocities depends on the damage that results from earlier tests. The KSC test results will help the Agency take even further strides in increasing safety measures for space flight. According to Davis, the results showed the SRB ablator caused damage, a discovery that helped the Orbiter Program determine no amount of ablator may become debris. KSC will continue to perform testing, but the projectile material may change, Davis said. These results were presented to JSCs Orbiter Return to Flight Working Group and the Systems Integration Control Board. Justin Kerr, JSC project manager, said: The KSC team has done fine work. This project required a lot of effort to get the facility up and running. From my perspective, the testing proved efficient and data producing. A related project, managed by the SE&Ts Operational Spaceport Project Office, will test acoustic sensors that could detect and locate significant impacts during flight.ORBITER TILE IMPACT tests are conducted west of Launch Complex 39 off of Schwartz Road by a team including KSC and ASRC personnel. The tests are part of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board's recommendations.PHYSICS ...(Continued from Page 3)ment activities has roots in basic physics. The guide received favorable reviews from Physics World Physics Today and several Web sites. New Scientist magazine featured the book on its 2002 science bestseller list. French and Italian translation rights have also been sold. The KSC library carries the book, published in 2001 by the Institute of Physics Publishing. It is sold through Barnes & Noble, www.amazon.com and even available at bookstores in England, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. To accommodate demand, preparations for the books second edition are underway. Calle holds a Ph.D. in theoretical nuclear physics and has conducted extensive research and publishing in nuclearNASA reschedules Aura missionThe launch of NASAs Aura spacecraft, the latest in the Earth Observing System (EOS) series, has been rescheduled for no earlier than July 8. During testing of the Delta II launch vehicle on the pad at Space Launch Complex 2 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, a helium leak was observed in the second stage fuel tank shutoff valve. It must be removed and replaced, and the associated retesting will be completed afterward. The spacecraft is at the Astrotech payload processing facility and is ready to go to the launch pad, now rescheduled to occur June 18. The Flight Program Verification, an integrated test involving the Boeing Delta II launch vehicle and the Aura spacecraft is scheduled to occur June 24. The Flight Readiness Review is planned for July 1. Auras four state-of-the-art instruments will study the dynamics of chemistry occurring in the atmosphere. physics, applied electrostatics, surface physics and instrumentation development related to planetary exploration. Additionally, hes written more than 100 scientific articles. Purchase "Superstrings and Other Things, A Guide to Physics," by Dr. Carlos I. Calle at Barnes & Noble or www.amazon.com

PAGE 8

Page 8 SPACEPORT NEWS June 18, 2004 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.ksc.nasa.gov USGPO: 733-133/600059Spaceport News Spaceport News is an official publication of the Kennedy Space Center and is published on alternate Fridays by External Relations and Business Development 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.govBy Jennifer Wolfinger Staff WriterMusicians and millionaires have paid huge amounts of money to be at the heart of the Space Program, but middle school students can now Enter the Firing Room, at Kennedy Space Center whenever they want for free. A new Web site through KSC, Enter the Firing Room offers children a chance to meet real NASA experts, such as engineers and astronauts. Through video and text, participants learn about launch processing and systems. Students also can find out how to join the NASA team and learn Agency trivia. Educators have their own section with resources. Through these projects, NASA hopes to encourage students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, said Berta Alfonso, an education technol-Students can now 'Enter the Firing Room'ogy project manager at KSC. Participants also learn about aeronautical heroes on the site. Astronaut James Reilly emphasizes the importance of the team that supports launches. Astronaut Janice Voss shares her experiences, including involvement in the NASA Co-op program, which led to accomplishing her dream of flying aboard the Shuttle. After visiting the site, which is operated through KSCs Education Programs and University Research Division, students test their knowledge with a quiz. Visit the Web site at http:// enterfiringroom.ksc.nasa.gov to Enter the Firing Room. Also making the most of todays technological possibilities, the Education division is developing NASAs Virtual Lab. The CD-ROMbased program provides a navigable 3-D lab environment housing a variety of scientific instruments. The Virtual Lab was created to inspire high school and entrylevel college students, in response to educators desires to access sophisticated scientific instruments. It also offers background on the available instruments and specimens. Currently available is the 3-D lab environment and the Scanning Electron Microscope instrument. More instruments and specimens are being added this year. To use these tools, download software at http:// education.ksc.nasa.gov/edtech/ vl.htm .THE TEAM of developers for the "Enter The Firing Room" Web site includes (from left) William Little, NASA Information Technology; Mark Moxley, All Points Logistics programmer; Berta Alfonso, KSC Education Technology project manager; and Gregg Buckingham, KSC University Programs.Through Labor Day on Sept. 6, all Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station badged employees will receive one complimentary Maximum Access Admission and can purchase up to six additional Maximum Access Admissions at 50 percent off when they show their badge at the KSC Visitor Complex. Badged employees must purchase tickets in person between 9 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. at ticket windows 1-4 at the Visitor Complex. Please present your badge at time of purchase. This offer is not transferable and cannot be combined with any other discount. The Visitor Complex is open daily from 9 a.m. to approximately dusk. Maximum Access Admission includes all exhibits, Astronaut Encounter, IMAX space films, the KSC bus tour and the Astronaut Hall of Fame.Badged Spaceport employees can take free Visitor Complex tourRetired Rear Admiral Walter H. Cantrell will now help establish and lead the Agencys Independent Technical Authority (ITA) within its engineering, operations and safety organizations. Cantrell joins NASA as Deputy Chief Engineer for the ITA, effective June 7. He has served on NASAs Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel and as a member of the Stafford-Covey Task Group assessing the Agencys Return to Flight implementation efforts. One of the most difficult Columbia Accident Investigation Board organizational recommendations is that we develop an Independent Technical Authority to assure engineering excellence, said NASA Administrator Sean OKeefe. Walts role will be to guide the development and implementation process for us. Cantrell retired from the U.S. Navy in 1995 after serving as Commander, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command.Independent Technical Authority gains new expertWALTER CANTRELL joins NASA as Deputy Chief Engineer for the Independent Technical Authority.