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MAVEN arrives, Mars next stop M AVENs approach to Mars studies will be quite different from that taken by recent probes dispatched to the Red Planet. Instead of rolling about on the surface looking for clues to the planets hidden heritage, MAVEN will orbit high above the surface so it can sample the upper atmosphere for signs of what changed over the eons and why. of its kind and calls for instru ments that can pinpoint trace amounts of chemicals high above Mars. The results are expected to let scientists test theories that the suns energy slowly eroded nitrogen, carbon dioxide and water from the Mar tian atmosphere to leave it the dry, desolate world seen today. Scientists believe the planet the past 4.5 billion years, said David Mitchell, MAVENs project manager for NASAs Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland. It had a thicker at the surface. It wasnt like Earth, but it was not like it is today. Before any of those studies can take place at Mars, though, the spacecraft will see a few months of intense launch pro cessing at Kennedy Space Center. The MAVEN spacecraft, short for Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution, stands inside the Payload Hazardous Servic ing Facility at Kennedy where engineers and technicians are ready for launch in November. The instruments, systems and all-important, power-gen erating solar array wings on the 5,400-pound spacecraft (once fueled) will be tested repeat edly inside the clean room at the Kennedy facility. Engineers also will fuel the spacecraft so it can maneuver through space and ar rive safely in orbit around Mars. MAVEN arrived at Kennedy Aug. 2 on a C-17 transport aircraft. The spacecraft will be powered on during its second week at Kennedy and tests will begin in earnest soon afterward, Mitchell said. When the testing and fueling is complete, a payload fairing will be placed around MAVEN and it will be trucked to Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. MAVEN will be hoisted atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V for launch Nov. 18 to begin a 10-month cruise to Mars. NASAs Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft rests on a processing stand inside Kennedys Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility Aug. 3. MAVEN is being prepared for its scheduled November launch to Mars. Positioned in an orbit above the Red Planet, MAVEN will study the upper atmosphere of Mars in unprecedented detail. For more about the mission, click on the photo. NASA/Tim Jacobs CLICK ON PHOTO By Steven Siceloff Spaceport News O n July 27, the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation hosted a dinner at the Kennedy Space Centers Apollo/ Saturn V Facility celebrating the 40th anniversary of Skylab. The gala featured many of the astro Six Skylab astronauts partici pated in a panel discussion dur ing the event, and spoke about living and conducting ground aboard the orbiting outpost. Launched unpiloted on May 14, 1973, Skylab was a complex Three crews of astronauts were sent up to perform micro gravity experiments for up to three months in a shirt-sleeve environment. The program also provided information about how humans adapt to work during long periods of weightlessness. Lessons in living and work ing in space learned from the Skylab Program paid dividends throughout the space shuttle era, and now are being applied during International Space Station missions and plans for future long-duration missions beyond low-Earth orbit. Astronauts gather for Skylabs 40th gala By Bob Granath Spaceport News To SKYLAB Page 2


Page 2 Skylab 2 astronauts Joseph Kerwin and Paul Weitz, along with the late Charles tion. Their stay took place May 25 through June 22, 1973. When Skylab 2 was launched, freeing a stuck electricity-generating solar array was the top priority. According to Skylab 2 pilot Weitz, the spacewalk in which Conrad and Kerwin completed that task was crucial in order to continue the mission. Pete and Joes successful deployment of that solar array was an extraordinary endeavor, he said. The effort also was an important mile time astronauts completed a major repair of an orbiting spacecraft. The second crew to the station was Alan Bean, Owen Garriott and Jack Lousma who launched aboard Skylab 3 on July 28, 1973. They remained in orbit for 59 days, return ing Sept. 25, 1973. Skylab 3 pilot Lousma noted that space walks were a crucial part of Skylab, paying dividends in the future. We developed the procedures and techniques for doing effective spacewalks on Skylab that were used so successfully in putting together the International Space Station, he said. Lousma described the astronauts view from a spacewalking perspective. From outside you can see the entire Earth in a three-dimensional perspective, he said. Youre riding along on this magic carpet. Theres no vibration, no sound, and a sunrise and sunset every 90 minutes. You just want to stay out there. Launched aboard Skylab 4 on Nov. 16, 1973, Gerald Carr, Edward Gibson, and William Pogue held the United States until Americans spent up to six months working aboard the Russian space station Mir in the mid-1990s. Gibson, who served as Skylab 4s science lunar landings and the Skylab space station. Apollo was really a great program that required us to develop new technologies, he said. That put us in a more competitive position. What we got back from it econom ically was at least two to three times what we put into it. Skylab 4 completed the program when the Apollo command module splashed down Also participating in the gala celebra tion were astronauts Vance Brand, Robert Crippen, Karol Bo Bobko and William Thornton. Brand, along with Don Lind, was pre crew if its Apollo command-service module was unusable. Crippen, Bobko and Thorn ton took part in a 56-day activity during 1972 called SMEAT -Skylab Medical Ex periment Altitude Test -that preceded the launch of Skylab and helped NASA evalu ate equipment and procedures proposed for the long-duration Skylab missions. From SKYLAB Page 1 Skylab celebrates 40 years, pages 4-5 An artists concept of NASAs OSIRIS-REx spacecraft preparing to take a sample from asteroid Bennu. Image courtesy of NASA/Goddard/Chris Meaney OSIRIS-REx mission: Asteroid recon A steroids could one day be a vast new source of scarce material if obstacles can be overcome. A key step along the way will be taken by NASAs OSIRISREx when it surveys and then collects a sample from a nearEarth asteroid. The possibilities of what might be found in an asteroid have intrigued scientists for de cades and the latest information shows a good chance of critical elements, including water, being found in the space rocks. Water is a critical lifesupport item for a spacefaring civilization, and it takes a lot of energy to launch it into space, said Dante Lauretta of the University of Arizona, Tuc son, principal investigator for NASAs OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission. With launch costs currently thousands of dollars per pound, you want to use water already available in space to reduce mission costs, Lauretta said. The spacecraft, scheduled to launch on an Atlas V from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in September 2016, will arrive at the asteroid Bennu in Octo ber 2018 and study it in detail before returning with a sample of material from its surface. Its -since asteroids are relics from our solar systems formation, analysis of the sample is ex pected to give insights into how the planets formed and life origi nated. Also, the spacecraft will accurately measure how the tiny push from sunlight alters the orbit of Bennu, helping astrono on the path of any asteroid that presents an impact risk to Earth. However, the mission will develop important technologies for asteroid exploration that exploring or mining asteroids, Lauretta said. The mission will be a proof-of-concept -can you go to an asteroid, get material, and bring it back to Earth, Lauretta said. Next, people will have to industrialize it so that the economy works out, so for the recoverable value in any given asteroid, youre spending half that to bring it back. Launch Services Program (LSP) is responsible for NASA oversight of launch operations and countdown management, providing added quality and mission assurance in lieu of the requirement for the launch service provider to obtain a commercial launch license. Lockheed Martin Space Systems is building the spacecraft. OSIRIS-REx is the third mis sion in NASAs New Frontiers Program. By William Steigerwald Goddard Space Flight Center


Page 3 Pinpoint payload drop advances Rocket U A n instrument pack age released from a high-altitude balloon parachuted to a precise location July 26 in a demonstration that is expected to open the door to more elaborate experiments for a team of Rocket University engineers and designers at Ken nedy Space Center. and 5-pound instrument box were carried beneath a weather balloon to 65,000 feet -about twice the altitude of a cruising airliner -and released. The down to the ocean where a recovery crew gathered it up. The parachute had no steering ability, but the team was able to predict where the payload would land using a computer model. We feel ready for more chal lenging payloads and relieved because we didnt want to move forward until we got this capa bility taken care of, said Nicole Dawkins, a Kennedy engineer who leads the Rocket Univer sitys aerial balloon segment. Rocket University is a NASA effort to enhance technical prowess at the agency by push ing engineers and managers into areas outside their specialties. The teams are divided into sev eral areas and involve people at It took a couple of tries for the team to reach success, but the achievement marked a moment of celebration for the program. The team has met the objective of predicting where the payload will land once its released from the balloon, Dawkins said. succeed in large part because the payload package wouldnt separate from the balloon on command. Dawkins said the team more complex payloads until it proved it could make precise predictions of landing zones and recover the packages. The team will participate in a project to gather microbes from the stratosphere next summer using a high-altitude balloon and return the payload to the ground safely. As long as we keep chal lenging and bringing in new par ticipants, I think this is a really good step for Rocket Univer sitys near-space environments curriculum, Dawkins said. S ince its inception, the procurement strategy of NASAs Commercial Crew Program (CCP) has been based on reaching common ground with industry partners as they work together to establish safe and cost-effective American crew launch capabilities to low-Earth orbit and the International Space Station. The success of this program is directly related to the success of our industry part ners, said CCP Manager Ed Mango. While our program priorities have not changed, its important that we have this open dialogue now and set expectations together so that NASA can have the highest quality crew transportation system come 2017. tives who are interested in competing for a contract during this next Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) phase. Held at Kennedy Space Center Aug. 1, the Pre-Solicitation Conference was meant to (RFP) is on target when released this fall. The CCtCap will be a full and open competition and all offerors will be evalu ated equally based on the criteria outlined manager. Beginning in summer of 2014, when awards are anticipated for one or more contractors, CCtCap efforts will be focused on developing, verifying and validating an integrated system that is safe for crew transportation. A CCtCap contractor also will plan, manage and execute long-term production and operational plans for its crew transportation system (CTS). include a contractor completing at least one Station. NASA plans to award at least two missions during the CCtCap period of per formance prior to a follow-on space station services contract. This next phase brings us closer to ac complishing our dual strategies at NASA, said Phil McAlister, director of NASA the agencys Headquarters in Washington, to launch our astronauts from U.S. soil and continue critical research aboard the International Space Station, while venturing deeper into space than ever before. More online Questions and answers from the Pre-Proposal Conference can be found on the NASA Acquisition Internet Service (NAIS) website at: For information about NASAs Commercial Crew Program, visit: To watch a video of the history of human spaceight and humanitys passion for new adventures and new ships to sail, go to: For the complete story, go to By Rebecca Regan Spaceport News By Steven Siceloff Spaceport News a high-altitude balloon before launching it with a 5-pound instrument package July 26. Equipped with a parachute, the instrument package was dropped from 65,000 feet and recovered in the ocean. NASA/Dimitri Gerondidakis For the complete story, go to


Page 4 Page 5 Skylab paved way for International Space Station 40 years ago The International Space Station has been in operation with research ongoing since Nov. 2, 2000. Americas team. sions. By Bob Granath Spaceport News As the crew of Skylab 2 departs June 22, 1973, the gold, parasollike sun shield covers the main portion of the space station. The solar array at the top was the one freed during a spacewalk. The Skylab orbital workshop arrives in the transfer aisle of the Vehicle Assembly Building Sept. 26, 1972. The Skylab 1-Saturn V space vehicle is launched from Launch Pad 39A May 14, 1973. Skylab 2 Commander Charles Conrad undergoes a medical examination by science astro naut Joseph Kerwin during the summer of 1973. In the absence of an examination chair, Conrad simply rotated his body to an upside down position to facilitate the procedure. During a spacewalk June 7, 1973, astronaut Joseph Kerwin uses a cutting instrument to remove metal that had jammed the solar array in a partially opened position. in the forward compartment of the Skylab space station Feb. 11, 1974. The jet-propelled Skylab 3 Science Astronaut Owen Garriott operates the Apollo Telescope Mount from a console in the Skylab space station Aug. 8, 1973. Observations of the sun were a primary achievement of the program.


Page 6 Scenes Around Kennedy Space Center Workers pour concrete onto the movable launch platform for the Project Morpheus lander at the north end of the Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF) July 30. Testing of the prototype lander has been ongoing at NASAs Johnson Space Center in Houston in preparation for ing, complete with rocks, craters and hazards to avoid. Morpheus utilizes an autonomous landing and hazard avoidance technology, or ALHAT, payload that will allow it to navigate to clear landing sites amidst rocks, craters and other hazards during its descent. For more information on Project Morpheus, click on the photo. Kennedy Space Center workers James Davis, Maxine Daniels, and Bettye Lee serve food to attendees of the 2013 Black Employee Strategy Team (BEST) BBQ at KARS I Park on Merritt Island on July 27. Events included a noncompetitive car show and a spades tournament. BEST hosts the barbecue as a fundraiser for the Evelyn Johnson Scholar both academically and in their community. The scholarship is in honor of Evelyn Johnson, a founding member of BEST and former deputy director of Kennedys Diversity and Equal Bob Watkins, retired vice president and assistant base manager for Northrop Grumman, addresses guests and VIPs during an event July 20 honoring the Grumman Lunar Module team Photo courtesy of Northrop Grumman/Steve Potter NASA/Jim Grossmann NASA/Jim Grossmann NASA/Charisse Nahser CLICK ON PHOTO CLICK ON PHOTO A Lockheed Martin technician performs tube welding on the Orion crew module for Exploration Flight Test-1 inside a clean room processing cell in the Operations and Checkout Building high bay at Kennedy Space Center July 26. For more about Orions future missions, click on the photo.


Page 7 NASA/Tony Gray FY 2013 Third Quarter Length of Service Awardees Barbara Naylor TA 40 Denise Coleman EX 35 Pedro Rosado GP 35 Laurette Brown IT 35 Craig Baker NE 35 Albert Folensbee NE 35 Arthur Edwards SA 35 Dennis Bayon TA 35 Martin Lougheed VA 35 Cheryl Hurst EX 30 Tracy Anderson GP 30 William Haase III GP 30 Patty Hepburn GP 30 Gregory Katnik GP 30 Timothy Potter GP 30 Darrell Thomas IT 30 Debra Kral LX 30 Barbara Brown NE 30 Eric Schafer NE 30 Eric Smith NE 30 Bhupendra Deliwala SA 30 William Higgins SA 30 Mark Hoffman SA 30 Jeffrey Pryor SA 30 Maynette Smith SA 30 Michael Carney VA 30 Gerard Durback VA 30 Rex Engelhardt VA 30 Claire Neptune VA 30 Cheryl Malloy FA 25 Armando Oliu FA 25 Roger Rudig FA 25 Barbara Naylor, who joined NASA in 1973, recently achieved 40 years of service on June 25. Kenneth Tenbusch FA 25 Douglass Lyons GP 25 Brian Cheshire NE 25 Fernando De La Pascua NE 25 Donald Dehart II NE 25 William Espinosa NE 25 Cassandra Getter NE 25 Kevin Grant NE 25 John Branard SA 25 Matthew Carroll TA 25 George Coleman TA 25 Brian Graf TA 25 Herschel McCoy TA 25 Robert Kuczajda UB 25 David Burris TA 20 Pauline Shook TA 20 NASA/Sandra Joseph N ASAs appropriately named vehicle, the Curiosity rover, made its majestic arrival on the surface of Mars one year ago. Since then, Curiosity has sent more than 70,000 pictures back to Earth and collected more than 190 gigabits of data. The rover also accomplished environmental signs that suggest Mars once was suitable enough for ings may be an indicator to additional as Curiosity moves toward Mount Sharp. Successes of our Curiosity -that dramatic touchdown a year ago and vance us toward further exploration, including sending humans to an aster oid and Mars, said NASA Adminis trator Charles Bolden. Wheel tracks now will lead to boot prints later. NASAs Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission and its rover are part of a long-term operation by the Mars Exploration Program to learn about the Red Planets capability to be inhabited. The 1-ton, automobile-sized rover began its life in a clean room at NASAs Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. Air Force C-17 cargo plane to carry the spacecraft components from March Air Reserve Base in River side, Calif., to Kennedy. Reassembly and testing took countless hours of work by a group of engineers and technicians in the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility cleanroom. On Nov. 26, 2011, the MSL spacecraft was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The self-steering spacecraft tactically maneuvered through the Martian atmosphere and a parachute, along with retrorockets, slowed the descent before lowering the rover on a tether into its landing site, the Gale Crater, on Aug. 6, 2012. Curiousity still has a lot of work ahead as it nears the base of Mount Sharp where geological layers in that area can give details of Mars past environment. Researchers hope to discover additional indications of the planets habitability and how much it has evolved of the years. NASA already is looking ahead to ward the next mission to Mars, which will study processes in the upper atmosphere. The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN), is being prepared for launch in Novem ber. The Mars Science Laboratory and its Curiosity rover, shown here on Oct. 31, 2011, launched from Kennedy Space Center on Nov. 26, 2011, and landed on Mars on Aug. 6, 2012. By Kevin Ball Spaceport News


Page 8 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Frank Ochoa-Gonzales Managing editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Chris Hummel Looking up and ahead . .* All times are Eastern Sept. 6 Mission: Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) Launch Vehicle: Minotaur V Launch Site: Wallops Flight Facility, Va. Launch Time: 11:27 p.m. Launch Pad: Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Pad 0B Description: LADEE will gather detailed information about conditions near the surface and environmental inuences on lunar dust. A thorough understanding of these inuences will help researchers understand how future exploration may shape the lunar environment and how the environment may affect future explorers. To watch a NASA launch online, go to NASA Employees of the Month: AugustEmployees of the Month for August are, from left, John L. Kelley, Procurement; Marianne Colon Zambrana, IT and Comm Services; Miroslava J. Guisbert; Engineering and Technology; Charles E. Loftin, Safety and Mission Assurance; Jennifer P. Horner, Public Affairs; Gordon B. Coffey, Ground Processing; Jennifer L. Tharpe, Center Operations; and Matthew Cox, Ground Systems Development and Operations; Richard Birr, Engineering and Technology; Bartholomew A. Pannullo, ISS and Spacecraft Processing; and Jeffrey R. Ehrsam, Launch Services Program.NASA/Rick Wetherington During its year on the Martian surface, the Curiosity rover has become a bit of a celebrity. The robotic explorer recently released a gigapixel image -thats 1.3 billion pixels -of the Red Planets surface using NASAs custom built tripod. The process works by taking dozens, hundreds, or thousands of still photographs and combining them into one seamless image. Here on Earth, baseball fans can have a similar view of their team on the eld by using Spinoff technology. Gigapan and TagOrganic now allow users to see their teams entire stadium at a glance. Whats even more impressive, like Curiositys gigapixel shot, is that you can zoom in and see close ups of everything in the image. Not only can you nd yourself, relatives and friends, the new technology allows you to tag yourself in Facebook. Joining thousands of other Spinoff technologies that make life on Earth easier and more enjoyable, this new social feature couples nicely with mass gatherings and scenic events.NASA Spinoffs: Did You Know? Major League Baseball takes a swing at NASAs Mars image technology Photos Courtesy of Major League Baseball NASA