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OPALS aims at high-speed downlink A n optical communications technology demonstration experiment developed at NASAs Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif., is paving the way to rates for communication with future space craft by a factor of 10 to 100 over current technologies. The nearly 600-pound Optical Payload for Lasercomm Science (OPALS) was sent from JPL on a mounting plate about 4 feet by 4.5 feet to Kennedy. It arrived at the Space Station Processing Facility July 11. The experiment will be prepared for delivery to the International Space Sta tion (ISS) aboard a SpaceX Dragon com mercial resupply capsule on the companys Falcon 9 rocket early next year. OPALS will be mounted on the exterior of the space station and communicate with a ground station near Wrightwood, Calif., 77 miles from Los Angeles, during its 90day mission. Its like aiming a laser pointer continu ously for two minutes at a dot the diameter of a human hair from 30 feet away while youre walking, explained Bogdan Oaida, OPALS systems engineer at JPL. As OPALS went through its develop ment cycle its uniqueness kept increasing. terminal on the station and will be one of pressurized section of the Dragon capsule. Jennifer Wahlberg is the Ground Pro cessing Directorates ISS integration lead for utilization payloads like the OPALS experiment at Kennedy. The OPALS experiment is an external payload that will be attached to the ISS via the Expedite the Processing of Experiments to Space Station (EXPRESS) Logistics Carrier, Wahlberg said. be tremendous, as OPALS is one of the currently in the works to utilize the plenti ful resources the orbiting laboratory and platform has to offer. will use the International Space Station to test OPALS communications technology, which could dramatically improve spacecraft communications, enhance commercial missions and For the complete story, go to: NASA/Jim Grossmann By Linda Herridge Spaceport News CLICK ON PHOTO


Page 2 CCPs unique funding pays off T he technical innovations required to develop the can spacecraft capable of for aerospace companies, but the need to fund many of the developments as a publicprivate partnership demands as much innovation and consideration. In previous human space for all aspects of develop ment, testing and operations of human-rated spacecraft. The space agency still plays a sizeable part in spacecraft development through its Commercial Crew Program (CCP), but partner compa well, and have much more freedom to design and manu facture with their own tech niques. NASAs extensive expertise plays a critical role in numerous areas, including crew safety. We want to pay an Amer ican company for transporta tion services and return crew soil, said Ed Mango, NASA CCP manager. This will only be possible if NASA and its partners continue to make this a joint endeavor. The Sierra Nevada Corpo ration (SNC) of Louisville, Colo., recently completed a For the complete story, go to By Steven Siceloff Spaceport News To CCP Page 5 Sierra Nevada completes second Dream Chaser captive-carry test A prototype spacecraft called Dream Chaser was hoisted high above the dry lakebed at Edwards Air Force Base in California by a helicopter to rehearse for a series of upcoming Built by Sierra Nevada Corporation, the Dream Chaser is being developed in partnership with NASAs Commercial Crew Program (CCP) to carry people to and from low-Earth orbit. Erickson Air-Crane take the full-size test article to about 12,400 feet before tracing the projected 3-mile-long glide slope the craft is to follow dur Dryden Flight Research Center, helped verify communication and navigation performance. guidance, navigation and control systems were tested. The landing gear and nose skid also were Its great to see real American-made hardware manager Ed Mango. This is just the start of an Chaser at Dryden. This was the second captive-carry test of the carry at Dryden. Data obtained from the test will provide SNC valuable information about the Dream Chaser hardware and ground operations. tests at Dryden this fall as part of the companys agreements with NASA. This test is very much a rehearsal for the freeduring development. Im impressed by the SNC team and the thoroughness of their preparations. Through a reimbursable Space Act Agree ment with the center, the company is utilizing Drydens unique testing facilities and experienced systems. are very pleased with the results, said Mark Sirangelo, corporate vice president and head of SNCs Space Systems. Our team represents the very best in collaboration between industry and government. We have worked closely with NASA, Dryden and the Air Force to reach this NASA/Dryden By Rebecca Regan and Steve Siceloff Spaceport News CLICK ON PHOTO


Page 3 NASA seeks new proposals for CubeSat missions N ASA is looking for a few good nanosatellites. The agency is searching for new projects for its CubeSat Launch Initiative, which aims to give small satellite payloads already slated for upcoming launches. CubeSats are tiny research spacecraft packaged into four-inch cubes called nanosatellites because of their compact size. The initiative offers educa tional opportunities for students and teachers, helping propel interest in science, technology, engineering and math, better known as STEM disciplines. It offers a low-cost alternative technologies. It also generates partnerships between NASA, industry and academia. Because CubeSat payloads must align with NASAs strate gic plans and educational goals, new projects should address ploration, technology develop ment, education or operations. Many participants already have experienced the thrill of the initiatives four previous selection rounds, 89 payloads chosen for launch opportunities from 2011 through 2016. Of the CubeSats already selected, more are scheduled for launch later this year. Developers must send in sub missions electronically by 4:30 p.m. EST on Nov. 26. Developers whose CubeSat pro posals are selected may be able to see their creations launched as an auxiliary payload on a mission between 2014 and 2017. More online To learn more about NASAs CubeSat Launch Initiative, visit: By Anna Heiney Spaceport News NASA/Vandenberg AFB NASA/ JPL-Caltech PASADENA, Calif. People around the world shared more than 1,400 images of themselves as part of the Wave at Saturn event organized by NASAs Cassini mission on July 19 -the day the Cassini spacecraft turned back toward Earth to take our picture. Thanks to all of you, near and far, old and young, who of Earth had advance notice that our picture was being taken from interplanetary distances, said Linda Spilker, Cassini project scientist at NASAs Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasa dena, Calif. While Earth is too small in the images Cassini obtained to distinguish any individual human beings, the mis sion has put together this collage so that we can celebrate all your waving hands, uplifted paws, smiling faces and artwork. Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, Google+ and email. From its perch in the Saturn system, Cassini took a picture of Earth as part of a larger set of images it was collecting of the Saturn system. Scientists are busy putting together the color mosaic of the Saturn system, which they expect will take at least several more weeks to complete. For more information on the Wave at Saturn campaign, visit NASA releases mosaic of Earth waving at Cassini NASA News Report CLICK ON PHOTO


Page 4 2013 KSC Honor Awards NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal Christopher Keller NASA Group Achievement Awards Emergency Egress System Safety Analysis Team Executive Safety Forum Team GSDO 2013 Program SRR/SDR KNPR 8715.3 Re-write Team KSC Television and WebTeams LDCM Integration and Launch Team Mission Assurance Engineering Team Orion Anomaly Materials Team Programs Communication Strategy Team (PCST) TDRS-K Integration and Launch Team TOSC Source Evaluation Board NASA Distinguished Service Medal Annette Dittmer John Madura KSC Diversity and Equal Opportunity Award Timothy Grifn KSC Strategic Leadership Award Loraine Tuttle KSC Center Director Award Scott Colloredo Individual KSC Honor Awards KSC Certicates of Commendation Linda Adams Norman Beck Clara Blakeley Sergio Briceno Philip Bristol Rodney Brown David Burris Clayton Butler Julie Caimi Diana Calero Nathalie Castano Phillip Cofn Dawn Cummings Leo Decesare Arthur Edwards Kathleen Ellis Janet Gobaira Eugene Hajdaj Thomas Hogrefe Joy Huff Dawn Knifn Michael Lane Charles Loftin Eduardo Lopez Del Castillo Everette Martin Lien Moore Mary Mulligan Patricia Nicoli Stephen Paglialonga Lori Paule Eric Perritt Roger Pierce Patti Powell Lisa Saunders Regina Spellman Maria Stelzer Andrew Swift Prentice Washington Jeerapong Wongchote NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal Perry Becker Robert Brown Luz Calle Michael Campbell Kenneth Carr Leonard Duncil Laura Govan Lori Hicks William Higgins Timothy Honeycutt Grace Johnson Kirk Ketterer Bruce McBride Cheryl McPhillips Andrea Meyer Darcy Miller Marcus Orr Jesse Porter Lauren Price Pedro Rodriguez Jeffrey Thon Liliana Villarreal Philip Weber Lori Weller Thomas Wilczek Henry Yu NASA Exceptional Administrative Achievement Medal Joslyn Barroso Zulaida Cipo NASA Exceptional Bravery Medal Christopher Cronwell Timothy Pirlo Tamara Pope NASA Early Career Achievement Medal Stephanie Covey Jennifer Dorsey Layla Dowdy Fernan Rodriguez-Ortiz Christine Shepperd Misty Snopkowski NASA Exceptional Public Service Medal Robert Abernathy Ladonna Neterer NASA Exceptional Service Medal Darren Bedell Keith Castilow Joseph Delai William Dimmer Teresa Kinney David Lubas John Matthews Michele Taylor Sharon White Tami Wilson NASA NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal John Branard Todd Brandenburg Mary Chevalier Denise Coleman Mary Faller Dana Hutcherson Tracey Kickbusch Jeremy Parsons Robert Peacock Brent Seale Steven Sullivan Terry Turlington NASA Outstanding Public Leadership Medal Sarah Patterson Rachel Power NASA Silver Achievement Medal (Group Category) Technical Integration Leads Team Launch Services Program Flight Dynamics Team (Individual Category) Steven Pece David Wagner


Page 5 Scenes Around Kennedy Space Center Integrated Capability (CCiCap) agreement with NASA. SNC is building a winged lifting body spacecraft called Dream Chaser to landing on a runway. Dream Chaser throughout the entire Commercial Crew Program, is even more necessary that the commercial crew partners step up and invest in their own programs to achieve our national objec tives. NASA awarded CCiCap agreements to SNC for Dream Chaser, The Boeing Company of Houston for its CST-100 capsule and Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) of Hawthorne, Calif., for its Dragon spacecraft. Each agreement includes a precise set The skin in the game method also drives positive behaviors such as dedication to reliability, and meeting performance and cost objectives, said Gwynne Shotwell, president and chief oper Because they are of vastly different sizes and capabilities, each of the three companies has tailored its work to its own situation. Boeing, for instance, has been able to call on engineers from airliner development and other areas of the company to design or improve elements of the CST-100, said John Mulholland, Boeing vice president and program manager of Commercial Programs. Our manufacturing and assembly processes are brought from across Boeing to make it streamlined, Mulholland said. A lot of process and system-level advancements weve been able to bring in across the company. Although NASA will be a prominent if not primary customer for the companies, Boeing is focusing on ways to expand the market. Mulholland offered this appraisal of the emerging arena Its still a very immature market but in our discussions with other potential users, we see a lot of excitement about it and exploring a lot of possibilities. The excitement is there but I really believe we just need to get a little further along so there is cer tainty within the customer base that we will be there on time. panies tapping into NASAs know-how can carry astronauts and others to low-Earth orbit while the agency pursues missions into deep space. Rather than having to choose one or the other, this from taxpayers. From CCP Page 2 Internet users to see inside buildings at Kennedy as they were during the space shuttle NASA/Jim Grossmann Photo courtesy of Google/Wendy Wang CLICK ON PHOTO CLICK ON PHOTO


Page 6 Orion mock-up aces stationary recovery test By Denise Lineberry Langley Research Center NASA/Dimitri Gerondidakis CLICK ON PHOTO W Arlington stationed against its pier at Naval Station small boats approached a test module. As part of a delibera tive process, the divers attached tow lines and led the capsule to With the capsule in position over the recovery cradle, the water drained until the capsule settled. The stationary recovery test is helping to ensure that when Orion returns from deep space missions and splashes down in used to recover the spacecraft and obtain critical heat shield data are sound. milestone in the Navys partner ship with NASA and the Orion said Navy Commander Brett Moyes, Future Plans Branch is excited to support NASAs continuing mission of space exploration. Our unique capa bilities make us an ideal partner for NASA in the recovery of astronauts in the 21st cen tury just as we did nearly a half century ago in support of Americas quest to put a man on the moon. The stationary recovery test was two years in the making. NASA met in working groups with the Navy to leverage their well deck recovery expertise to develop recovery procedures for the Orion crew module. Together, NASA and the Department of Defense (DOD) carefully choreographed each step of the test. It was nice to see how the ballet of it all performed, said Lou Garcia, NASA Recovery director. In the sheltered waters next to a pier, the controlled environ ment test revealed how precise the positioning of the capsule can be over the cradle used to move the crew module, how long the recovery operation takes and how the taglines, winch lines and tow lines work. This allows us to practice our procedures in a benign environment with no ship movement and minimum wave action, said Jim Hamblin, Landing and Recovery Element Operations manager in NASAs Ground Systems Develop ment and Operations (GSDO) Program. Navy divers prepared for the recovery test in Norfolk by training in the 6.2 million gallon pool at NASAs Neutral Buoyancy Lab in Houston. Scott Wilson, manager, structure for Development, GSDO Program, referred to testing strategy as a crawl, walk, run. With this test, we are tak walk, Wilson said. The hardware used in the stationary test will be sent to the West Coast to prepare for a fu ture test of Orion recovery oper ations in open water planned for January 2014. NASA and the DOD will use the recovery pro cedures employed in Norfolk to recovery operations test. Lessons learned from the underway recovery test will be applied to the recovery of the Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1) in September 2014. mission, which will send an un crewed spacecraft 3,600 miles to Earth at a speed of approxi mately 20,000 mph for a splash engineers with critical data systems and capabilities to validate designs of the space craft before it begins carrying humans to new destinations in the solar system, including an asteroid and Mars. EFT-1 will launch from Ken nedy and splash down off the Baja Coast on the same day. For EFT-1, the recovery ship and team will be in the splashdown zone at the time of launch. The recovery of the EFT-1 unmanned Orion capsule will become another building block towards the recovery of Orion nauts aboard, Garcia said. More online For more information about the Orion Program, visit: For more information about the Ground Systems Development and Operations Program, visit:


Page 7 NASA tacks on four milestones to CCP agreement Bolden climbs aboard Boeings CST-100 mock-up N ASA Administra tor Charlie Bolden climbed aboard a fullyBoeing Companys CST100 on Aug. 19 to check out the modern design of the spacecraft, which features LED lighting and tablet technology. The mock-up and its equipment are being tested for maneuverability and ease of use at the Boe ings Houston Product Sup port Center near NASAs Johnson Space Center in Houston. The company also evaluated the tools, equipment and procedures it could use if the CST-100 needed to make a water landing. The testing includ ed a full-scale mock-up of specialized facility operated by Bigelow Aerospace near To view a video of the tests, go to http://go.nasa. gov/17ibmzV SpaceX presents completed crewed orbit, entry review D uring a preliminary de sign review in mid-July at Space Exploration Technolo gies (SpaceX) headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif., company engineers presented NASA representatives and aerospace industry experts detailed analy ses of Dragon systems critical to keeping crews safe in orbit and during re-entry operations. The review included basic life support functions, such as pres surizing Dragon with breathable air to stocking the capsule with enough food and water for as many as seven crew members. It also detailed the equipment and software Dragon would use to help guide crews to the Interna tional Space Station for rendez vous and docking operations. For the complete story, go to Compiled By Rebecca Regan N ASA announced Aug. 15 it is add ing milestones to agreements with could eventually provide launch services to transport NASA astronauts to the Interna During the Commercial Crew Programs Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) initiative, The Boeing Company, Sierra Nevada Corporation and Space Exploration Technology (SpaceX) will perform one or two additional milestones each. In their respective CCiCap Space Act Agreements, which were awarded in August 2012, NASAs partners listed optional milestones that could be exercised to continue the development and matura tion of their space systems. After negotia tion with the partners, NASA decided to fund revised portions of existing CCiCap optional milestones and extend the period of performance for the CCiCap agree ments from May 2014 to August 2014. The industry partners also will be contribut milestones. The milestones are: NASAs investment is $20 million and the milestone is planned to be accomplished in July 2014. Review No. 1: NASAs investment is $5 million and the milestone is planned to be accomplished in October 2013. System Testing No. 1: NASAs investment is $10 million and the milestone is planned to be accomplished in July 2014. More online For more information about NASAs Commercial Crew Program, visit: Artist image courtesy of Space Exploration Technologies Photo courtesy of The Boeing Company


Page 8 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. Sept. 14 Mission: Orbital Sciences Demonstration Flight Launch Vehicle: Antares Launch Site: Wallops Flight Facility, Va. Launch Time: TBD Launch Pad: Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Pad 0A Description: Orbital Sciences will launch a demonstration mission to the International Space Station, testing out the Cygnus cargo vehicle as part of NASAs Commercial Orbital Transportation Services program. Sept. 25 Mission: Expedition 37/38 Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 36 (TMA-10M) Launch Site: Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan Launch Time: TBD Description: Soyuz TMA-10M will carry three Expedition 37/38 crew members to the ISS. They are NASA astronaut Flight Engineer Michael Hopkins, Soyuz Commander Oleg Kotov and Flight Engineer Sergey Ryzansky. Oct. 16 Mission: ISS Resupply Launch Vehicle: ISS Progress 53 Launch Site: Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan Launch Time: TBD Description: Progress 53 will carry supplies, hardware, fuel and water to the ISS. Nov. 7 Mission: Expedition 38/39 Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 37 (TMA-11M) Launch Site: Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan Launch Time: TBD Description: Soyuz TMA-11M will carry three Expedition 38/39 crew members to the ISS. Nov. 18 Mission: Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) Launch Vehicle: Atlas V Launch Site: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Pad: Space Launch Complex 41 Launch Time: TBD Description: MAVEN will be the rst mission devoted to understanding the Martian upper atmosphere. The missions goal is to determine the role that loss of atmospheric gas to space played in changing the Martian climate through time. To watch a NASA launch online, go to http:// NASA Spinoffs: Did you know? Several NASA technologies have been used to make sure school buses provide a safe environment for kids. For more about NASA Spinoffs, go to http:// spinoffs Its that time of year when students travel every day to get to school. If they live far enough from their school, they generally ride the bus. They are riding on a truck frame. The frame, the wheels, and the power train are called the chassis. Truck companies make them for bus lines. Then, the outer body, inside seats, and lights are added. This is where NASA technology is being used. A computer program creates a three-dimensional (3-D) model of the products and parts. NASAs program then analyzes the design to predict how it will hold up under different conditions. By testing with computer models, designers can simulate crashes, dangerous turns, and other situations without danger to people. They can see the weak and strong areas on the frame and decide what changes need to be made. These tests can check small springs or large suspensions on the frame. NASA technology is used for more than bus safety. NASA uses a meter to improve aircraft design. It works on large vehicles to help make a smooth, comfortable ride. The meter provides measurements to check the quality of the ride. It mounts on the vehicle and uses sensors to measure vibration and sound level. Using this information, engineers can change the design to make the ride more comfortable without losing any safety features.