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Spaceport news
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Kennedy Space Center
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MAVEN to solve Martian riddlesNASAs next Mars explorer soon will leave Earth on a mission to answer one of the Red Planets greatest conundrums: If our arid celestial neighbor once had a with water, as evidence suggests, how did the climate change so dramatically? MAVEN, which stands for Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution, is slated to launch Nov. 18 aboard a United Launch Al liance Atlas V rocket from Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS). The scientists and managers behind the mission gathered in a Kennedy Space Center clean room Sept. 26 to get an upclose look at the MAVEN spacecraft and to share their enthusiasm with reporters and photographers. After 10 years of working on this, I cant spacecraft ready to go, said the missions principal investigator, Bruce Jakosky, as he stood in front of MAVENs outstretched solar panels in the high bay of Kennedys Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility. Jakosky, of the Laboratory for Atmo spheric and Space Physics (LASP) at the University of Colorado at Boulder, leads the since its inception. The mission is designed to search for clues into the thinning of Mars atmosphere and the disappearance of surface water over time. Scientists theorize the sun may have had a role in the escape of By Anna Heiney Spaceport News To MAVEN Page 4 Crews guide NASAs Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft, secured inside a payload fairing, atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket at the Vertical Integra tion Facility at Space Launch Complex 41 Nov. 8. The Atlas V is scheduled to launch MAVEN into space and on to Mars on Nov. 18. For more on the mission, click the photo.


Page 2 S pening at Launch Pad 39B at Kennedy Space Center as the Ground Systems Development and Operations (GSDO) Program prepares it to sup port the launch of a variety of vehicles, including NASAs Space Launch System (SLS). A stark, gaping space can be seen between the walls of the tion workers have completely to protect the pad and space shuttles during 30 years of launches from the site. Jose Perez Morales, the GSDO Pad Element project manager, said there will be substantial changes in the de We have achieved a 30-percent design review and are now moving toward a 60-percent design review, different. With the help of NASAs Ames Research Center at Mof fett Field, Calif., GSDO engi dynamic simulations of engine vehicles and discovered that the exhaust could be redirected to only the north side of the Perez Morales said the new tioned about six feet south position to accommodate the design of the new mobile launcher. The design team currently is looking at various types of surfaces, including Fondu Fyre, a material that has special high-heat-resistant properties, or steel plating, tor will have no lining, which, according to Perez Morales, will be a cost savings and pro vide easier access for inspec tion, maintenance and repair. tors, used for shuttle launches, will be refurbished and reinstalled at pad level on to help reduce damage to the pad and launch vehicle. The bricks on both sides of the trench walls, dating By Linda Herridge Spaceport News back to Apollo days, are being removed to make way for new heat-resistant bricks. The north be covered in bricks and Fondu Fyre, while the south side con crete walls will be left bare. Its been exciting to see the changes occurring at Pad B, Perez Morales said. Its chal lenging and rewarding to start a job and then see it through to completion. Other work under way includes removal of all of the crawler track panels on the pads surface and repair of the surface beneath the panels and the catacomb roof below. New crawler track panels will be installed. Construction of the new scheduled to begin in January 2015. NASA/Jim Grossmann


Page 3 Space communicators receive Kolcum awardBy Linda Herridge Spaceport News Two long-time space program communicators were honored with the 2013 Harry Kolcum Memorial News and Communications Award by the National Space Club Florida Committee (NSCFC) during a luncheon at the Radisson Resort at the Port in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Nov. 12. This years recipients were Andrea Farmer, senior public relations manager of the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Com plex, which is operated by Delaware North Companies Parks and Resorts on behalf of NASA, and John Zarrella, CNNs Miami correspondent. Its an incredible honor to receive the Kolcum Award, Farmer said. Its like the Emmy for communicators. Farmer has inspired support for the space program and told the NASA and Kennedy story for nearly 10 years and was a key player in promoting the opening of the Space Shuttle Atlantis attraction. She is responsible for community and media relations, including social media, crisis John Zarrella, CNN Miami correspondent, and Andrea Farmer, senior public relations manager with Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts, received 2013 Harry Kolcum Memorial News and Communications Awards from the National Space Club Florida Committee Nov. 12.NASA/Jim Grossmann NASA helps melt secrets of Great Lakes iceThis color-coded image of major ice types on Lake Superior was made from a RADAR SAT-1 radar backscatter image using a new NASAand NOAA-developed technique.NASA/NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory Carol Rasmussen NASATwo scientists from NASA and NOAA have developed a new space-based technique for monitoring the ice cover of the Great Lakes that is so accurate it can identify a narrow channel of open water cut through the ice by an icebreaker -even at night. read a map thats right in front of you, said Son Nghiem of NASAs Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., one of the developers of the new tech nique. Yet we now have a way to use satellite radars almost 500 miles out in space to see through clouds and darkness and map ice across the Great Lakes. Ice on the Great Lakes puts a big chill on the U.S. and communications and news content. This means more to me than any award Ive received in the past because I was selected by my peers, Zarrella said. Rec ognizing me in this way means everything to me. Zarrella has been CNNs Miami corre spondent since the bureau was established in December 1983. He is responsible for coverage of news in Florida, Central and South America, and the Caribbean. He is a principal correspondent for CNNs cover age of the U.S. space program, covering Glenns 1998 return to space and the Mars He was the correspondent on site during the 1986 Challenger accident and covered Program in 2011. The Kolcum award recognizes the contributions of professional Floridabased journalists and communicators who inform the public about our nations space program with an emphasis on launch and mission operations in Florida. The award is named for the late, veteran aerospace writer who was Cape bureau chief for Aviation Week & Space Technology from 1980 to 1993 and a founding member of the NSCFC. Results of the study were published recently in the Journal of Great Lakes Research. For more information, visit: onlineCanadian economies, affecting safety when winter and spring the regional environment and ecological systems, as well. Yet previous techniques of analyz ing satellite observations of the as water and vice versa. The new method, codeveloped by Nghiem and his colleague George Leshkevich of NOAAs Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, Ann Arbor, Mich., not only corrects that problem, it also gives a more accurate analysis of ice characteristics, such as whether the ice is dense or full of bubbles, and whether it has melted and refrozen. For the complete story, visit


Page 4 Page 5 gas from the planets upper at mosphere -a region that hasnt yet been studied. a series of orbiters, landers and rovers to Mars, searching signs that the planet once could harbor life. MAVEN stands apart from these because it is the upper reaches of the planets atmosphere. Mars is a complicated sys tem, just as complicated as the single spacecraft, to study all aspects and to learn everything at the Red Planet on Sept. 22, 2014, and slip into an elliptical 93 miles above the surface to a providing a cross section of the top of the atmosphere. MAVEN is an eight-foot pounds at launch -as much as a fully loaded sport utility age, built by the University of Sciences Laboratory, contains ionosphere of the planet. The characteristics of the upper atmosphere and ionosphere. The Neutral Gas and Ion Mass Spectrometer, built by NASAs From MAVEN Page 1 Goddard Space Flight Center, and isotopes of neutrals and ions. Martin in Denver, Colo., bration table, even put through a thermal vacuum test using liquid nitrogen to simulate the cold of space and hot lamps to mimic the sun -all to ensure it an Air Force C-17 cargo aircraft and delivered to the Florida spaceport. NASAs Launch Services Program oversees all aspects of launch management, including liftoff. The program is head quartered at Kennedy. history of success for NASA missions, including the Mars Science Laboratory mission featuring the Curiosity rover. stage components arrived at the Florida spaceport not long after the spacecraft. Atlas Space Operations Center, or ASOC, on the Air Force Kennedys Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility for one last closeouts. The processing team faced until liftoff: a 17-day govern halted prelaunch activities. But because activities had been run ning slightly ahead of schedule opens Nov. 18. Managers and control lers from NASAs Launch Services Program, United Launch Alliance consoles in launch control for the to zero and the Atlas V roars to life, to report it is healthy and headed to Mars. Planning the MAVEN mission has been a team effort involving several partners. NASA Goddard in Greenbelt, Md., manages the project and Martin built the spacecraft and is responsible for mission operations. The University of California at tory provided science instruments sion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., provides navigation support, Deep and operations. The spacecraft is symbolic of the hundreds of people that have been a part of this since Day One, and all MAVEN project manager at Goddard. team members are eagerly anticipat ing the start of the mission and the promise of solving another of Mars riddles. C -an engineer at heart, even as nearly seven years of engineer Tatro is the MAVEN mission manager for NASAs Launch Services Program (LSP). Mars Atmosphere and Volatile upper atmosphere for clues apparent change in climate. from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station aboard a United Launch one of many launch control lers and managers ensuring a smooth start to the mission. The best part of this mission childhood in Los Alamos, N.M. mechanical, electrical or both, Tatro shares these same quali ties. Even some of his favorite hobbies, such as bicycling and of engineering: These are tech nical sports, involving equip He earned a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engi neering from the University of California, San Diego. He degree in nuclear engineering from the University of Arizona, Research Center in Cleveland, the design and procurement of space station solar arrays. Tatro came to Kennedy on the tiles, reinforced carboncarbon panels, and specialized shuttle orbiters thermal protec into Kennedys Environmental and manages environmental resources. of 2007. the change. scheduled for Nov. 18, T atro is busy. Once the mission is under sons and playing more tennis. But until then, he remains focused on ensuring a successful launch for MAVEN. the sense of accomplishment mation of spacecraft separation -that its alive and healthy, on the right trajectory, and on its Mission manager a modern Mr. Fix-itBy Anna Heiney Spaceport News NASAs Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft is hoisted to the top of a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket at the Vertical Integration Facility at Space Launch Complex 41 Nov. 8. NASAs Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft, inside a payload fairing, is placed atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket at the Vertical Integration Facility at Space Launch Complex 41 on Nov. 8.


Page 6 Scenes Around Kennedy Space CenterGround support equipment technicians assist as a crane moves a new jacking, equalizing and leveling (JEL) hydraulic New JEL hydraulic cylinders will be installed on CT-1 to test them for increased load-carrying capacity and reliability. The eral maintenance. CT-1 could be available to carry a variety of launch vehicles to the launch pad. Two crawler-transporters be moved to a low bay at the facility to complete processing. Orion is the exploration spacecraft designed to carry crews to space beyond low-Earth orbit. It will provide emergency abort capability, sustain the crew during space travel and provide safe re-entry from deep-space return velocities. The LAS is designed to safely pull the Orion crew module away from the NASA/Jim Grossmann plant species.


Page 7 NASAs Fire Rescue Ser vices at Kennedy Space Center recently achieved Pro Board Accreditation in aerial Huetter, with G4S Government Solutions on the Kennedy Protective Services Contract, is the assistant chief of training and helped lead the efforts to receive the accreditation. Pro Board is a globally rec ognized agency that a majority the world recognize and use to train their personnel, Huetter said. At Kennedy, we are cur but our near future goals and objectives are to become ac credited in many other areas of Fire Chief Rick Anderson, also with G4S Government Solutions, said he is very pleased that Kennedys Protective Services was able to facilitate NASAs accreditation with Pro Board. Doing so enables us to certify our personnel at a local level, and we expect we will have the ability to support other cation endeavors in the future, Anderson said. workers prepared the new exercises at Fire Station No. 2 near the centers Shuttle Land ing Facility. They conducted a vehicle inspection, checked and reviewed procedures for properly operating the 100-foot extendable ladder and bucket. vehicle out of the bay and deployed the stabilizers on bucket at the end of the ladder and practiced harness proce dures, as well as water and rescue operations. Several other controls. truck is a great asset to the center because of its ability to perform certain types of rescues vehicles cant provide, includ ing access to taller facilities, egress onto large aircraft such as a C-5 and special technical rescues. Our future goal is to open up other test banks and courses Huetter said. We look forward to opening up the training be yond Kennedy, to other NASA facilities and outside agencies. The Fire Rescue Services team continues its tradition of ensuring the safety of Kennedy Space Centers workforce and facilities and leads the way in Anderson said, The aerial ing a successful partnership process.Above: Below: By Linda Herridge Spaceport News


Page 8 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Frank Ochoa-Gonzales NASA Employees of the Month: October By Rachel Hojnacki Spaceport NewsOn Nov. 27, 1963, NASA successfully launched its success of Centaur not only has helped NASA develop tech nologies and gain knowledge of deep space but soon will be used to send astronauts and con tinue to launch interplanetary missions into space. Providing NASA with the capability to explore deep space, Centaur continues its mission 50 years Centaur will be used when the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN mission Nov. 18. With only one excep tion, every NASA spacecraft bound for the outer planets has used a Centaur rocket. Centaur also is planned for use as part of the United Launch Alliance Atlas-V launch system with the Sierra Nevada Corp. Dream Chaser and the Boeing CST-100, both of which are being developed and tested to send astronauts into space from U.S. soil. Centaur, atop the Atlas, has been responsible for many interplanetary missions includ Mars and Mariner 9 to Mars, the planet. The rocket also launched exit the solar system. It has be come so common to launch the Atlas and Centaur together that the Centaur name is not used in the commercial Atlas family of launch vehicles, although the Centaur continues to be used as the powerful upper stage of these rockets. Centaur has been used as the upper stage in 128 missions for NASA during the past 50 years. This number does not include all of the missions that the U.S. Air Force and the commercial in dustry launched aboard the Atlas and Titan, both of which use the Centaur as their upper stage. Though it has been 50 years still is Americas most power ful upper stage and is valuable for advancing NASAs mission today. Looking up and ahead . .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: 1:28 to 3:28 p.m. Description: MAVEN is the rst mission devoted to understanding Mars 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. Nov. 20 Mission: ISS Resupply Launch Vehicle: ISS Progress 53 Launch Site: Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan Launch Time: 3:52 p.m. Description: Progress 53 will carry supplies, hardware, fuel and water to the International Space Station. To watch a NASA launch online, go to The Centaur is Americas most reliable upper stage and is valuable for advanc ing NASAs missions today. Shown is the Landsat Data Continuity Mission spacecraft lifting off atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. The second stage of an Atlas II/Centaur