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March 23, 2012 Vol. 52, No. 6 John F. Kennedy Space Center Americas gateway to the universe Spaceport News T est drives aren't just for cars. Recently, NASA astronauts had an opportunity to get up close and personal with the space ture. They tried out the positioning of displays and generally assessed inside of the vehicle for hours at a time. They never got off the lot, though. Instead, the team of astronauts and test version of the Space Explora tion Technologies (SpaceX) Dragon capsule, a spacecraft intended to carry astronauts to the International Space Station or other low Earth SpaceX's spacecraft currently missions to the space station under NASA's Commercial Resupply developed spacecraft to return from Commercial Crew Program (CCP) signed a funded Space Act Agree ment with the company to enhance transportation of humans. "There are very important sys By Rebecca Regan Spaceport News you can put humans in a space craft," said Jon Cowart, NASA's partner manager for SpaceX. "You've got to have the seats and the displays, of course. But you also have to have air circulation, and air conditioning and heating. So, under CCP's second round of develop ment, we are working on the layout of the Dragon interior, and develop ing concepts and some hardware for the interiors atmosphere control." As part of the Commercial Crew agreement, the company invited NASA into its plant in Hawthorne, Astronauts check out Dragon's accommodations NASA astronauts and industry experts are monitored while they check out the crew accommodations Jan. 30 in SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft, which is under development for NASA's Commercial Crew Program (CCP). For more on NASA's Comercial Crew Program, click on the photo. Photo courtesy of SpaceX See DRAGON Page 3 Inside this issue... Robotic Competitions Page 3 Page 2 Orion's Tile-Makers Page 4 Hot-Fire Milestone Page 7 Leading Ladies CLICK ON PHOTO Calif., to check out a prototype of the crew capsule, which is equipped with seats, lighting, environmen tal controls, life support systems, displays, cargo racks, mock control panels and other interior systems. During the day-long review, Rex Walheim, Tony Antonelli, Lee Ar shuttle veterans, participated in what are called human factor-type assessments. That included entering and exiting Dragon under normal and emergency scenarios. They evaluations. Dustin Gohmert, a NASA crew survival engineering team lead, operations engineer, and Brenda Hernandez, a SpaceX thermal engineer, also participated in the assessments. "This milestone demonstrated that ports critical nominal and off-nomi nal tasks, and provided an opportu experts," said SpaceX Commercial


Page 2 SPACEPORT NEWS March 23, 2012 Local teams win Zero Robotics, FIRST competitions By Linda Herridge Spaceport News W hat does it take to control small, environment to mine virtual asteroids while fending off opponents with virtual shields, lasers and tractor Students from Cocoa Beach and Rockledge high Center-sponsored For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology teams, known as the Pink Team, found out recently when they competed in this years AsteroSPHERES, a simulated satellite game, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The goal of Astero SPHERES is to use simulat ed satellites, or SPHERES, to virtually mine the most ore from asteroids out in space and collect points in various ways as the com petition progresses, said Enrique Eligio, a software engineer and Pink Team mentor from Harris Corp. in Pink Team students spent perfecting and demonstrat ing the software to control continued on past the semiwere divided into threeschool alliances. Team Rocket Alliance in cluded Rockledge High and two alliance teams, River Hill High in Clarksville, Md., and a school called ogy Learning Center in The Rockledge High and Cocoa Beach High teams advanced through sev eral elimination rounds and Rocket Alliance team senior who plans to major in computer science or general consensus among competition was very over My intent was to learn choice for me, Banks said. It was a good way to get used to deadlines and reallife use, like a hands-on test. Banks said it really is un like any other competition teams own computer code into real-life situations. Clement Li is a senior at Cocoa Beach High School who plans to major in chem istry, chemical engineering or aerospace engineering in college. Li said his team and Shawnee Mission Northwest Blair High School in Silver Spring, Md., spent consider gies, counter-strategies and potential scenarios. The game was engaging, and I often spent multiple hours trying to optimize the code or develop a more ef fective strategy, Li said. Team Rocket Alliance tion round which included a live demonstration of the virtual mining software Space Station. Team Rocket Alliance was declared the Flight Engineer Don Pettit, with assistance from Flight Although competing Space Station was fasci nating in itself,: Li said, "the competition was an engaging introduction into programming, providing an experience that some schools do not offer. Eligio said that Pettit thanked all the students who real-working hardware is a winner. He congratulated all of the participants and said he hoped to see everyone again next year. The Pink Team also recently competed in the took part in the competition. Andrew Bradley, a control dys Engineering Director ate and Pink Team mentor said this years competition Bradley said the team had some challenges with its persevered to reach the sec ond seed position at the end of the qualifying rounds. During the elimination with another Brevard team, The Bionic Tigers, and a team from Jacksonville to win the competition. They simply didnt give up, they played smart and they ended up with the gold, Bradley said. They also won FIRSTs highest honor, the Chair mans Award. Bradley said the Chair mans Award honors the team that, in the judges for other teams to emulate, and purpose of FIRST. Bradley said one of the things that makes FIRST unique is the spirit of gra cious professionalism. Although the competi tion is real and intense, the teams are all friends and openly help each other, Bradley said. The Pink Team has helped start four and our mentors often moonlight as mentors for other area teams that have a need." More online "The Pink Team," Team 233, tinkers with its robot during the regional FIRST robotics competition at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Fla., on March 9. The team is made up of students from Rockledge and Cocoa Beach high schools along the Space Coast of Florida. For more information on Kennedy's education events and initiatives, click on the photo. CLICK ON PHOTO High school teams tinker with their robots during the regional FIRST robotics competition at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Fla., on March 9. More than 50 teams took part in the competition called "For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology," or FIRST, in hopes of advancing to the national robotics champi onship. This year, the competition resembled a basketball game and was dubbed "Rebound Rumble." The game measured the effectiveness of each robot, the power of CLICK ON PHOTO To view the Pink Team's Chairman Award video, visit: watch?v=IGGUDdjFiCg To learn more about the Zero Robotics program, visit: To learn more about the FIRST competition, visit:


March 23, 2012 Page 3SPACEPORT NEWS Frank Pelkey, a United Space Alliance technician at Kennedy, works with a heat-shield tile March 1. For more on NASA's exploration plans, click on the photo. NASA/Frankie MartinJohn Livingston, a United Space Alliance engineer at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, shows the digital image of a heat-shield tile March 1 that will be used on an Orion spacecraft. For more on the Orion spacecraft, click on the photo.Tile-makers creating Orion shield at 'starting line'Workers recently began cutting and thermal protection system tiles -part of the heat shield that will protect NASA's Orion spacecraft during an simulate the re-entry speed and heating of returning from deep space. The tiles are made of the same material and coating as those used on the space shuttle's belly. On Orion, however, the tiles will be placed along the sides and top of the conical space craft. A separate heat shield akin to the ablative design used during Apollo is being developed to protect the bot tom of the spacecraft, which will encounter the highest temperatures. The manufacturing work at Kennedy Space Center, marks an important time in the progression of the space craft following the shuttle's retirement in 2011, said thermal protection system, or TPS, engineers Joy Huff and Sarah Cox. "We're making something which is what we were doing for years," Huff said. There are about 40 people involved in the tile work: 20 to make the tiles and 20 to install them. "We're at the starting line," Cox said. "It's going to take some time to get all the parts fabricated." The same shop that manufactured space shuttle tiles will make the 1,300 tiles It is not fast work. In fact, workers will spend about 11 months shaping the insulat ing blocks and laying on a heat-resistant, ceramic coat ing. They use a 5-axis mill loaded with precise dimen sions to cut blank tiles to their shapes. So far, the shop Many of the tiles will have special cutouts for instru ments to collect data during cutouts will be needed for future missions. In an advancement from the shuttle days, each tile's dimensions are sent over digitally from Orion builder Lockheed Martin and the with a 3-D camera so together virtually before they are placed together physi cally, Huff said. The details are far more exact than in the past. "They've had such good success that (technicians) are step," Huff said. The comparisons with the tile work for the space shuttles are plentiful. For example, the smaller Orion uses tiles that average 8 inches by 8 inches compared to the shuttle's 6 inches by 6 inches. Also, Orion's design allows for many of the tiles to be the same dimen sions with the same part number, but each shuttle tile unto itself, with an individual part number. "That's a huge improve ment over shuttle," Huff said. "Even having nine or 10 of the same part is a big improvement." Perhaps the biggest com parison, though, is the sheer number of tiles involved. A space shuttle heat shield required more than 23,000 tiles to the Orion's 1,300. "It's smaller, so there's less parts," Cox said. However, Orion's tiles will be used only once because the spacecraft will splash down in the ocean, drench ing the absorbent tiles. That means that technicians will make and install all 1,300 tiles between Orion mis sions. Shuttles required 100 to 150 new tiles between Technicians who applied the tiles for the shuttle will bond Orion's tiles, too. That work will start sometime in the summer. The tiles will be connected to nine panels that will be connected to the spacecraft to make the outer skin of the spacecraft. Although it's a new space craft with a new mission, it still calls for many of the same skills the work force at Kennedy used for 30 years of shuttle preparation. Orion is expected to see temperatures because it will be slowing down from about 25,000 mph when return ing from the moon or some other deep-space destination. Space shuttles used their heat shields to slow down from about 17,000 mph, the speed required to stay in orbit around Earth. "The heat shield has been a very technological chal lenge and it will continue to be," said Huff, who has been working Orion's TPS development since 2005. To get to this point, when tiles are being cut that will be used on a mission in space, has given the project more of a sense of being real, the engineers said. They know there is plenty of hard work ahead, but they are happy to see it start. Huff said, "It's almost a sprint feeling, but it's a mara thon length. By Steven Siceloff Spaceport News NASA/Frankie Martin CLICK ON PHOTO CLICK ON PHOTO Crew Development Manager Gar rett Reisman. Although Dragon reminds people of NASA's Apollo-era capsules, it is much larger, designed to carry up to seven crew members instead of three. Cowart credits the roominess to the outer shell of Dragon being less steep than its Apollo predeces sor. "With all seven crew members in terior space for three other people to stand and assist the crew with their launch preparations," said Reisman. SpaceX said the spacecraft's seats are mounted to strong, yet lightweight, supporting structures that are attached to the pressure vessel walls. Each seat has a liner individual crew member and could support an adult weighing up to 250 pounds and measuring 6 feet 5 inches tall. "We already know that the Dragon spacecraft can go into orbit and return safely," Cowart said. "So, what we need to do is nurture SpaceX's ability to put humans on board and return them safely as well." From DRAGON Page 1 On Jan. 30, NASA astronaut Rex Walheim checks out SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft, which is under development for NASA's Commercial Crew Program.Photo courtesy of SpaceX


Page 4 SPACEPORT NEWS March 23, 2012 24 posters highlight Kennedy's past on 50th anniversary T o some people around history -history of accom plishments and lessons learned, history thats worth more than what a picture or even a thou sand words can express. anniversary, Elaine Liston, the centers archivist and staff teamed up with the Education and External Relations Direc that depict the history of the center. Each poster is unique, said Gregg Buckingham, deputy director of Education and Exter nal Relations. They are a fan role in the nations history. Each poster depicts different aspects of the centers history. They highlight presidential Program, Shuttle Program, and have lead NASAs prime launch complex. They are currently displayed in major facilities throughout the center, Liston said. They tion related to the images will around the center monthly anniversary events. To view the posters online, go to http:// search.cfm?cat=256 By Brittney Longley Spaceport News A s NASA ushers in a new era of com mercial space endeavors, the maker of shuttle main engines is working on a slightly differ ent propulsion system, one that could save lives in the event of an emergency on the way to space. Pratt & Whitney Rock etdyne, which is support ing The Boeing Company during the development of NASA's Commercial Crew Program's second round of completed mission-duration 9. The demonstration in Canoga Park, Calif., is one of many milestones Boeing is meeting for its funded Space Act Agreement during "Boeing and its contractor, Pratt & Whitney Rocket dyne, continue to make good progress on milestones sup porting the development of their commercial crew trans Commercial Crew Program Manager Ed Mango. "The mestic provider will enhance open new markets for the Boeing's Crew Space Transportation (CST) system spacecraft designed to take up to seven people, or a including the International Space Station. Its service module and integrated system are designed to push the crew capsule to safety if during launch or ascent. If used for other portions of a station. "We achieved full thrust class engine while validating key operating conditions during engine start-up and shut down," said Terry Lorier, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne's Commercial Crew Development program manager, who supports Boe ing's program. contract with Boeing, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne control propulsion system thrusters from heritage "The tests provided key thermal and analytical data," Lorier said. "We are well on our way to providing an important propulsion system By Rebecca Regan Spaceport News for NASA's Commercial Crew Program. For more on Commercial Space Exploration, click on the photo. Photo courtesy of Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne List of posters 1. Dr. Kurt H. Debus 2. Kennedy Space Center Directors 3. Kennedy Center Directors in Action 4. President Kennedys Visits to Kennedy 5. Presidential Visits 6. Construction of Launch Complex 39 7. Construction of Industrial area 8. Project Mercury 9. Project Mercury with Scott Carpenter 10. Project Gemini 11. Apollo/Saturn program -Rocket 12. Apollo/Saturn Program -Apollo Spacecraft and Lunar Module 13. Launch Services Program Spacecraft 14. Launch Services Program Satellites 15. Launch Services Program Rockets 16. Space Shuttle Program 17. Space Shuttle Payloads 18. International Space Station 19. Skylab/MIR 20. Visitor Complex 21. Apollo-Soyuz 22. Commercial Crew 23. Space Launch System/Orion 24. International Cooperation Upcoming events April 14 KSC All American Picnic April 16-17 Discovery Fly-Out May 19 50th anniversary golf tournament June 30 50th anniversary Birthday Bash at Wet 'n Wild July 1 July TBD Formal Gala-Ball Sept. 2 Endeavour Fly-Out Mid-November Atlantis transported to KSC Visitor Complex For up to date information regarding Kennedy Space Center events, visit: centers/kennedy/events/index.html


SPACEPORT NEWSPage 5 March 23, 2012 Scenes Around Kennedy Space CenterSpace shuttle Discovery, in the foreground, and space shuttle Atlantis almost meet nose to nose at Kennedy Space Center on March 9. Discovery was towed out of Orbiter Processing Facility-1 (OPF-1) for its move to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB), while Atlantis was towed out of the VAB for its move to OPF-1. The work is part of the Space Shuttle Programs transi tion and retirement processing of shuttle Discovery, which is being prepared for display at the Smithsonians National Air and Space Museum, Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va. Discovery will remain in the VAB until its scheduled transport transported to the Smithsonian on April 19. For more information on the shuttles' transition and retirement, click on the photo. Kennedy Space Center's Medical and Environmental Management Division intern Cory Taylor, right, seen with Tom Dwyer of the Safety and Mission Assurance Di rectorate, is the winner of the 2012 Kennedy Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) Logo Contest. His logo highlighted "KSC VPP Excellence in Safety / Reaching Lookout leading up the OSHA VPP reassessment April 30 to May 4. NASA Hensel Phelps Construction Co. recently was recognized for aclauncher (ML). The national Associated General Contractors (AGC) in the "federal and heavy new" category. This award showcases the construction. The Central Florida Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) awarded Hensel Phelps the Eagle Award, which is given once a year to commercial and industrial projects which represent outstanding craftsmanship, planning and coordination efforts. In addition, Hensel Phelps received a Pyramid Award from the national ABC Chapter (not shown) for achievements in leadership, safety, innovat ion and diversity. Mobile launcher wins three major industry awardsNASA/Jim Grossmann CLICK ON PHOTO


Page 6 March 23, 2012SPACEPORT NEWS Meteorologists balance experience with technologyWhen people talk about a meteorologist cooking up a weather forecast, they may be more right than they realize, said one of the forecasters NASA counts on to predict conditions ahead of a launch. "I compare forecasting a lot to cooking, to be honest," said Joel Tumbiolo, a meteorologist with the Air Force's 45th Weather Squadron, the unit that handles forecasting for rockets launched from the Eastern Range on the Atlantic Coast of the United States. "In cooking, you have recipes that you follow, but to be a good cook you have to have a certain taste and feel for it, and I feel there's a lot of that in weather forecasting." The weather team monitors conditions from the ground level to a few thousand feet in the air, a region the two at most. But even a low-hanging cloud can be enough to call off a launch. "If those couple minutes don't go right, bad things happen," Tumbiolo said. "You always wonder, 'How can a rocket going at that velocity be affected by a cloud?' But we've learned through trial and error that it does affect it." The launch teams quickly learn the impact of weather on a countdown, said Omar Baez, launch director for NASA's Launch Services Program, or LSP. "Weather is one of those things you never think about coming into the rocket business and you quickly learn how it affects our business," Baez said. "And it's not just during the launch phase." Weather conditions dictate many of the activities around the launch site, not only the launches themselves. For instance, high winds can prevent crews from hoisting a spacecraft onto the top of a rocket. Thunderstorms can stop all activities on the launch pad. So getting a prediction wrong for even minor preparation work can result in a launch delay down the road. Florida weather doesn't make it any easier on forecasters. From the thunderstorm that appears almost out of nowhere on a sunny afternoon to invisible winds thousands of feet up, the state's weather patterns offer plenty of seeming contradictions. "In a recipe, if you have A, B, C and D, you get a certain result," Tumbiolo said. "In weather, you can have all the data that tells you something's going to happen and at the end of the day having something totally different happen. Not only does that challenge me, it interests me." Learning to expect and predict frequent changes is perhaps the most cant departure from the conditions he saw growing up in the Midwest, where whatever conditions were to the west would reliably become the conditions to the east in a short time. "Here, a lot of weather comes in off the ocean, of course," Tumbiolo said. "That was my biggest transition, getting my hands around the fact that weather comes in from all different directions depending on what kind of day we're having." The key to deciphering changes is experience, Tumbiolo said. Still, the weather holds a few surprises. "Sometimes things happen, and to be honest, you just don't know, 'Why did it happen?' But that's part of being a meteorologist." Tumbiolo, who has been performing the job for 21 years, forecasts for about a dozen launches a year, including missions for LSP. And, yes, weather forecasters keep score on how many predictions they get right. "You always want to know that you're doing well or what you can improve, so, yeah, I keep a batting average. Over the past 21 years, I'd have to say my batting average is in the 80 to 85 percentile. If I can get over 80, I'm pretty pleased." For Tumbiolo and the group of a correct forecast is a spectacular rocket launching into the sky to begin a multimillion-dollar mission. The penalty for an inaccurate prediction can be dire. "We have to forecast for a very Tumbiolo said. "So we can't give a general, broad-brush (forecast), like, 'There's a 30 percent chance of showers today.' The meteorologists work from a set of rules that everyone must agree are "go" before a launch is condition, such as the likelihood of lightning occurring during launch. "We are evaluating rules, not just making subjective judgments," Tumbiolo said. The good news is that the forecasters have a lot of technological help to show them everything from clouds, rain and humidity levels to wind high above the surface. From weather balloons to Doppler radar and sophisticated computer models, the forecasters aren't working alone to decipher the future. "We probably have the densest network of weather instrumentation than any other place that I know," Tumbiolo said. Sometimes, though, forecasters want their own perspective. As a countdown moves toward zero, Tumbiolo makes his way to the roof of the Morrell Operations Center at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The view covers most of the sprawling base and the sky. There have been a few times when instruments were overruled by the forecasters. For example, radar picked up a small cloud ahead of an Atlas launch. The cloud was predicted to dissipate quickly. When it started growing, Tumbiolo went Tumbiolo added, "To me, your best instrument is your eyeballs." By Steven Siceloff Spaceport NewsLightning is a frequent sight in Florida, including at NASA's Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. More online Find out launch weather criteria and more expendable launch vehicle facts at: news/facts/elv/elv_facts.html


Page 7 March 23, 2012 SPACEPORT NEWS Remembering Our Heritage Celebrating Women's History Month By Brittney Longley Spaceport News Women's panel discusses '50 Years of Progress' at Visitor Complex Duration records of women on Mir set high expectations By Kay Grinter Reference Librarian T station Mir as it reentered Earths atmosphere Womens History Month, ing NASAs Shuttle-Mir Program in preparation for tory during her sojourn. Russian cosmonaut Elena an to make a long-duration A year later, NASA astronaut Shannon Lucid, with the experience of four shuttle missions, joined the endurance record for the American astronaut. Lucid also set the record last space assignment. kovas only visit to Mir. She served as mission specialist mission to rendezvous and dock with the Russian sta tion. Also on the nine-day mission was pilot Eileen shuttle commander. The career of NASA astronaut Nicole Stott mir engineer for the Expedition didates during the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo and space shuttle eras, applicants to NASA's astronaut corps today expect potential as signments to fall in the longduration category. The entire long-duration said, and I had very high expectations. Stott explained: The crew training that we have prepares us very well for tential off-nominal things that can happen. I think this is why I felt so comfort hatch from Discovery to the station. It was a very surreal feeling --to have the physical place look so the same time! come astronauts, not count ing those vying for a slot in were deemed to have the women. Stott had this advice to offer her colleagues: Take more than happy to share their experiences and les sons learned. ing and totally awesome experience. A typical station assign ever, NASAs International Space Station Program Manager Mike Suffredini under consideration to deter mine whether deep-space explorers could function physically and mentally on an interplanetary mission to Mars. spacefaring candidates worldwide sigh in unison, Awesome! Russian cosmonaut Elena Kon NASA astronaut Shannon Lucid set an endurance record aboard Russia's Mir space station in E leanor Roosevelt once said, an engineer, an astronaut or even a scientist seemed out of reach. But for half a century, women at NASA have taken those dreams and made them come true, as many started to themselves and the women who fol lowed after. In honor of Womens History women and their accomplishments at Complex, the panel was made up of astronaut Nicole Scott, Launch Ser vices Program Senior Mission Man Alliance's Patty Stratton, Dr. Merri Sanchez of Sierra Nevada Corp., Carol Craig of Craig Technologies, news anchor Lauren Rowe. The women discussed the strug gles and achievements it took to pave the way for the women of today. I think it is important to tell women that they can do more than an engineer, Harding said. In a centerwide letter addressing this will inspire each of us to do our part to mentor and encourage young women in our community to reach for the stars. A common thread among the speakers was each had a strong inter est to push the agencys initiative to encourage people to pursue careers in the science, technology, engineer ing and math (STEM) disciplines. We wanted to give the audience a diverse set of experiences as we said. Many of the women agreed that it took a lot of effort and struggle to get them where they are today. They said with perseverance and strength, they wherever their dreams led them. NASA astronaut and aeronauti Clearwater, Fla., joined NASA at


Page 8 March 23, 2012SPACEPORT NEWS John F. Kennedy Space CenterManaging editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Candrea Thomas Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Frank Ochoa-Gonzales Copy editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Kay GrinterEditorial support provided by Abacus Technology Corp. Writers Group.NASA at KSC is on the Internet at SP-2012-03-064-KSCSpaceport News FROM THE VAULTIn celebration of Kennedy Space Center's 50th anniversary, enjoy this vintage photo . Looking up and ahead . .en All times are Eastern en 2012 Under review Launch/Reagan Test Site Kwajalein Atoll: Pegasus XL, NuST AR Launch window: 1 1:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. No earlier than April 27 Launch/CCAFS (SLC-41): Atlas V, AEHF 2 Launch window: TBD Targeted for April 30 + Launch/CCAFS (SLC-40): SpaceX Falcon 9, Dragon C2/C3 Launch time: 12:22 p.m. No earlier than June 28 Launch/CCAFS (SLC-37B): Delta IV -Heavy, NROL-15 Launch window: TBD No earlier than Aug. 23 Launch/CCAFS (SLC-41): Atlas V-401, RBSP Launch window: TBD No earlier than September Launch/CCAFS (SLC-37B): Delta 4, GPS 2F-3 Launch window: TBD Dec. 1 Launch/V AFB: Pegasus XL, Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) Launch window: TBD No earlier than December Launch/CCAFS (SLC-41): Atlas V, Tracking and Data Relay Satellite-K (TDRS-K) Launch window: TBD Delta 170 thunders away from Complex 17B on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 7:08 p.m. on June 28, 1983, carrying the Galaxy 1 communications satellite into orbit. The north side of Port Canaveral is visible in the foreground. On Saturday, April 14, Kennedy Space Center will host its annual All-American Picnic at the Kennedy Athletic, Recreation and Social (KARS) Park I. This year is special because Kennedy is celebrating its 50th anniversary (1962-2012). All KSC civil service, contractor, and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station personnel associated with a NASA program and their families are invited to attend. The picnic will be fully catered with the choice of a traditional bar beque or a vegetarian meal. Scheduled events include a special 50th anniversary exhibit, KSC Idol and Talent Show, a sustainability fair, live entertainment, children's games, community exhibits, a car and motorcycle show, the Chili Cookoff, and much more. Advance tickets are on sale through April 13 at $8 for adults and $6 for children ages 3 through 12. Children ages 3 and younger are admitted free, but require a ticket. Tickets on the day of the picnic will be available at $12 for adults and $8 for children, but purchase early to ensure your entry to the picnic. Ticket sale locations will be provided in the "KSC Daily News." As in years past, many volunteers are needed to make this event successful. If you volunteer for a minimum of two hours, you can pur chase a discounted ticket for $5 and receive a "2012 KSC All-Amer ican Picnic" T-shirt. If you are interested in serving as a volunteer or would like more information about the picnic, visit http://kscpicnic. All-American Picnic celebrates Kennedy's 50 years