Spaceport news


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Spaceport news
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Kennedy Space Center
External Relations, NASA at KSC
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Kennedy Space Center, FL
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United States -- Florida -- Brevard -- Cape Canaveral -- John F. Kennedy Space Center
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University of Florida
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John F. Kennedy Space Center Americas gateway to the universe Spaceport News Sept. 30 2011 Vol. 51, No. 19 Small business role as important as ever Inside . Page 2 Agreement gives big boost Page 3 Launch Pad 39B deconstruction done Page 6 STS-135 crew returns to Kennedy HERITAGE: Page 7 Payload canisters decommissioned S mall businesses have a role to play in NASAs future as inventors and producers, the agencys acting Chief Technologist told an audience at Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Sept. 23. Every day, people are helped by NASA technology, Joe Parrish said. We serve a crew of six billion. Parrish, the deputy Chief Technologist, currently is Chief Technologist. He said the Small Business Innovative Research, or SBIR, and Small Business Technology Transfer, or STTR, Programs provide an opportunity for small, high technology companies and research institutions to participate in governmentsponsored research and development efforts in key technology areas that would be useful to NASA, or to commercialize existing ideas that can be sold to the public. Each of NASAs Mission Directorates provide chances for innovation, said NASAs Rich Leshner, the SBIR and STTR program executive at NASA Headquarters. For example, new rockets and spacecraft are expected to need different ground support equipment at Kennedy. About two-thirds of the small businesses involved in the NASA programs employ fewer than 25 people. By Steven Siceloff Spaceport News technologies it would like to see developed, SBIR and STTR are set up to award contracts in phases for feasibility studies, then prototypes and full development. Leshner said the ultimate payoff for the program is when a technology is used for a The International Space Station is a particularly fertile ground for innovation since it is a national laboratory, said Jim Stegeman of Glenn Research Center in Ohio. The agency is looking for innovations that aid research on the station and technology that can be incorporated into the CubeSat studies. The program also is on the lookout for advances in laser optical communications, Stegeman said. Each mission directorate has research areas where they are soliciting new innovative approaches. The agencys Science Mission Directorate, for instance, is looking for improvements in mirror technology and spacecraft subsystems, things that can be built into a probe to aid in navigation and guidance using machinery that is lighter than current designs. Parminder Ghuman of NASAs Goddard Space Flight Center also pointed to high altitude balloons and sounding rockets as platforms for small-scale innovators. Dr. Tony Strazisar, Senior Technical Advisor for the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate, stressed the importance of the SBIR Program as a viable source for their Technology Portfolio and that about 30 percent of the proposals that recently arrived in response to this years solicitation were directly linked to Aeronautics Research. Parrish said that combined with the technology developments the agency is conducting itself, small businesses are contributors of the advances that will make future science and exploration successful. Every day, people are helped by NASA technology. We serve a crew of six billion. Joe Parrish, NASAs Acting Chief Technologist


Page 2 SPACEPORT NEWS Sept. 30, 2011 Development of alternate ground launch systems gets boost By Linda Herridge Spaceport News A An artists rendering of the launch of a Radially Segmented Launch Vehicle from Kennedy Space Center. Photo courtesy of KT Engineering/Media Fusion Tour de KSC kicks off 2011 Combined Federal Campaign http://tourdeksc. NASA/Jim Grossmann CLICK ON PHOTO Chairman for 2011 Combined Federal Campaign Yves Lamothe, between Kennedy Space Center Deputy Director Janet Petro and Center Director Bob Cabana, poses for a photograph with the 2011 Combined Federal Campaign cabinet members on Sept. 19. For more on the 2011 Tour de KSC, click on the photo.


Page 4 SPACEPORT NEWS Sept. 30, 2011 Classrooms to become mini mission control centers By Melanie Carlson Spaceport News N ASA will give stu dents unprecedented control over a pow erful camera that is on its way to the moon now aboard a spacecraft launched last month. In a program led by female astronaut in space, middle and high school students are picking targets on the moon to photograph and study. Students from several local Brevard County schools will participate in this unique learning opportu nity made possible with the launching of MoonKAM, a payload on NASAs twin Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission. GRAIL launched Sept. 10 at Launch Complex 17B on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. GRAIL MoonKAM (Moon Knowledge Acquired by Middle school students) is GRAILs sig nature education and public outreach program. The twin GRAIL probes, each about the size of a washing machine, will take craft will arrive on Dec. 31 and the second on New Years Day 2012. formation above the lunar surface at an altitude of 34 miles. As the GRAIL sat ellites orbit the moon gather MoonKAM system (one per spacecraft), consisting of a digital video controller and four camera heads, will be used to take images of the lu nar surface. The MoonKAM mission is expected to last 82 days. MoonKAM is modeled on Sally Ride Sciences successful EarthKAM (Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle school students) mission, a NASA-sponsored education program. For merly known as KidSat, the program began in 1996 with camera systems that enabled middle school students to photograph targets for Earth science studies. EarthKAM ing in 1996 aboard space shuttle Atlantis (STS-76). More than 300 photos were taken during the mission. The EarthKAM camera was installed on the International Space Station during mission STS-98, part of Expedition One in February 2001 and still is in use. Beginning in March, teachers and students can set up mini-mission control centers in their classrooms for twoto four-day space exploration operations. Throughout that time, students go to an interactive MoonKAM website where they can track the orbits of the GRAIL spacecraft. Clickable topographic maps show what regions and sur face features the spacecraft then select targets, gather precise latitude and longi tude information, express objectives, and submit their requests to undergraduate students at UCSD running the Mission Operations Center. NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory then will carry out the request. Students from Cocoa High School, Space Coast Jr./Sr. High School and Rockledge High School began their moon mission on Sept. 10 by viewing the launch of the GRAIL mission at Kennedy Space Center and will be following the lunar mission through out the school year. Also participating in this science endeavor is St. Charles Bor romea Catholic School in Port Charlotte, Fla. The entire concept is to inspire and encourage these science students to continue their education into STEM studies, said NASAs Beth Smith, Kennedys Education Program Specialist. Moonkam also may strengthen students under standing of science and inspire the next generation of explorers. The MoonKAM system contains a digital video controller and four camera heads. This system can be used to take images or video of the lunar surface with a frame rate up to 30 frames per second. The system is provided by Ecliptic Enterprises Corporation, Pasadena, Calif. For NASA