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John F. Kennedy Space Center Americas gateway to the universe Spaceport News Feb. 22, 2008 Vol. 48, No. 4 A vibrant blue sky provided a picture-perfect backdrop for the spectacu lar liftoff of space shuttle Atlantis on its STS-122 mission at 2:45 p.m. Feb. 7. With Atlantis car rying an international crew of seven astronauts, the European Space Agencys Columbus re search module and several experiments, the mission featured three spacewalks and an Expedition crew member exchange. The mission, original ly scheduled for launch in December, was delayed so that engineers and techni cians could design and test a new connector for one of the shuttles fuel sensor systems on the external tank. The crew members were Commander Steve Frick, Pilot Alan Poindexter and Mission Specialists Le land Melvin, Rex Walheim and Stanley Love. Europe an Space Agency astronauts Hans Schlegel and Leopold Eyharts also are serving as By Linda Herridge Staff Writer mission specialists. During the mission, Atlantis docked with the station and crew members performed spacewalks to prepare and install the Columbus module on the stations Harmony module. They also installed the SOLAR experiment and the European Tech nology Exposure Facility, or EuTEF, on Columbus exterior. Columbus will ex pand the stations research capabilities and provide scientists around the world with the ability to conduct a variety of life, physi cal and materials science experiments. Columbus will bring a truly international capability to the station, said NASA Administrator Michael is a real partnership among nations and societies. An ecstatic European Space Agency Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain said Europe now has a permanent presence in space. This is a new chapter, Dordain said. Columbus discovered a new world and, with this module, we will discover a new world. Eyharts transferred to the station to replace Expe dition 16 Flight Engineer three. Tani joined the crew on Atlantis after nearly four months on the station. After Columbus was activated, Eyharts entered the research module for day six. At press time, the shuttle landing is sched uled to take place at 9:07 a.m. on Feb. 20 at the Kennedy Shuttle Land ing Facility. Columbus has started its trip to the New World. Expedition 16 Flight Engineer Dan Tani STS-122 shuttles Columbus to space station NASA/Kenny Allen Tim Terry, with Kennedy Space Center Integrated Communications Services, sits at the controls of a longrange tracking camera during the launch of space shuttle Atlantis on Feb. 7. Space shuttle Atlantis launches from Pad 39A on Feb. 7. During the mission, the STS-122 crew attached the Columbus laboratory to the Harmony module. NASA/Scott Haun, Richard Prickett


Page 2 SPACEPORT NEWS Feb. 22, 2008 Joe Jobe, left, chief executive ofcer of the National Biodiesel Board, gives the Pioneer award to Bruce Chesson for heading up Kennedy Space Centers increased use of biodiesel fuels. B ruce Chesson, a specialist in Center Operations, received the Pioneer award for head ing up Kennedy Space Centers increased use of biodiesel fuels at the 2008 National Biodiesel Boards Conference and Expo in Orlando. ceive this award on behalf of Kennedy and all of the workers, Chesson said. Although were doing well, we still need to do better. The center began using B20 biodiesel fuel, a blend of regular fuel and vegetable-derived fuel, in consists of 1,300 General Services Administrationleased vehicles, including 809 that run on alterna tive fuel. The center uses 144 diesel vehicles which operate on biodiesel B20 Kennedys biodiesel use earns national recognition By Linda Herridge Staff Writer (ethanol) vehicles and 120 vehicles which run on compressed natural gas, or CNG, or a combination of unleaded fuel and CNG. Chesson encouraged workers to make sure to use the designated alterna tive fuel for each vehicle all the time. continue supporting the alternative fuel program and push for our energy security, Chesson said. fuels will play a valuable part in our goals to reduce the use of petroleum. Chesson said NASA has reached the top spot among all other govern the U.S. Department of Energys requirements for alternate fuel vehicle use. Alternative vehicles used at Kennedy include two Miles Automotive OR70 off-road electric vehicles. Also, the center acquired 10 new Honda Civic GX vehicles that run on CNG and get 200 to 240 miles per tank. Chesson said CNG is the least expensive and one of the cleanest fuels used at Kennedy. Last year, the center was able to test drive the BMW Hydrogen 7 vehicles for several weeks. The dual-fuel vehicles use liquid hydrogen and unleaded fuel. During 2007, the centers two E-85 ethanol pumps dispensed more than 150,000 gallons; thats equivalent to 283,000 gallons of regular gasoline. From 2004 to 2007, more than 276,000 gallons of B20 biodiesel fuel was dispensed. Thats quite an ac complishment, Chesson said. More people need to become aware of the alternative fuels we have here on center and make with that fuel. He encouraged work ers to check for an E-85 sticker inside the gas door compatible with the fuel. Likewise, when driving a dual-fuel CNG and un leaded fuel vehicle, make Chesson said the E-85 ethanol pumps are on the east side of the Kennedy Service Station in the Headquarters Building and in the Launch Complex 39 area on Contractor Road. The biodiesel fuel pumps are at the service station, as well. The CNG station is at M6-695, one block west of the service station. Chesson said its im portant to start using more alternative fuels because its ultimately better for the environment, gives ve hicles better mileage and helps them run cleaner. Courtesy of the Biodiesel Board for NASA The new Badging Ofce between the Kennedy Visitor Center and Gate 3 on State Road 405 is expected to be completed this summer. T he Kennedy Space Center the Kennedy Visitor Com plex and Gate 3 on State Road 405, is under construction. Designed and constructed by local companies (Jones Edmunds and Associates and Rush Construc tion, respectively), this new build ing will offer the same services located near U.S. 1 provided for many years, but will be closer to addition, it will house the Visitor Records Center currently operating out of the Headquarters Buildings Performing both functions from the same facility will provide building will provide faster service with the latest equipment for permanent or temporary badging, services. This streamlined op eration is expected to cut down customer wait time. This is an exciting time for our security per sonnel. Along with all of the new security clearance equipment, they will have a new facility to welcome employees and visitors to Kennedy Otero of NASA Facilities. Through March, drivers must observe the reduced speed limit due to road work and maintain caution throughout construction for people entering and exiting the site. Employees can look forward to the facility opening this summer. Please be aware of heightened pedestrian restrictions on all of Kennedys construction sites. NASA/Jack Pfaller Current projects that may af Operations and Checkout Build ing, construction of the new Life Support Facility on 2nd Street east of the Maintenance and Opera tions Building, and the addition of Lightning Protection at Launch Pad 39B to support the Constellation Program. Access to these project sites is restricted to construction personnel. Also, please be aware of construction at the Operations and Checkout Buildings north entrance and the north/west entrance to the Headquarters Building, as well as the re-striping of the front parking, rear service and handicap parking. pedestrian access.


SPACEPORT NEWS Page 3 Feb. 22 2008 NASA/George Shelton Dr. Robert Youngquist holds a scaling device and a SLOT (Surface Light Optimizer Tool). a couple of the new tools Kennedys Applied Physics Lab has invented. N ASA is teaming up technology developed for the space shuttle and designs used for the Apollo Pro gram to produce elements of the next spacecraft that will deliver astronauts to the moon. An early sign of that combination has made its way to Kennedy Space Center in the form of a prototype heat shield. The prototype is the same size and dimensions of the heat shield that will protect the Orion spacecraft as it enters Earths atmosphere on the way back from the or the moon. When (the heat shield) got here at the end of November, it was very exciting because it is the said Joy Huff, a NASA shuttle orbiter thermal protection system engi neer who is spearheading Kennedys work on the just to see the full size, it really gives you a scale of the size of it. diameter, the heat shield is the largest one of its kind ever built. The prototype was built largely just to prove it could be done, Huff said. Also known as a manufacturing demonstra tion unit, the prototype was created to meet the need to develop heat shield evalu ation, inspection and han dling procedures, said Jim Reuther, project manager of the crew exploration vehicle thermal protection system at NASAs Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif. Orions thermal protection system serves as a barrier against the heat of re-entry to Earth through the atmosphere. Although parts of the heat shield will use shuttle tile materials, the base of it endures the most heat and will burn away, or ablate, as it descends through the atmosphere at more than 25,000 mph. The use of ablative materials mirrors that of the Apollo Programs ap proach, in which the entire entry capsule was covered with an ablator, Reuther said. The Orion heat shield also uses techniques perfected for the shuttles thermal protection system, particularly the bonding method used to attach the segments of ablative mate rial to the base heat shield. Orions design is simpler in respect to the number of parts and reusability because the area to be pro tected is much smaller than that of the shuttle and the base of Orions heat shield will not be reused. The prototype heat shield rests in Hangar N at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, where it will undergo several months of nondestructive evaluation testing that mainly includes laser scans and X-rays. The tests will be used to reveal the heat shield. But before any test ing can be performed, the team at Kennedy will learn the best way to move and A developmental heat shield for the Orion spacecraft sits in Hangar N at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station NASA/Kim Shiett Testers to turn up temperature on Orion heat shield prototype By Tanya Nguyen Staff Writer For more on the heat shield and more photos, go to mission_pages/ constellation/orion/ heatshield.html K ennedy Space Centers Applied Physics Lab has become known for proj the Space Shuttle Pro gram. At a Kennedy Engi neering Academy presen tation Jan. 23, Applied Physics Lab Lead Robert Youngquist showed work ers that many of the innova tive tools created there have technology. (The lab) has a long history of providing savethe-day, save-the-launch kind of tools, said Jack Fox, the academys dean. According to Dr. Youngquist, the lab team relied on its skills and built a network of help ful contacts in 1990 when tasked to work on space shuttle hydrogen leak problems. They created an ultrasonic leak detector, which led to the creation of a unit still used today. cialized. When Space Shuttle Program workers needed a system that could be used to center the aft end of the external tank between the solid rocket Staff Writer boosters, the group met the challenge by developing a tool that displayed degrees of misalignment. The program previously used an unreli able method of suspending workers in harnesses, so they could provide guidance while trying not to damage tank foam. This success, more than others, led to more requests, mostly for positioning and alignment tools. This area became our core business for several years, he said. The group also focused on space shuttle window defects that can cause inter nal stress if the defect is too deep. To support the tedious but essential inspections, they developed what eventually became the Surface Light Optimizer Tool. The tool makes light go into the win dows at an angle so defects stand out. Also addressing defects, they created a device that uses laser beams to remotely size external tank defects from causes such as bird scratches and hail damage. The hardware was commer cialized and is used by crime scene investigators to photo graph crime scenes without obscuring evidence. For more informa tion, including presentation replays, visit http://kea.ksc.


Page 4 SPACEPORT NEWS Feb. 22, 2008 Scene around Kennedy Space Center Also, send photos of workers in action for possible publication. Photos should include a short caption describing whats going on, with names and job titles, from left to right. Spaceport News seeks your input How many generations have your family worked at KSC? Spaceport News wants to know. If you would like to share your familys history at Kennedy, send an e-mail to Your family may be featured in a future issue. NASA/Amanda Diller Space shuttle Endeavour rolls out of the Orbiter Processing Facility on its way to the Vehicle Assembly Building on its transporter Feb. 11. While in high bay 1, Endeavour was attached to its external fuel tank and solid rocket boosters in preparation for its upcoming mission, STS-123, to the International Space Station targeted for March 11. The mission will deliver the rst section of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agencys Kibo laboratory and the Canadian Space Agencys two-armed robotic system, Dextre. NASA/Jim Grossman Space shuttle Discoverys STS-124 crew members get hands-on experience with some of the equipment that will used on the mission. Discovery will transport the Pressurized Module of the Kibo Japanese Experiment Module and the Japanese Remote Manipulator System to the International Space Station. NASA/Kim Shiett NASA-4 took its nal ight from Kennedy on Feb. 12. It is headed to Johnson Space Center to NASA hangars where it will reside. NASA-4 has served nine center directors. NASA/Kim Shiett


Page 5 SPACEPORT NEWS Feb. 22, 2008 Scene around Kennedy Space Center Reader-submitted photo InDyne communications technicians work through the recent wet weather to upgrade Kennedys underground cable network. Freedom Star heads toward Port Canaveral as it tows one of the boosters retrieved after the launch of space shuttle Atlantis STS-122 mission. The booster was returned to the Port and, after transfer to a position alongside the ship, to Hangar AF at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. NASA/Jack Pfaller An overhead crane lifts the Experiment Logistics Module Pressurized Section, or ELM-PS, of the Japanese Experiment Module, called Kibo, from its work stand in the Space Station Processing Facility at Kennedy. NASA/George Shelton, Troy Cryder After signing a framework agreement establishing the terms for future cooperation between NASA and the Indian Space Research Organization, Chairman G. Madhavan Nair (center) and other members were given a tour of the Space Station Processing Facility at Kennedy. NASA/Amanda Diller


Page 6 SPACEPORT NEWS Feb. 22, 2008 T he rumbling of space shuttle engines and the view of a spectacular liftoff cause ex citement as they capture the imagi nation of the world. Support systems in the tunnels beneath Launch Pads 39A and 39B are not so glamorous, but are extremely important to the success of those launches. The past meets the present in a series of rooms and connecting tun nels called the Pad Terminal Connec tion Rooms that actually were built above ground in the 1960s, before construction of the launch pads on top. The largest of the rooms beneath the pads -the Environmental Control System, or ECS -contains electrical lines, uninterruptible power systems and air conditioning systems that travel up to the mobile launcher and space shuttle. For Jerry Lovelace, a United Space Alliance ECS lead techni cian, its the best place to work at Kennedy Space Center. Lovelace By Linda Herridge Staff Writer has worked at the pads since 1979 and says the work never is routine in the ECS room. We may be working on a 350-horsepower turbo blower one day and troubleshooting a high-tech piece of electronic equipment the next, Lovelace said, or even running ducts to support a foam repair on an external tank. From the time a space shuttle arrives at the pad until launch day, the ECS room is the main hub of activity. Up to a dozen NASA and contractor personnel use four computer consoles to monitor and control the systems. About 12 hours before launch, workers prepare for hazardous gaseous nitrogen purges in the shuttle compart ments. They crank hand valves and keep an eye on automatic valves the orbiter during liquid hydrogen/ liquid oxygen loading to reduce ing these hazard ous operations. Once completed, ECS control is transferred to the Firing Room and all workers are cleared to a location outside the blast danger area. Lovelace said the ECS is the largest single system at Kennedy, reaching from two stories below the to its highest levels. The primary function of the ECS is to provide a controlled atmosphere for the shuttle vehicle, payload change-out Workers in the ECS Room underneath Launch Pad 39A. room and various other areas at the launch pads. According to NASA Pad Operations Manager Steve Bulloch, workers maintain the systems that deliver clean, dry air to the or systems run underground from the Launch Control Center. A duct bank carries lines and pipes throughout the underground system via narrow hallways and passages. Another room contains the hydraulic pumps that provide power to the gaseous oxygen vent arm and orbiter access arm. High above are the remains of pipes and support systems used during the Apollo Program. Scorch trench room reveal the power and intensity of engines ignited for launch throughout the years. Lovelace said visitors beneath the launch pads have included an opossum napping in a 480-volt electrical cabinet, raccoons, snakes, birds and even a bobcat. By Corey Schubert Staff Writer f you have the stomach for it, Vinnie LaFiura has an amaz ing view to show you. But to see it, you must be willing to go out on a 30-inch-wide painters platform about 52 stories above the ground. Youll have a clear look at the launch pads just three miles away at Kennedy Space Center and the Florida coastline beyond. But when you glance past your safety harness and down at your shoes, the half-inch gaps be tween the planks show people that look like ants on the ground 525 feet below. Even while youre tethered, dont expect to feel that secure. Sometimes when the wind blows you back away from the building, itll take your breath away if youre not used to it, he said. LaFiura and his crew are among two groups of contractors who are refurbishing nearly every inch on the outside of the Vehicle Assembly Building where NASA stacks space shuttles for each launch and soon will put together the Ares rockets of the burgeoning Constellation Program. United Space Alliance workers are restoring the enormous doors at the openings of high bays 1 and 3, high bays 2 and 4. Met-Con also is painting the siding and replacing the fasteners that hold down the panels on the buildings exterior and protect the ground support equipment. The crews stopped telling themselves dont look down a long time ago, but they still respect the extreme nature of their job. used to being up there, said Danny Gray, a subcontractor for Met-Con more than 500 hours on safety training in his career. When you get too comfort able, you start making mistakes, Gray said. The NASA logo and the take up several stories on the south side have returned to their luster af ter fading under the intense Florida sun and losing many panels during the 2004 hurricane season. The crews are well on their way to rolling on about 10,000 gallons of paint, as well as replac ing about half a million fasteners to further ensure the siding panels can withstand heavy winds. Once theyre up there, LaFiura grinned, You cant beat the view. For more on the refurbishing of the Vehicle Assembly Building and more photos, go to pages/shuttle/behind scenes/vab_proles.html Heights test painters Crews are well on their way to rolling on about 10,000 gallons of paint to refurbish one of the worlds biggest buildings. The work is scheduled to be completed by August 2009. NASA/George Shelton NASA/Jim Grossman


Remembering Our Heritage By Kay Grinter Reference Librarian Page 7 SPACEPORT NEWS Feb. 22, 2008 NASA le Astronaut Peggy Whitson, the worlds most experienced female spacewalker, has now logged 39 hours and 46 minutes of spacewalk time during six excursions. E xpedition 16 Commander Peggy Whitson became the worlds most experienced fe male spacewalker on Dec. 18, 2007, tion. She has logged 39 hours, 46 minutes of extravehicular activity, or EVA, to date. Besides assembly and mainte nance of the space station, astro nauts have used EVAs to move between spacecraft, retrieve experi solar arrays. Astronaut Edward White took 1965, during Gemini 4. NASA spacewalkers were tethered to their spacecraft until Feb. 7, 1984. On shuttle mission STS 41-B, Bruce McCandless jet-propelled manned maneuvering unit, or MMU. NASAs Chuck Franca was a quality engineer with the Boeing Company at the time. He assisted testing of the MMUs and with their installation into the orbiters for all The MMUs were attached to the bay. The spacewalker donned his spacesuit, and then latched himself into the MMU. The MMUs were used in the repair of the Solar Maximum Mis sion observatory and the retrieval of the malfunctioning PALAPA-B2 Although the MMUs have been retired, the suit, called the extrave hicular mobility unit or EMU, is still in use today. Later in 1984, astronaut U.S. female spacewalker on Oct. 11 during STS 41-G. systems technical lead for United Space Alliance, works with the team crew equipment in the shuttle before each mission. The equipment includes ev erything from food and computers, to cameras and spacesuits. The components of the EVA suits are shipped to Kennedy from Johnson Space Center. The short extravehicular mo bility unit, or SEMU, covers the up per torso and is the heaviest piece, weighing about 200 pounds. The containers are unpacked in the pads White Room, Mann pulley system lifts the suits, and we then position them by hand onto the airlock adapter plate. Typically, two EVA suits are Telescope servicing mission later this year. The two additional suits will be secured on the mid-deck ceiling. The number of EVAs for station assembly and maintenance is 104, totaling 653 hours and 43 minutes. Did you know? Earlier spacewalking records were set in December 1993 on the Kathryn Thornton and crewmate Thomas Akers. Akers broke the 20-year-old U.S. spacewalking record held by Eugene Cernan. Thornton led the U.S. female space walkers with a total of 21 hours, 10 minutes. Mission Specialist Bruce McCandless II ventured further away from the connes and safety of his ship than any astronaut in history. This space rst was made possible by the Manned Manuevering Unit or MMU, a nitrogen jet-propelled backpack. McCandless went free-ying to a distance of 320 feet away from the orbiter. NASA le


John F. Kennedy Space Center Acting managing editor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Candrea Thomas Editor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Frank Ochoa-Gonzales Copy editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Corey Schubert Editorial support provided by InDyne, Inc. Writers Group. NASA at KSC is on the Internet at USGPO: 733-049/600142 Spaceport News Spaceport News is an ofcial publication of the Kennedy Space Center and is published on alternate Fridays by External Relations in the interest of KSC civil service and contractor employees. Contributions are welcome and should be submitted three weeks before publication to the Media Services Branch, IDI-011. E-mail submissions can be sent to Target March 11 Launch/KSC: Endeavour, STS-123; at 2:28 a.m. Target Oct. 28 Target April 24 March 29 Target May 16 Launch/KSC: Discovery, STS-124; at 8:24 a.m. Launch/CCAFS: Delta II, GLAST; 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Launch/KSC: Atlantis, STS-125; 9:38 p.m. Target Aug. 8 Target Aug. 28 KSC All-American Picnic Launch/CCAFS: Delta IV, GOES-O; TBD Target Oct. 16 Target Dec. 1 Launch/KSC: Endeavour, STS-126; TBD Launch/CCAFS: Atlas V, SDO; TBD Launch/CCAFS: Atlas V, LRO/LCROSS; TBD Page 8 SPACEPORT NEWS Feb. 22, 2008 Target March 13 Launch/CCAFS: Delta II; at 2:15 a.m. Target July 16 Launch/CCAFS: Delta II, STSS Demo; TBD What do you think about having six shuttle launches this year? Target March 21 Launch/CCAFS: Atlas V, ICO G1; 5:46 to 6:26 p.m. I feel its very aggressive but something we can achieve. I dont think theres anything like a shuttle launch. The more the better. I think we can do it. People who work here are up to the challenge. Its a lot to achieve, but I think we can do it. We have the people and with proper government funding, we can do it. Target May 9 Launch/CCAFS: Delta IV-H, NROL-26; TBD Target Dec. 4 Target Feb. 16, 2009 Launch/CCAFS: Delta II, Kepler Launch/KSC: Discovery, STS-119; TBD 6:06 to 6:10 a.m. Saturday, March 1 Approach: 14 degrees above W Departure: 10 degrees above NNE Space Station sighting Kennedy Space Center Director Bill Parsons shared an overview of the past year during the February lunch meeting of the National Space Club on Feb. 12 in Cocoa Beach. NASA/Amanda Diller The 2008 All-American Picnic will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 29. Tickets are $6 and $4 (ages 3-12). Kids ages 2 and younger will be admitted free. Tickets increase by $2 after March 25. More than 5,000 Ken nedy employees and their family members attended the 2007 picnic (left). NASA/Kim Shiett 5:45 to 5:50 a.m. Friday, Feb. 29 Approach: 17 degrees above SSW Departure: 10 degrees above NE Space Station sighting 5:25 to 5:26 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 28 Approach: 11 degrees above SSE Departure: 13 degrees above SE Space Station sighting 6:17 to 6:18 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 26 Approach: 10 degrees above SSE Departure: 15 degrees above SE Space Station sighting