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John F. Kennedy Space Center Americas gateway to the universe Spaceport News A s the countdown clock clicked toward the launch of space shuttle Discov ery on mission STS-120, the team in the Launch Control Center had to decide if it was OK to launch. But before making the call, they had to examine a small ice build up on the external tanks liquid hydrogen umbilical to make sure ice wasnt a threat. agers at Kennedy Space Center had instant access to the Final Inspection Teams digital images, transmitted from the launch pad Not that sending images from a laptop computer is a revolution ary idea, but wireless transmis sion wasnt possible with a fully fueled shuttle feet away. The photo transmission capa bility is a requirement for NASAs next generation of spacecraft under the Constellation Program. As the inspection team was look ing for ways to safely transmit pictures from the launch pad, their plans got a jump-start when shuttle managers were concerned a newly shortened hold in the countdown would reduce the time to analyze the photos delivered by hand. We looked into sending im ages back wirelessly, but our safety requirements wouldnt allow that, said Tom Ford, who heads the inspection team. So we said OK, we have to have this. Lets think of a bare-bones system that will work while meeting the safety requirements, and we came The solution came between Ice Team cool under pressure Instant photos give launch leaders an edge the STS-118 mission in August and the October launch of STS120. Within about a two-week installed from Launch Pad 39As 195-foot level to the base. The setup provided two points the photos could be transmitted from, one at the 195-foot level and the other at the 95-foot level. Exist ing Toughbook laptops already used by the team were called into service and, as launch day for mission STS-120 dawned, the team was ready. The timing was excellent. The group, also called the Ice Team, traveled to the pad to do its topto-bottom detailed inspection of the vehicle and launch pad. The team members used the new capability to send back the photos, including some showing the ice buildup on the umbilical. In a rare move, the launch managers asked the inspection team to go back for a second look and send back updated photos of the dissipating ice. With the analysis done, the launch team made the call: Dis covery was go for launch, and the shuttle and crew embarked on a dramatic and highly successful 15-day mission to the Interna tional Space Station. From the inspection teams standpoint, Ford said the analysis was a 100 percent success and will continue to be a vital part of the inspection process for the re mainder of the shuttle program. The importance of this new capability was echoed from the launch team. This new capability repre sented a tremendous improve ment in our abil ity to analyze ice buildup in near-real time, said NASA Test Director Steve Payne after the mission. Taken together with the Final Inspection Teams visual inspection and recommen dation, it allowed us to reach a quick decision on acceptability of the ice we saw. It was perhaps the one thing that made the difference between launching or remaining on the ground that day. Staff Writer Final Inspection Team member Ivan Bush sends pictures via laptop to the Launch Control Center as technicians check the ber-optic connections for space shuttle Atlantis mission STS-122. For more about the space shuttle and Kennedy Space Center, go to NASA targets shuttle Atlantis launch Jan. 2 T he NASA launch team is looking to kick off the new year with the launch of space shuttle Atlantis on mission STS-122, targeting liftoff no ear lier than Jan. 2. The launch window for the Station will depend on when the agency can resolve a problem in the fuel sensor system of Atlantis external fuel tank that prevented launch on Dec. 6 and 8. During the course of two dif ferent countdowns, three gauges that help measure the fuel level in the tank gave false readings. Launch managers postponed the launch to evaluate the problem. The main objective of Atlan tis 11-day mission is to install and activate the European Space Agencys Columbus laboratory, which will provide scientists around the world the ability to conduct a variety of life, physical and materials science experiments. We want to thank everyone who worked so hard to get us into space this launch window, according to a statement from the crew. We hope everyone gets some well-deserved rest, and we will be back to try again when the Dec. 14, 2007 Vol. 47, No. 26 Spaceport News will launch Jan. 11 with a new objective, offering you a biweekly publication designed to better suit your needs. Each issue will strive to offer more news that directly impacts the Kennedy Space Center work force, while highlighting people and places that make up Americas gateway to the universe. You are encouraged to send unique story ideas and exciting photos of workers in action for possible publication. Photos should include a short caption with the names and job titles, from left to right. Make sure the photos are at least 300 dpi. Send e-mail to Spaceport News gears up for new look


Directors Update By Bill Parsons Kennedy Space Center Director A s this year comes to a close, I want to take a few moments to salute each and every member of the Kennedy Space Center team for a job well done. In Kennedys 45th year as NASAs launch op erations center, we have added to the centers rich history with several highlights. We stayed focused on all of our diverse missions, including launching the space shuttle and expendable launch vehicles, gearing up for the Constellation Program and working toward completing the International Space Station. Even though a hailstorm caused us to have a late start, Kennedy launched three space shuttle missions in 2007. This included sending the space sta tion a new set of solar power ar rays and a connecting module. We also can be proud of the support we provided to the four expendable launch vehicle mis sions that lifted off this year. One is heading to Mars, another to the solar systems asteroid belt and two are focused on studying Earth. Its also important to note that we accomplished all of this while keeping an emphasis on as a StormReady facility in ment site in Florida and only the eighth in the nation to earn this designation because of our haz ardous weather action plans. for our center was the World 2007 gives us many reasons to be proud As I look back on my rst year as director, Im proud of the Kennedy work force for its integrity and dedication. Space Expo in November that brought together thousands of people to celebrate the past, present and future of space ex ploration on a global scale. This year, work for the Con stellation Program here at Ken nedy really started moving from concept to construction. For ex ample, in November we started digging deep in the ground around Launch Pad 39B to in stall the new lightning protec tion system for the Ares rocket and Orion spacecraft. That construction work reminds some long-time Kennedy employees of how our landmark Vehicle as it was taking shape. year as director, Im proud of the Kennedy work force for its integrity and dedication. Heres looking forward to launch and landing folks in the business. Digging began in November to install the lightning protection system on Pad 39B. The Phoenix Mars Lander is expected to arrive on Mars icy soils in May 2008. Kennedy Space Center launched three space shuttle missions in 2007. The Air Force Thunderbirds Demonstration Squadron was among the many performers at the inaugural World Space Expo in November. Dec. 14, 2007 Page 2 SPACEPORT NEWS Kennedy Center Director Bill Parsons handed over a $431,661.98 check to United Ways Rob Rains representing the centers work force contribution in the Combined Federal Campaign during a luncheon Dec. 11.


SPACEPORT NEWS In the big picture, were going to have the budget. Were going to have close to the same number of workers. Michael Coats, Director, Johnson Space Center Condence high at All Hands Future work is topic of center Among the panel participants at the All Hands meeting Nov. 26 were Kennedy Space Center Director Bill Parsons, left, Johnson Space Center Director Michael Coats, center, and Space Shuttle Program Manager Wayne Hale. Future efforts at top of center directors update Staff Writer N ASA leaders expressed ability of the Kennedy Space Center work force to make the Constellation Program a suc cess during the centers All Hands meeting Nov. 26. Kennedy Center Director Bill Parsons said the agencys top safely and complete construction of the International Space Station. We have an obligation to do the next program as well, if not have to remain focused, Parsons said. Panel participants also included Johnson Space Center Director Michael Coats, Constel lation Program Manager Jeff Hanley, Space Shuttle Program Manager Wayne Hale, Kennedy International Space Station and Spacecraft Processing Director Russell Romanella, and Launch Services Program Deputy Man ager Amanda Mitskevich. Coats said he is impressed with the teamwork at NASA. I think were working better as a team than we ever have. He said he is very optimistic with where the agency is going and that its everyones responsi bility to make NASA successful. Were not going to grow a lot, but were not going to shrink, Coats said. In the big picture, were going to have the budget. Were going to have close to the same number of workers. Hale remarked that there are in the whole program. year, including a Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission. I dont think you realize how much this agency counts on you, Hale said. Romanella said the Harmony node on-orbit activation recently was completed and the space sta tion is now at its largest size ever, with a 330-foot wingspan and 240-foot length, weighing half a million pounds and encompassing 18,000 cubic feet or about the size of a three-bedroom home. Two Japanese Experiment Module segments are being prepared inside the Space Station Processing Facility. The Experi ment Logistics Module Pres surized Segment is targeted for launch on mission STS-123 in February, while the largest station module, the Pressurized Module, is targeted for launch on mission STS-124 in late April. Romanella said its a great time to be working on the station. Workers are preparing for the ar rival of the JEM Exposed Facil ity and the Experiment Logistics Module Exposed Section in late June 2008, and four Express Logistics Carriers, the Node 3 module and the Russian Docking Module in 2009. The coming year will be a busy one for the Launch Services Program. There are 10 missions on the manifest across three sites: Cape Canaveral Air Force Sta tion, Vandenberg Air Force Base in California and the Kwajalein Atoll. On average, Mitskevich said year with ongoing work for 25 gram celebrated the 50th mission since Kennedy became the lead center in 1998. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter mission to the moon will Constellation Program. It is targeted to launch aboard an Atlas V/Centaur in October 2008. Hanley said next year will bring a focus on the preliminary designs for the Orion spacecraft and the Ares 1 crew launch ve hicle. The lunar program is the key to making as smooth a transition as possible from shuttle to the new program, Hanley said. He added that the key is to get the concepts and plans in place so that when 2010 arrives, the work force will be ready. Were going to work togeth for this agency, Parsons said. We have an obligation to do the next program as well, if not better, and more efciently. Bill Parsons, Director, Kennedy Space Center What they said http://internal.ksc. 112607_allhands.ram To view the entire Nov. 26 All Hands meeting, go to: Dec. 14, 2007 Page 3


Testing as easy as STS-123 The astronauts of upcoming mission STS-123 visited Kennedy Space Center on Nov. 30 for their crew equipment interface test. The process helped them gain during their mission, targeted for launch Feb. 14. It will be the 122nd space shuttle nauts will deliver the Japanese Kibo Logistics Module and the Canadian Dextre Pilot Gregory Johnson inspects the window in space shuttle Endeavour. STS-123 crew members Mission Specialists Michael Foreman, left, Robert Behnken, Garrett Reismann and Richard Linnehan examine one of the cameras that will be used on the mis sion during the crews equipment interface test, a process of familiarization with payloads, hardware and the space shuttle. STS-123 Pilot Gregory Johnson tries on gloves he will wear on the mission. Pilot Gregory Johnson and Mission Specialist Takao Doi share a lighter moment as they get ready to inspect the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator, known as Dextre. Members of space shuttle Endeavours STS-123 crew, dressed in protective suits, get ready to inspect part of the payload for the mission, the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator known as Dextre, in the Space Station Processing Facility. At left is Commander Dominic Gorie and at center is Mission Special Dec. 14, 2007 Page 4 SPACEPORT NEWS


Testing as easy as STS-123 You are encouraged to send unique story ideas and exciting photos of workers in action for possible publication. Photos should include a short caption with the names and job titles, from left to right. Send e-mail to Spaceport News wants your photos STS-123 Mission Specialists Garrett Reisman, left, Richard Linnehan and Michael Foreman examine one of the cameras that will be used on the mission. Reisman will join the Expedition 16 crew on the International Space Station, replacing Flight Engineer Leopold Eyharts. The STS-123 mission will be the 25th assembly ight of the space station. Pilot Gregory Johnson and Mission Specialist Takao Doi share a lighter moment as they get ready to inspect the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator, known as Dextre. Pilot Gregory Johnson, left, and Commander Domi nic Gorie look over tools that will be carried on the mission. Commander Dominic Gorie inspects a window in space shuttle Endeavour. Members of the STS-123 crew get hands-on experi ence with some of the equipment related to the mis sion. robotics system. The crew includes Commander Dominic Gorie, Pilot Gregory Johnson and Mission Specialists Richard Linnehan, Robert Behnken, Michael Foreman and Japan Aerospace Explo ration Agency astronaut Takao Doi. Endeavour also will deliver NASA astronaut Garrett Reisman to the station and return European Space Agency astronaut Lopold Eyharts to Earth. ist Michael Foreman. At right are Pilot Gregory Johnson and Mission Specialist Richard Linnehan. Dextre will work with the mobile base and Canadarm2 on the International Space Station to perform critical construction and maintenance tasks. Dec. 14, 2007 Page 5 SPACEPORT NEWS


A heat shield for the Constellation crew ex ploration vehicle, or CEV, is being prepared for a demonstration at NASAs Kennedy Space Center. The developmental heat shield for the Orion spacecraft arrived Nov. 20 and was removed from its shipping container Nov. 27. The thermal pro tection system manufacturing demonstration unit is designed to protect astronauts from extreme heat during re-entry to Earths atmosphere from low Earth orbit and lunar missions. The shield was designed and assembled by the Boeing Company in Huntington Beach, Calif. Orion will go to the International Space Station, travel to the moon by 2020 and play a crucial role in exploring Mars. Orion spacecraft heat shield arrives at KSC T hunder rumbles in the distance as darkening clouds hover over Kennedy Space Centers Launch Pad 39B, where a sleek Ares I launch vehicle awaits an upcom strikes one of the pads tall steel masts. The surge of electrical current quickly is diverted away from the rocket and carried safely into the ground. This scenario hasnt happened yet since the Ares I rocket is in develop ment, and NASA is just beginning to transition Launch Pad 39B from a space shuttle facility into the launch site for the Con stellation Programs Ares I crew launcher. But lightning is a wellknown danger in Central Florida, and a team of NASA and contractor per sonnel already is building a new lightning protection system larger than any the spaceport has ever seen. The new system features large cables strung between three 594-foot-tall Called a catenary wire system, it will dominate the launch areas skyline. The new system under development for the Constellation Programs next-generation vehicles will provide better protec tion from lightning strikes by increasing the shielding level and further separating the electrical current from vital hardware. Additionally, launch managers will have more accurate information to help keep the vehicle safe and prevent days of delays. Modern lightning detection is simpler and more accurate than ever, and an array of sensors on the ground and on the mobile launcher will help determine the vehicles condition after a nearby strike. Iveys Construc tion Inc., the contractor in charge of building the lightning protection system, received NASAs go-ahead to proceed in September. Construction began in November with the arrival of large cranes and concrete pilings. The systems founda tion will include 216 of these pilings extending up to 55 feet below ground. The massive steel towers will be partially assembled horizontally on the ground, then lifted into the vertical position by a 60-story-tall crane. Construction is expected to be complete in 2010. According to NASA Construction Manager Jason Ritter, along with the standard challenges associated with this con struction effort, nature will provide a few of its own. Most of the work but its big and timeconsuming, Ritter said. When youre working on a launch pad that has lightning and high winds and sea breezes, and its an operational pad, those are the things we consider Staff Writer System to divert lightning from Pad 39B Launch Pad 39B will be home to three 594-foot towers with wire cables strung between them to protect NASAs Ares 1 rockets, Orion spacecraft and astronauts bound for the moon. Dec. 14, 2007 Page 6 SPACEPORT NEWS


Apollo 17 lunar module 12 and command module 114 docking test. The successful mission allowed the crew to perform a selenologi cal inspection; survey and sample the Taurus-Littrow region with a special emphasis on geological tasks; deploy an Apollo lunar surface experiments package; conduct in-ight experiments; and take some photographs. Quick x sent Apollo 17 on its merry way By Kay Grinter Reference Librarian 35 years ago, workaround did the trick I believe history will record that Americas challenge of today has forged mans destiny of tomorrow. And, as we leave the moon at Taurus-Littrow, we leave as we came and, God willing, as we shall return, with peace and hope for all mankind. Godspeed the crew of Apollo 17. Commander Eugene Cernan Apollo 17 was the 11th manned space mission in NASAs Apollo program. It was the rst night launch in history and the sixth and nal lunar landing mission of the program. Page 7 T he countdown to launch of a Saturn V rocket was under way at Launch Pad 39A at NASAs Kennedy Space Center on the evening of Dec. 6, 1972. The Apollo 17 crew members awaited the start of their journey to the moon for the program. Launch was planned for 9:53 p.m. However, a relay failure in the automatic sequencer, the electronic timer that controlled the countdown, forced a hold at T minus 30 seconds. NASAs launch teams at Kennedy and Marshall Space Flight Center had practiced for any contin gency and were prepared. room. Commander Eugene Cernan, Command Module Pilot Ron Evans and astro naut Jack Schmitt, a geolo gist, were delayed only 2 hours, 40 minutes on their trip to the moons Taurus-Littrow region. The only nighttime liftoff of a Saturn V in the Apollo Program came at 12:33 a.m. Dec. 7, dazzling more than 50,000 viewers at the space center. Walter Kapryan, now retired, was the Apollo 17 launch director. He explained the work around in a post-launch news conference. The countdown sequencer did not send the command for the liquid oxygen tank to be pressur ized on the Saturn Vs third stage. This stage would place the astronauts into Earth orbit and then reignite, hurtling them into a translunar trajectory to the moon. It didnt take us very long to determine that we should bypass this command failure and go through the pressurization manually, Kapryan said. A procedure was in place to jump any point in the circuitry necessary, using banana plugs as jumpers. Once we were satis lem, Kapryan said, we picked up the count and went on our merry way. An adjustment to the translunar injection burn allowed the astronauts to arrive at the moon as scheduled despite the delay. As Evans circled the moon in the command module America, Cernan and Schmitt collected 258 pounds of lunar rocks and soil to bring back to Earth. During the mission, Cernan set a lunar speed record, driving the lunar rover a breathless 11.1 miles per hour. Splashdown in the 2:25 p.m. Dec. 19, after more than 12 days, 13 hours. Cernan is the last person to stand on the lunar surface, following Schmitt into the lunar module Challenger on Dec. 14. He will hold this distinc tion until astronauts return to the moon in the coming decade. Dec. 14, 2007 SPACEPORT NEWS


John F. Kennedy Space Center Managing editor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Amber Philman 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 Employees of the Month for December are (from left) Tamiko Fletcher, Information Tech nology & Communications Services; Rose Bartl, Chief Financial Ofce; David. R Slaiman, Engineering Directorate; Robert A. Stute, Launch Vehicle Processing Directorate; Jennifer Tharpe, External Relations; Harry J. Batey, Chief Counsel; William Koenig, ISS and Space craft Processing Directorate; Gene Pichardo, Launch Services Program; and Jim Medina, Constellation Project Ofce. NASA Employees of the Month: December Looking ahead NET April 1 NET April 24 March 29 NET May 29 Launch from KSC: Discovery STS-124; at 8:26 a.m. Launch from CCAFS: Delta II Mission: GLAST Launch from KSC: Atlantis STS-125; at 8:24 a.m. NET June 12 NET Aug. 7 Launch from CCAFS: Delta II Mission: STSS Demo KSC All-American Picnic Launch from CCAFS: Delta IV Mission: GOES-O NET Feb. 14 Launch from KSC: Endeavour STS-123; at 11:57 a.m. NET Sept. 18 Oct. 31 NET Dec. 1 Launch from KSC: Endeavour STS-126 at 8:08 p.m. Launch from CCAFS: Atlas V Mission: SDO Launch from CCAFS: Atlas V Mission: LRO/LCROSS NET Jan. 2 Launch from KSC: Atlantis, STS-122; at 5:41 a.m. NASA Employees of the Year: 2007 Employees of the Year are, from left, Marian Poulin, International Space Station and Spacecraft Processing Directorate; Geoffrey Swanson, Chief Counsel; Michael Vinje, Con stellation Project Ofce; Paul Schwindt, Engineering Directorate; Timothy Widrick, Launch Services Program; Michael Paraway, Chief Financial Ofce; James S. Bolton, Launch Services Program; Phil Gvozd, Information Technology and Communications Service; Lynn Barnette, Safety and Mission Assurance Directorate; Kenneth Hosterman, Engineer ing Directorate; Layla Higgins, Eternal Relations; and Janine Captain, Applied Technology. Not pictured are Xaivian Raymond, Human Resources Ofce; Mary Kiss, Procurement Ofce; Kim Myrick, Center Operations; and Tim Adams. Comprehensive Health Ser vices of Kennedy Space Center received a commemorative plaque Nov. 28 for recognition by the American Heart Association as a Start! Fit-Friendly Company. The award is given to employ ers that demonstrate progressive leadership by making health and wellness a priority for their em ployees. The company, which handles work force health management for Kennedy, was recognized at the gold level. This means it offers From left: Ken nedy Deputy Director Janet Petro, Medical Director Charles Smallwood, American Heart Association Brevard Regional Director Sonia Rivera, Ken nedy Chief Medical Ofcer Irene Long and Kennedy Health Education Adminis trator Kris Calderon. AHA honors Kennedy wellness group physical activity support at the worksite, has an increased number of healthy eating options avail able to employees and promotes a culture of wellness. Compresensive Health Services, also known as CHS, embraces at least nine criteria at Kennedy as outlined by the American Heart Association in the areas of physi cal activity, nutrition and culture. CHS was listed in the Sept. 25 edition of the Wall Street Journal along with all 2007 Start! FitFriendly companies nationwide. Dec. 14, 2007 Page 8 SPACEPORT NEWS Do you have an exciting photo taken at Kennedy Space Center or a great idea for a story? Spaceport News wants you to share it. Well be launching a new look in the Jan. 11 issue, highlighting the people and places that make up the spaceport. Youre encouraged to send pictures that include employees in action or Kennedy wildlife. Photos should include a short caption with the names and job titles of those pictured, from left to right, and be at least 300 dpi. Send e-mail to Dont forget! Spaceport News wants your photos, feedback