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Americas gateway to the universe. Leading the world in preparing and launching missions to Earth and beyond. November 5, 2004John F. Kennedy Space Center Spaceport News Vol. 43, No. 22(See DEVICE, Page 2) The launch of NASAs Swift mission is targeted at press time for launch in midNovember from Pad 17-A on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The Swift observatory will pinpoint the location of distant yet fleeting explosions that appear to signal the births of black holes. Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) are the most powerful explosions known in the universe, emitting more than 100 billion times the energy that the Sun does in a year, yet they last only from a few milliseconds to a few minutes and never appear in the same spot again. The Swift satellite is named for the nimble bird, because it can swiftly turn and point its instruments to catch a burst on the fly to study both the burst and its afterglow. This afterglow phenomenon follows the initial gamma-ray flash in most bursts and it can linger in X-ray light, visible light and radio waves for hours or weeks, providing greatNASA's Swift poises for nimble flightdetail for observations. Swifts three instruments will work together to observe GRBs and afterglows in the gamma-ray, X-ray and optical wavebands. The Burst Alert Telescope will monitor the entire sky to catch a GRB and calculate an initial position. Armed with the position, the Swift spacecraft will autonomously maneuver to bring the GRB into the Swifts X-ray telescope and ultra-violet/optical telescope fields of view within 90 seconds. All three telescopes will watch the gamma-ray burst and afterglow unfold. Over the next several days, Swift will return to the GRB to observe the afterglows behavior. Swift is expected to observe more than 200 bursts and afterglows, which will represent the most comprehensive study of GRB afterglow. Swift was processed for launch in the clean room at NASAs Hangar AE on CCAFS and is a medium-class Explorer mission managed by the Goddard Space Flight Center. Kennedy Space Center is responsible for Swifts integration with theNASA'S SWIFT observatory is processed in the clean room at NASAs Hangar AE on CCAFS. Named for the nimble bird because it can swiftly turn and point its instruments "on the fly" It will observe gamma-ray bursts and afterglows in the gammaray, X-ray and optical wavebands.By Jennifer Wolfinger Staff WriterWhen looking at a massive launch vehicle or aircraft, its hard to imagine that a problem with one tiny wire could paralyze its performance. To reduce processing delays and ensure safe and sound performance, Kennedy Space Center technology experts invented the Standing Wave Reflectometer (SWR). The device originated at the spaceports Advanced Electronics and Technology Development Laboratory in 1997. Eclypse International Corp. in Corona,KSC-developed device helps keep aircraft in top formCalif., later won exclusive patent rights to further develop the technology, and could finish the enhancements in two years. The portable tool accurately pinpoints malfunctions within cables and wires to reliably verify conditions of electrical power and signal distribution. This includes locating problems inside Space Shuttle orbiters. One of its first applications at KSC was to detect intermittent wire failures in a cable used in the Space Shuttles Solid Rocket Boosters, said Pedro Medelius, who helped invent the SWR. It has also been used in the orbiter to locate electrical shorts in cables. By identifying and locating the malfunction, technicians hope the SWR will reduce the time it takes to detect wiringPEDRO MEDELIUS helped invent the Standing Wave Reflectometer. The device detects intermittent wire failures in a cable used in the Space Shuttle's Solid Rocket Boosters.Boeing Delta II rocket and the countdown management on launch day.


SPACEPORT NEWS November 5, 2004 Page 2 Awards The Kennedy UpdateJim Kennedy Center DirectorPresidential election week greetings, everyone! At the time Im writing this, the election is still a day away, so I obviously dont know who won. But I hope you took the time to vote. Not everyone in this world has this right and it would be a shame to waste the opportunity. Whatever the results, I ask that everyone continue to do your best to support our nations space program no matter who is elected. By doing so, well ensure NASA continues to lead the world in space exploration. Enough on politics, since Im sure youve had your fill for the year. The Space Flight Leadership Council met Oct. 29 and officially set May 12 June 3, 2005, as the new target window for the Return to Flight launch of Space Shuttle Discovery. As you know, it was delayed from March due to the time lost from our multiple hurricanes. I know people worked hard and came up with some creative solutions to get our Shuttle processing back on track. Its good to have a new, achievable date to work toward. Keep up the good work. Weve had many successful events at KSC during the past couple of weeks which I believe deserve highlighting. First, Bernie and I thoroughly enjoyed the Celebration of Diversity gala Oct. 23 honoring National Diversity Month and its theme of One NASA Family, Many Cultures. My special thanks to Hortense Burt for chairing the gala and the many volunteers supporting her to make it a first-class event. I think we can agree Im not the best salsa dancer, but I did enjoy the spectacular presentations and socializing with the many diverse groups at KSC. Diversity is the very strength of our Center and our country. I was extremely pleased with the success of our Super Safety and Health Day held Oct. 28. It seems to get better each year. The opening ceremonies for each shift, the diverse speakers, the vendor displays and directorate activities gave us all a chance to set our normal work aside and focus on health and safety. I want to thank Greg Clements from the Spaceport Engineering and Technology Directorate and his team of more than 150 government and contractor personnel who planned and executed an exceptional event. Additionally, I was privileged to meet and congratulate all of our safety and health day winners at the awards ceremony the day prior. Safety and health are an integral part of all of our lives and I appreciate the commitment everyone makes in this area on a daily basis. Im equally as proud of our efforts for the Combined Federal Campaign which ended last week. As of Monday, incredibly, NASA government workers donated more than $388,000 to the CFC with more than $161,000 of it earmarked for our local community. I know its been a rough year for many people due to our hurricanes, but your generosity will make hurricane victims and many other families lives a little easier during the next year. To Nap Carroll and his team of CFC volunteers: thanks for a job well done. Finally, I want to recognize Veterans Day Nov. 11 and all the veterans in our work force. If you are a guardsman or reservist, retiree or just served one tour, thank you for your service. We are a free nation because of you. Have a nice week everyone. problems by 85 percent. Currently, the SWR accurately locates faults 75 percent of the time. KSCs Technology Transfer Office partnered with Research Triangle Institute and the University of Floridas Southeast Regional Technology Transfer Center to market the technology, which also features an alphanumeric and illuminated display, an eight-hour rechargeable battery, and auto shut-off. The SWR also resists extreme weather. These helpful features prompt many to rely on the device. The U.S. Department of Energy, rail operators and elevator maintenance companies even find it applicable. Today, the U.S. Navy, Marines and Air Force are evaluating the technology in Afghanistan to test its ruggedness. The country is known for a fine grade of sand and dusty conditions, a taxing combination rarely found in the United States. Repair facilities certified by the Federal Aviation Administration and commercial aircraft manufacturers and operators use the technology, as well. The technology used in the SWR device was developed to detect problems that could lead to accidents such as the one that resulted in the catastrophic failure of TWA 800 a few years ago, said Medelius, a chief technologist for ASRC Aerospace Corp. In that instance, a broken wire inside an empty fuel tank created a spark that ignited the remaining fuel vapors in the tank and caused a major explosion.DEVICE . .(Continued from Page 1)Celebrating 'One NASA family, many cultures'OCTOBER WAS designated National Diversity Month to foster an appreciation of the differences that separate us and the similarities that unite us. An inaugural diversity event themed "One NASA Family, Many Cultures" was held Oct. 23 at the Radisson Resort in Cape Canaveral. Center Director Jim Kennedy encourages the work force to embrace awareness and respect individual differences through which we capitalize on knowledge."Safety and health are an integral part of all of our lives and I appreciate the commitment everyone makes in this area on a daily basis."The event was a combined effort of all of the NASA-KSC special emphasis groups.


SPACEPORT NEWS Page 3 November 5, 2004To stress the importance of NASAs commitment to the shared values of safety, the NASA family, excellence and integrity, the Kennedy Space Center Star Alignment Team held an essay contest encouraging employees to submit what one of these values meant to them and to give examples of how it is demonstrated at the Center. This winning essay addresses integrity: By Mary Erdmann Bionetics Corp.One of the most important attributes of personal character is integrity. Without integrity, there is a lack of trust, and without trust, the greatest accomplishments and relationships are dubious. Without honesty and professional ethics and standards, the greatest achievements would be regarded with doubt and suspicion. I believe all other NASA Values are built upon a foundation of integrity. Protection of health and safety depends on everyone honestly following safe protocols and taking the time to report unsafe conditions. Taking care of fellow employees as family members also requires trusting each other. Excellence in technical innovation can only result from truthful and objective scientific research supported by complete and scrupulous data. Integrity is the most important value to me, both personally and professionally. Evidence of integrity abounds here at the Kennedy Space Center. I work in a technical field and find that colleagues in every department, in every organization and contract, continually uphold the highest standards in their work. Experiments and test results are reported diligently and accurately, with attention to detail. If the data show that a process is not working, scientists are honest in their assessment and repeat testing or change a process, even if that leads to delays in a project. Accountability and veracity create a dependable and safe operation. Our dedication to Return to Flight is based on a daily commitment to integrity. The underlying credibility instills the entire NASA family with a conviction to continually pursue the highest goals in every area and on every mission. It is truly an honor and a joy to work in such an esteemed organization, and the dedicated integrity of the NASA family is what shines throughout.NASA Values: Erdmann believes integrity shines at CenterMARY ERDMANN of The Bionetics Corp. wrote the winning essay concerning NASA's shared value of integrity: "Our dedication to Return to Flight is based on a daily commitment to integrity."By Linda Herridge Staff WriterTheres never a dull day at Kennedy Space Center for Matt Carroll, NASA Facility Team lead in the International Space Station (ISS)/ Payload Processing directorate.Carroll expertly prepares payload processing facilitiesFrom everyday support operations, to troubleshooting or even preparing for a hurricane or two or three, Carroll oversees and coordinates the NASA contractor team that maintains, sustains and operates the ISS and Payload Processing facilities, including the Space Station surprised and pleased with the award, said Carroll. Its a good challenge now to move quickly and put (the hurricanes) behind us. The entire team, including the Checkout, Assembly and Payload Processing Services operations and facilities, worked together to put a good plan into place and get us back into a payload processing mode as soon as possible. He coordinated the Hurricane Response Team, including the rideout teams, for Hurricanes Charley and Jeanne. There was no rideout team for Hurricane Frances, but his team helped to get the ISS/Payload Processing facilities running afterward. Matt is your model employee. He did a stellar job during this years hurricanes, said Ira Kight, chief of KSCs Ground Systems Divison. His efforts kept us prepared for each hurricane and each time, we got a little better. The award he earned was well deserved. A native of Florida, Carroll came to NASA in 1987 as a coop in the Expendable Launch Vehicle directorate (now the Launch Services Program) while attending the University of Florida. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and joined NASA full time in 1991, transferring to the Payloads Directorate in 1993. In 1997 Carroll moved to Space Station Ground Systems and then on to the facilities side. Projects that Carroll is working on include upgrades to the SSPFs automation systems and the power monitoring system. Outside KSC, Carroll enjoys surfing and sailing, and he served on the Melbourne City Council from 1996-98. It was interesting to see how a city deals with its infrastructure, he said. Much of the knowledge I gained helped me to understand how the ISS/Payload Processing facilities team operates. Processing Facility. To make it simple, said Carroll, we take care of everything that doesnt go into space. His work as hurricane preparedness coordinator recently earned him the directorates September Employee of the Month award. I wasMATT CARROLL, a facility manager in the ISS/Payload Processing directorate, takes care of "everything that doesnt go into space."


Page 4 SPACEPORT NEWS November 5, 2004 By Jeff Stuckey EditorThe 2004 Spaceport Super Safety and Health Day held Oct. 28 offered several improvements over previous years, providing tips to keep employees feeling their best while working to advance the world. Changes included an equal focus on safety and health with keynote speakers for both subjects, live programs for secondand third-shift personnel (including opening ceremonies) and a new award category recognizing the excellence of organizational safety committees. The event kicked off at the Training Auditorium with an opening ceremony and guest speakers, including: Dr. Pamela Peeke, who spoke about nutrition and fitness; U.S. Navy Commander Stephen Iwanowicz, who addressed the audience about the Navys submarine safety program; and Olympic gold medalist Bruce Jenner, who discussed the rewards of sacrifice.2004 Super Safety and Health Day enlivBefore introducing the first speaker, Center Director Jim Kennedy thanked the audience for participating in the annual observance. As you all know, safety and health is integral to our mission here at KSC, he said. Our number-one priority this year is to return the Shuttle safely to flight, and what will ensure our success is for us to live and breathe the safety core value. A shining example of this is that we earned the prestigious and hard-earned Occupational Safety and Health Administrations Voluntary Protection Program Star Certification this year. The Centers SGS and United Space Alliance partners also led the way by obtaining their Star, as well, he said. Peeke first presented the scientific basis of the stress-fat connection to the American public, raising awareness about this potentially life threatening medical condition. As a recognized scientist and physician, Peeke has appeared frequently as a medical expert on CNN, NBC Nightly News, the Oprah Winfrey Show and many more. Reseachers have found incredible science in the mind and body combination, and literally have shown that the mind is the command central of everything in the human body, Peeke said. But men and women use their minds differently. She also talked about the changes after the age of 40. There are three things that affect our bodies. First is lifestyle and not moving as much. This age group also tends to eat in restaurants more often, instead of cooking a healthy dinner at home. The next change is the declining number of sex hormones our bodies produce and the third change is toxic stress, she said. It is a special kind of stress that makes you fat, especially in the abdomen. It interferes with the ability of the liver to handle cholesterol, heart disease and other problems. The guest speaker was Olympic decathlon gold medalist Bruce Jenner, who never dreamed he would one day stand on top of the podium receiving the crowning reward for years of sacrifice. Each of us has the ability to do tremendous things with our life, Jenner said. In the NASA organization, everybody is constantly challenged on a daily basis. We have to compete and find that champion deep within each of us. Every day we have to work at this. Many times, we think of the negative things that happen in life. That can dominate us and stop people. But we also have to build on the positive things. We have to look at the things we have done right in life and then make that next step. Jenner talked about the motivating factor that drove him to train so intensely in preparation for his record-breaking gold medal performance in the 1976 Summer Olympics. It came after watching the gold medal ceremony for the decathlon in the 1972 Games held in Munich, in which Jenner placed tenth. I stood off to the side and watched this gentlemanof the Soviet Union stand on top of the white platform in the center of the stadium and have a goldEMPLOYEES AT KSC check out several tents featuring vendors' exhibits of safetyand health-related products. The exhibits were part of Spaceport Super Safety and Health Day. Vendors' exhibits were set up in the parking areas outside the Vehicle Assembly Building (seen here) and the O&C Building. OLYMPIC CHAMPION and motivational speaker Bruce Jenner talks to KSC employees during opening ceremonies for Spaceport Super Safety and Health Day.


Page 5 SPACEPORT NEWS November 5, 2004 vens spaceport, teaches daily lessonsmedal placed around his neck. As I stood off to the side, so inspired by the ceremony, I said to myself: Youre a kid; youre just 22 years old and have only been doing this for two years. What if I take the next four years of my life and test myself, just to see how good I can become at something? Our true destiny in life wont be determined by our dreams, he said, but by the decisions we make in our soul, where that champion lives deep inside each of us. Anytime you want to dream big, much like the way NASA does, it takes great decisions and sometimes they are tough. Later in the day, Kennedy presided over the second-shift opening ceremony at the Training Auditorium. Speakers included Peeke, Dr. Stuart Robertshaw and Wuesthoff Medicals Debbie Whitnable. Dr. Woodrow Whitlow opened the third-shift ceremonies, followed by guest speaker Marlene Abbott, who explained how to use emotional intelligence to promote safety.DR. PAMELA PEEKE informs KSC employees of the values of living healthy during opening ceremonies for Spaceport Super Safety and Health Day. KSC EMPLOYEES stop by the American Red Cross exhibit during Spaceport Super Safety and Health Day. AN EXHIBIT of safety glasses, gloves and protective covers is one of many displayed at KSC during Spaceport Super Safety and Health Day. The theme for this year's event was "Safety and Health: A Winning Combination." KSC EMPLOYEES learn about a mechanical robot displayed at an exhibit during Spaceport Super Safety and Health Day. The annual event was initiated at KSC in 1998 to increase awareness of the importance of safety and health among the work force. THIS PANEL comprising former and current Safety and Mission Assurance management compares safety challenges of the past, present and future during Spaceport Super Safety and Health Day. They include, from left: Larry Crawford, Lloyd Parker, Gene Thomas, JoAnn Morgan and Chris Fairey.


Page 6 SPACEPORT NEWS November 5, 2004By George Diller NASA Public Affairs OfficerThe Centaur rocket, the nations first high-energy upper stage vehicle, was developed by NASA at the Lewis Research Center in Cleveland and originally built by General Dynamics. The first successful test and development flight occurred from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Nov. 27, 1963, atop an Atlas booster from Pad A at Complex 36. The Centaur uses two RL-10 engines built by Pratt & Whitney in West Palm Beach. The stage, which burns liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen, is known for a highly accurate guidance and navigation system. It was the first upper stage with multiple restart capability. The Centaur has been used for 128 missions for NASA alone, in addition to the history of commercial and U.S. Air Force missions launched aboard the Atlas and the Titan. Initially, the two-stage Atlas Centaur rocket was used by NASA to launch six successful Surveyor missions to the Moon beginning in 1966. These spacecraft shoveled up our first samples of lunar soil for analysis. In the 1970s, also atop the Atlas from Complex 36, the Centaur upper stage successfully launched two Pioneer missions to Jupiter and Saturn, followed by a pair of Pioneer Venus missions. Launched atop the NASA Titan III-E Centaur in the mid-1970s were the two Voyager missions to Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, the two Viking missions to Mars and a pair of Helios spacecraft into orbit around the Sun, all from Complex 41. In 1995 the Solar Heliospheric Observatory built upon those missions with a launch from Complex 36 aboard an Atlas Centaur. The U.S. Air Force Titan IV-B Centaur launched Cassini on its way to Saturn on Oct. 15, 1997, from Complex 40 and arrived there last June. With only a single exception, every NASA spacecraft bound for the outer planets has been launched using a Centaur. This Centaur legacy will continue in 2006 with the launch of Pluto New Horizons, which will voyage to our Solar Systems outermost planet. Centaur carried the latest five GOES weather satellites into orbit in the current series for NASA and NOAA, and also three advanced NASA Tracking and Data Relay Satellites.Centaur a workhorse for NASA missionsRemembering Our HeritageAT LAUNCH COMPLEX 40 on Cape Canaveral Air Station, the Mobile Service Tower is retracted from the Titan IV-B Centaur carrying the Cassini spacecraft and its attached Huygens probe. Clearly visible in this view is the 6-foot-tall, 17-footwide payload fairing atop the vehicle, in which Cassini and the attached Centaur stage are encased.NASA astronaut Patrick G. Forrester, NASA Chief Education Officer Dr. Adena Williams Loston and Paul McFall, president of the Pearson Scott Foresman publishing company, recently announced an alliance between NASA and Pearson Scott Foresman, publisher of preK through sixth grade educational books. They demonstrated the Science in Space Challenge, a first-of-its-kind venture with NASA and Pearson providing students and teachers the opportunity to propose a science and technology investigation. NASA and publisher team up on educational booksTwo classrooms will get a chance to see astronauts conduct their science projects in space. The challenge is part of an ongoing partnership in which NASA and the publisher seek to spark students imaginations, encourage interest in space exploration and enhance elementary and secondary science curricula throughout the United States. The announcement took place Oct. 13 at the Florida Science Supervisors and Florida Department of Educations luncheon in Orlando.FROM LEFT, NASA astronaut Patrick Forrester; Paul McFall, president of Pearson Scott Foresman; and Dr. Adena Williams Loston, NASA chief education officer, participate in the unveiling of "The Science in Space Challenge" at the Doubletree Hotel in Orlando.


SPACEPORT NEWS November 5, 2004 Page 7As an example of the way Kennedy Space Center inspires the next generation of explor ers, Spaceport News is sharing the following letter that recently was sent to Center Director Jim Kennedy, who commented to the work for ce, "Keep up the super work!" Dear Director Kennedy, This is just a quick note of profound thanks from a very grateful father. About five years ago, I visited Kennedy Space Center with my kids because I wanted them to see a real manifestation of what the future might look like. I thought the trip made a minimal impression on them because they were too young. Five years later, I find that I was wrong. The school year after the trip, my daughter hit the math and science books and began a fiveyear trek ending with her now being recruited in her senior year of high school by a number of really great engineering schools. I never put the two events together. Last evening, while cleaning up the drives on computers at home, I came upon her draft of the written statement the colleges ask for as part of the admission process. I was floored. I have attached a copy. If your scientific, technical and engineering staff ever complain to management about all of the tourists clamoring over the Space Center, they should know that their accomplishments and labor spark dreams and actions in kids that may not reach fruition for decades into the future, but are very real nonetheless. I extend to you and the entire KSC staff my heartfelt thanks. Joseph M. Cuddihy Hamburg, NYWhen I was 12, my family and I took a trip to Disney World. I was thrilled about visiting the magical park, as any seventh grader would be, but my father insisted we make a side trip to Kennedy Space Center. This did not please me. Instead of spending my day wandering through Cinderellas castle, Id be forced to take in the rusty junk buckets once destined for space but now grounded permanently. First on our tour, we passed space-age junkyards, taking a look back into the history which, as far as I was concerned, would be just as well unobserved. However, conditions took an unexpected turn when our tour guide said wed observe a Space Shuttle on the pad for an approaching mission. This news sparked something in me, changing my glazed expression to one of unexpected interest as I eagerly gazed out the window, scanning for the colossal mechanism of space travel. As the Shuttle came into distant view, I was consumed with awe for this great machine, advanced enough to catapult man into outer space and return him to Earth. As I gazed at the Space Shuttle in all its grandeur, I knew this was something I wanted to know more about and be a part of. My attitude quickly underwent a complete transformation. I found myself rapt at attention upon learning wed soon be observing the staff of engineers at work on developing new technology. From the visitor viewing area inside the building, I looked down upon the workroom floor littered with machines and people walking about in their NASA shirts. It was at this point that I knew that someday I wanted to be one of those people, engineering cuttingedge technology to help man along on his journey of discovery into space. Throughout high school, that goal has always resided in the back of my mind. When choosing my courses, I chose challenging math and physics courses and found that I actually enjoy them. Over this past summer, I applied for the NASA SHARP program, which is an internship program with NASA. Although not accepted for the program, I still retain the determination to work for NASA some day. Hopefully, after graduating from college an as engineer, I will be able to realize my dream and spend my days wandering around the development room floor in one of those NASA shirts. Caitlin CuddihyChilds tour of Center inspires lifetime career goalSTANDING IN THE BACK ROW, from left, are: Cheri Wynn, Independent Technical Authority and Systems Management; Carol Dunn, Chief Counsel's Office; Juan Riquelme, Cape Canaveral Spaceport Management Office; Phillip Swihart, Safety and Mission Assurance; Linda Adams, Information Technology and Communication Services; and Karen Childree, Launch Services Program. Seated in the front row, from left, are: Jennifer Van Den Driessche, Shuttle Processing; Pat Christian, External Relations; Marjorie Ann Nelson, Procurement Office; and Ralonda Farrant, Spaceport Engineering and Technology. Not shown are: Veronica Saucedo, Human Resources; Henry Collier, Chief Financial Office; and Tim Williamson, Spaceport Services.2004 Employees of the Year Combined Federal Campaign sets new recordThis years Combined Federal Campaign has broken an all-time giving record; 77 percent of government workers at KSC have generously contributed a total of $388,000, which is $94,000 more than the $294,000 goal. From the total amount donated, $161,000 was designated for distribution to local charities. The record-breaking success of this years campaign will be celebrated at the Dec. 7 KSC Holiday Celebration at KARS I.


Page 8 SPACEPORT NEWS November 5, 2004 John F. Kennedy Space Center Managing editor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Bruce Buckingham Editor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jeff Stuckey Copy editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Corey Schubert Editorial support provided by InDyne, Inc. Writers Group. NASA at KSC is located on the Internet at USGPO: 733-133/600068Spaceport News Spaceport News is an official 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 two weeks before publication to the Media Services Branch, IDI-011. E-mail submissions can be sent to Jeffery.Stuckey@ksc.nasa.govBy Jennifer Wolfinger Staff WriterKennedy Space Center is a model of perseverance, with a work force that doesn’t give up when things don’t go according to plan. The 33 students with disabilities who visited the Center to celebrate National Disability Mentoring Day (DMD) on Oct. 20 mirror this courage with their determination to achieve professional success, regardless of physical limitations. The event, which also recognized National Disability Employment Awareness Month, invited disabled students in grades eight through college from local and surrounding communities to spend one day with role models who work at the spaceport. The students thrive despite disabilities including spina bifida, cerebral palsy, hearing impairment and more. After a brief orientation by DMD coordinator Cheryl Bartoszek at the Florida Space Authority (FSA), 30 employees eagerly welcomed the future professionals to their work sites. The group also launched model rockets they had built. Cassandra Black, a KSC liaison for the Disability Awareness Action Working Group, and Jennifer Skaja, FSA’s manager of Education Programs, explained that the experience exposes students to different careers and highlights their connection to school. According to Bartoszek, DMD promotes disability as a central component of diversity recruitment for a more inclusive work force, dispels employers’ fears about hiring people with disabilities, increases confidence among job seekers with disabilities and encourages year-round mentoring opportunities. “As a mentor, I was able to gain a greater appreciation of some of the challenges that the students face and how eager they are to overcome those challenges to participate fully in society,” said KSC Deputy Director Woodrow Whitlow. “In addition, my student has worked here as an intern, and since I am relatively new to the Center, he was able to tell me some things that I didn’t know about KSC.” Robert Purdy Jr., who shadowed Whitlow and has some hearing and vision loss, gained just as much from the experience. “When we launched the rockets at the FSA, it reminded me that there are no limits on people with disabilities,” said the Brevard Community College sophomore. Deborah Bencich, an InDyne, Inc. web application developer, also served as a mentor. “I feel privileged to have been able to participate in this event. My involvement increased my awareness about the issues which people with disabilities face, and I gained a greater appreciation for the Section 508 standards as they apply to web development,” she said. Pamela Biegert, chief of KSC’s Education Programs and University Research Division, shared her mentoring experience. “As a mentor, one is able to see first-hand the accomplishments that these students have made despite the extra challenges they face. I personally enjoy the opportunity to find out where their interests lie and how their goals and interests could fit into KSC. “Many of the students don’t realize how large KSC is and that we have so many opportunities in many diverse fields of study,” Biegert said. “I also learn from the questions that the students ask and the surprise that many of them express when they see that we don’t just have astronauts and engineers here at KSC.” One student not only participated in the event, but helped organize it. BCC sophomore Rimpal Patel, who has spina bifida, enjoyed shadowing Bartoszek because she got to help behind the scenes.Mentors help disabled students experience KSCTHESE STUDENTS with disabilities experience hands-on projects at the Space Life Sciences Lab on National Disability Mentoring Day. Now that hurricane season is almost over and normal operations have resumed, be sure to watch Kennedy Space Center Director Jim Kennedy’s All Hands meeting at 9:30 a.m. Nov. 10 in the Training Auditorium. Kennedy will discuss the hurricane recovery plan, including the construction and repairs taking place around the Center. Watch the event on NASA TV, channel 7, or the KSC Internal Home page at: internal.html .All Hands meeting to discuss recovery plan