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January 26, 2007 Vol. 46, No.

Spaceport News
John F. Kennedy Space Center - America’s gateway to the universe
http://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/news/snews/spnews_toc.html

VAB flag, NASA logo receive new paint job


By Cheryl Mansfield symbol of the bicentennial was
Staff Writer also added to the building at that
time and remained there for the

T
he star-spangled banner will next 22 years.
shine a little brighter in the In 1998, to commemorate
rocket’s glare — at least at NASA’s 40th anniversary, the
Kennedy Space Center. On the fading flag was repainted and the
massive 52-story Vehicle Assem- 12,300-square-foot NASA logo —
bly Building, the American flag affectionately known as the
and the NASA logo that adorn the “meatball” — replaced the
south face of the building are bicentennial emblem. Since then,
receiving a badly needed paint time and weather (especially the
job. 2004 hurricane season) took their
The 209-foot-tall, 110-foot- toll on the flag and the meatball.
wide flag was first painted on the During back-to-back hurri-
building in 1976 in celebration of canes, the building lost nearly 850
the American Revolution bicen- of its panels that each measure 14
tennial. To make sure NASA by 6 feet, and not even the flag was
planners got it right, the agency spared. The strong storm winds
consulted the U.S. Department of took a “bite” out of Old Glory’s
the Army’s Institute of Heraldry at stripes until repairs were com-
the Pentagon in Washington. pleted.
The result was the largest But things are looking brighter
American flag ever depicted, with for the building that has served
its stripes 9 feet wide and stars human spaceflight for more than
measuring 6 feet in diameter. In 40 years. Painters’ elevated PAINTERS’ SCAFFOLDING is seen hanging on the side of Kennedy
Space Center’s 525-foot-high Vehicle Assembly Building to repaint the
addition to the flag, a 110-foot (See PAINT, Page 3) American flag and the NASA logo.

KSC-developed technology helps U.S. military overseas


By Linda Herridge held meter in response to a space
Staff Writer shuttle ground processing request
in 1996 for cable wiring fault

N
ew technologies devel- detectors.
oped at Kennedy Space The technology enables the
Center for the space user to rapidly connect to wiring
program eventually end up in use assemblies and detect and locate
by mainstream America or even hard faults. Medelius said the unit
other countries. One technology in performs the test in four seconds,
particular has made it into the displays the fault location in
hands of U.S. troops in Afghani- readable alpha-numeric characters
stan and Iraq. and has computer-based training
The Standing Wave Reflecto- that requires only 45 minutes to
meter is a prototype of an instru- complete.
ment used to test for failures in Eclypse Marketing Director
wires. The technology was Chris Teal said the meters are
developed by Pedro Medelius, included in more than 250 battle
associate program manager and damage assessment and repair kits
chief scientist with ASRC Aero- for the U.S. Army and the U.S.
space Corp. at KSC. Marine Corps. Fort Eustis in TWO U.S. Army servicemen inspect wiring on an Apache Longbow
Medelius developed the hand- helicopter at Ft. Eustis, Virginia, during training using the ESP Hand-held
(See TECHNOLOGY, Page 2) Standing Wave Reflectometer developed at Kennedy Space Center.
Page 2 SPACEPORT NEWS January 26, 2007

Center Director’s Communication into open space. This worker fell approximately 12 feet but
was saved from a fatal fall to the High Bay floor, approxi-
CD COMM #2007-01 mately 450-plus feet below, by the fall protection harness
and lanyard he was wearing.
TO: All Kennedy Space Center civil service and contractor Formal, rigorous NASA mishap investigations were
employees conducted of both mishaps. The fatality investigation has
Awards been completed, and the final report can be viewed in its
SUBJECT: Fall Protection Can Save Your Life entirety by going to http://kscsafety/noticepage.htm and
clicking on the M7-794 Mishap Report link. The assembly

A
s we begin a new year, I would like to take the oppor- building fall is still under investigation, so no report is
tunity to reflect on two very serious incidents that available. However, the worker who fell off the platform has
occurred in 2006. Both incidents involved falls, and given a testimonial about the event and the importance of
one resulted in a tragic death. Due to the nature of the work using fall protection. This can be viewed by going to http://
that we do at Kennedy Space Center, many of you are required kscsafety/noticepage.htm and clicking on the “Am I Hooked
to work at heights. This includes not only construction but Up” link.
work such as utility maintenance, work on towers, shuttle and As a result of the fatality, KSC has established a
payload processing activities involving platforms and centerwide Fall Protection Working Group to improve the
scaffolds, and many other routine activities regularly per- center’s fall protection program. This group has developed a
formed by workers at KSC. new set of fall protection requirements that are currently in
The first incident occurred on March 17, 2006, when a the final review process. These requirements significantly
worker fell headfirst from the roof of Supply Warehouse No. 1 exceed Occupational Safety and Health Administration
in the KSC Industrial Area. He fell approximately 17 feet onto requirements and, if properly implemented, should preclude
a concrete loading dock. Rescue personnel arrived at the any similar mishaps. There have also been significant
mishap scene minutes later, and the worker was subsequently increases in both the quantity and quality of required fall
airlifted to the Orlando Regional Medical Center. Tragically, protection training, and a large amount of new fall protec-
he died that evening as a result of his injuries. What is most tion equipment has been purchased for use throughout the
disconcerting about this incident is that the fall was not very center.
far, approximately the equivalent of falling off the roof of a In the upcoming year, I urge everybody at KSC to be
one-story house, and yet it resulted in a death. especially careful when working at heights, both at work and
On Oct. 23, a second incident, with equally severe at home, and to comply with all fall protection requirements.
potential consequences, occurred when an ironworker fell Should you have questions concerning these incidents or the
approximately 12 feet from a fixed ladder to a small platform KSC fall protection program, please call David Facemire,
below Level 41 in High Bay 4 of the Vehicle Assembly NASA-KSC Institutional Safety Branch, SA-E2, at 867-7232.
Building. In the process of falling, the individual struck W. W. Parsons
another ironworker, knocking him from the lower platform Center Director

TECHNOLOGY . . . technology,” Medelius said. “And


it’s very satisfying to know that
(Continued from Page 1) this technology developed for
Virginia has integrated 100 units NASA has applications in our
into the Army Aviation Logistics military and our commercial
School’s training curriculum. Plans aviation industry.”
are to train 1,000 troops a year in After developing and testing
locating and repairing battle the prototype, NASA filed for a
damage on aviation assets. These U.S. patent in 1997 and it was
meters were provided to the Army granted two years later. KSC’s
at no cost from the U.S. Navy in a Technology Transfer Office offered
joint-effort program. the product for licensing to
According to Teal, major applicable companies. The
airlines around the world includ- exclusive license was granted to
ing Continental, Qantas, United Eclypse International in Corona,
Airlines, Delta, Swiss Defense Calif. The company developed and
Aerospace Groups and all of the is marketing the meter as the ESP-
major aircraft manufacturers have Hand-held Standing Wave
purchased the units to test for Reflectometer. Medelius said he is
failures and reduce the need to impressed with the proactive way
disassemble sections of the aircraft the Technology Transfer Office is
to make repairs. Smaller business marketing KSC-developed
jet companies have also purchased technologies to the commercial DURING TRAINING at Ft. Eustis in Virginia, a U.S. Army serviceman
the units. world. checks wiring on a Blackhawk helicopter for visual evidence of damage
“It is such an important after the ESP Hand-held Standing Wave Reflectometer detected a failure.
January 26, 2007 SPACEPORT NEWS Page 3

THEMIS integration team eager to hear ‘spacecraft separation’


By Linda Herridge logistical difficulties of having SOLID ROCKET boosters (left) are
Staff Writer members at multiple locations. clustered around the base of the
The spacecraft bus was built at United Space Alliance Delta II

W
hen NASA’s THEMIS Swales in Greenbelt, Md., while rocket. A total of nine boosters will
assist in the launch of the THEMIS
mission lifts off aboard a the instruments were built and
integrated spacecraft.
Delta II launch vehicle integrated at the University of
from Cape Canaveral Air Force California at Berkeley. KSC EMPLOYEES PREPARE the
Station on Feb. 15, mission procured the launch services from integrated THEMIS spacecraft
managers and workers at Kennedy United Launch Alliance in (below) for spin-balance testing at
Space Center will see more than Huntington Beach, Calif., and the Astrotech Space Operations.
three years of hard work come to project is managed by Goddard
fruition. Space Flight Center in Maryland.
Garrett Skrobot, a Launch THEMIS is the first NASA
Services Program mission manager, mission to be flown by United
said there are 32 people on the Launch Alliance and the agency’s
mission integration team for first mission to deliver five science
THEMIS, which stands for Time payloads into orbit.
History of Events and Macroscale “The closer you get to launch,
Interactions during Substorms. the more you can feel the energy of
“However, there is an expanded the team continuing to build until
team that supports the mission you get to T-0 and the launch
integration team during processing vehicle lifts off the pad,” Skrobot
of THEMIS,” Skrobot said. “In all, said. “This excitement continues
there are more than 100 KSC until you hear the phrase ‘space-
workers involved in processing for craft separation.’
this mission.” “At that point in time, you
Skrobot and the integration know that all the hard work that
team are responsible for processing everyone contributed has led to
the spacecraft, including cleaning the success of the launch phase of
and fueling it and overseeing the the mission,” Skrobot said.
spin-balance tests at the Astrotech According to Vassilis
processing facility in Titusville, as Angelopoulos, principal investiga-
well as transporting THEMIS to tor at the University of California
the launch pad, and mating and at Berkeley, the mission is part of THEMIS will help to resolve gized particles that accompany the
encapsulating the spacecraft on the the Explorer Program, NASA’s the mystery of what triggers release of energy that occurs
Delta II launch vehicle. oldest program and the agency’s geomagnetic substorms, provide during substorms.
Skrobot said every mission has only one to receive a Nobel Prize. clues about the role of substorms Each of the probes will carry
challenges, and THEMIS is no Other explorer missions in severe space weather and identical sets of five low- and
different. The KSC integration included HETE-II, which launched identify when substorms begin. high-frequency magnetic field and
team had to meet a requirement to on Oct. 9, 2000, and GALEX, During the two-year mission, electric field instruments, as well
deploy the five spacecraft using which launched on April 28, 2003, the five identical probes will as thermal and super-thermal ion
launch vehicle ordnance systems. both from Pegasus expendable identify and track the magnetic and electron detectors, for a total
The team also overcame the launch vehicles. field reconfigurations and ener- of 25 instruments.

Hale praises shuttle processing of 2006 and future


S
pace Shuttle Program and discussed the challenging SPACE
Manager Wayne Hale space shuttle missions ahead of the SHUTTLE
(pictured by podium) held an Kennedy work force in 2007, Program
all hands meeting Jan. 19 in the beginning with STS-117 sched- Manager
Kennedy Space Center training uled to launch in mid-March. For Wayne Hale
auditorium. Hale reflected on the talks to
the latest information about the
Kennedy
successes of last year, including shuttle program, visit http:// employees
the complicated STS-116 mission, www.nasa.gov. Jan. 19
during an all
PAINT . . . (Continued from Page 1) hands
meeting in
platforms once again dangle high on the side of the 525-foot-high the training
structure while workers use rollers and brushes to spruce up the flag auditorium.
and meatball — not a task for the faint of heart. In the end, the results
will be seen for miles, and one of the most visible symbols of the
launch complex will shine once more.
Page 4 SPACEPORT NEWS January 26, 2007

Kennedy, always a member of NASA family, sa


By Jeff Stuckey, Editor fighting in Iraq.
Kennedy’s best memories during his NASA tenure are not only the

M
ore than 500 of Jim Kennedy’s friends attended the former men and women of KSC, but everyone throughout NASA who served in
Kennedy Space Center director’s retirement event Jan. 12 at the the pursuit of space exploration. “It has been an honor for me to serve
Radisson Resort at the Port in Cape Canaveral. Among a long with you and I promise you I will never forget you, individually and
list of speakers were NASA Administrator Mike Griffin, KSC Director collectively. You are serving your country with a noble cause of explor-
Bill Parsons and KSC Associate Director Jim Hattaway. ing the bounds of space so that our children can one day fly more
After thanking the special people who helped him so much during his routinely, more safely to our moon and other planets. It is an honor to be
35-year NASA career — including Administrative Assistant Beth Smith a member of the NASA family. Thanks for the memories and God bless
and Protocol Officer Pam Adams, his wife, Bernie, and his mother, you all.”
Bonnie — Kennedy shared why he greatly enjoyed his job. Griffin said the singular property that stands out in Kennedy is that
“Thank you to my family for the love you have shown, and to our he fits in wherever he goes. “He finds a way to move into a new environ-
friends, from one end of this room to the other. I’m blessed in many ment, a new place and a new job and he finds a way to fit in,” Griffin
ways,” Kennedy said. “I have a total undying respect and support for our said. “The traits Jim exemplifies are exactly the ones I like to see in
administrator, Dr. Michael Griffin,” Kennedy said. “He does not like to people. It’s about other people; it’s about making sure they have what
be called ‘Dr.’ or ‘sir,’ but tonight I’m going to salute you, sir, and tell they need to do their work. It’s about healing instead of scarring. You
you we appreciate what you have done for this agency.” don’t have to know Jim (much) time at all before you see that, and that
Kennedy said as he fades off into the sunset, he will remember at least makes him one of the people I consider to be a friend and a colleague. He
10 things about his friends and experiences from the last 35 years. can leave NASA, but he can’t leave the NASA family.”
The first was the space shuttle’s return to flight. “What a joyous In his 30 years of service at KSC, Hattaway said he has never seen NA
celebration we have enjoyed because of the hard work from the men and anyone endear themselves to the work force the way Kennedy did. Ke
women of NASA to make that shuttle fly safely again. After three losses “Jim is a most honorable, decent and compassionate person,” shu
of people during spaceflight, including Apollo I, Challenger and Hattaway said. “When you stop and ask yourself why people feel the way
Columbia, we, as an agency, were reminded that we would find the they do about Jim, the answer is simple. Everything he does is genuinely
problem, fix the problem and fly again. I say to all of you who made that about you and your welfare and not about himself.”
happen: thanks for the memories. To see you fly so successfully is a Hattaway then read a letter addressed to Kennedy:
tribute and testimony to your ability to get things done.” “Dear Jim,
Other favorite memories for Kennedy include resuming construction Congratulations on your retirement from the National Aeronautics
of the International Space Station, the robotic exploration of the uni- and Space Administration after 35 years of federal service. Our
verse, real accomplishments toward the Vision for Space Exploration, a nation is deeply indebted to the men and women who devote their
visit by retired four-star U.S. Air Force Gen. Les Lyles and his comments lives to public service. I know how proud your family, friends and
about the gleam in the KSC work force’s eyes, and the government and colleagues must be of your accomplishments. Laura and I send
educational stakeholders. He also will never forget the response from the our best wishes for many years of happiness.
NASA family following the hurricanes of 2004 and Hurricane Katrina, Sincerely,
the diversity and equality at KSC, and the men and women who are George W. Bush, President”

AS
reti

KENNEDY SPACE Center Associate Director Jim


Hattaway (right) presents Jim and Bernie Kennedy
a letter from President George W. Bush.

JIM AND Bernie Kennedy (center) enjoy the music of Saturn V toward the end of the former center B
director’s retirement event held Jan. 12 at the Radisson at the Port in Cape Canaveral. C
c
January 26, 2007 SPACEPORT NEWS Page 5

ays final farewell to more than 500 friends

KENNEDY’S CHILDREN, Jamie and Jeff, thanked the


crowd for so much support at the event. They also
read a personal poem about their dad.
ASA ADMINISTRATOR Mike Griffin (right) presents Jim and Bernie
ennedy a memento featuring the pins from every NASA space
uttle and expedition mission to date.

THE RETIREMENT event for


former Center Director Jim
Kennedy was held at the
convention center in the
Radisson Resort at the Port.
JIM AND Bernie Kennedy cut the huge cake
celebrating the former center director’s new life.

SOLD-OUT crowd of more than 500 guests attended Kennedy’s NASA employees retired at the end of 2006
irement event.
Armstrong, Dennis Johnson, Maxine Rafferty, Donna
Brady, Sandra Kennedy, James Riffe, Retha
Boger, Mary Loomis, Robert Satterthwaite, Marlene
Burke, Paul Marsh, Gloria Schuiling, Roelof
Cowras, John Matus, Learnette Spears, Jalaine
Deane, Edgar McKinney, Mack Sweet, Richard
Dobrin, Connie Mease, Mary Tucci, Larry
Dreier, Loretta Norton, Gloria Tucker, Charles
Ellis, Michael Parker, Yvonne Tymms, David
Fasulo, Rebecca Peete, Herbert Walek, Michael
Godfrey, Elizabeth Piotrowski, Lon Wall, Donald
Goodin, James Powell, Barbara Wallace, David
Huang, Po Tien Purer, Karroll Warren, Kathleen
Hyde, Kenneth Purer, Tommy Yencso, Thomas
BERNIE KENNEDY receives a pendant from Kennedy Space
Center Director Bill Parsons featuring a polished stone from the
center’s crawlerway.
Page 6 SPACEPORT NEWS January 26, 2007

A look back at 2006 at the Kennedy Space Center


A
s Kennedy Space Center center with an observation deck, station’s electrical
prepares for a busy 2007, training rooms, computer rooms, and thermal control
our successes of the past multimedia conference rooms and systems.
year are recounted as we set the technical libraries. The building Launch Pad 39B
stage for our future activities. replaces trailers in the Launch is being transitioned
Three successful space shuttle Complex 39 area. to NASA’s Constella-
launches, five expendable launch In April, during the 25th tion Program and
vehicle missions, award-winning anniversary of the first space readied for the Ares
technology and processing several shuttle flight, KSC renamed and 1-I test flight,
large payloads and components for dedicated the Launch Control scheduled for no
delivery to the International Space Center’s Firing Room 1 as the earlier than 2009.
Station were just some of KSC’s “Young-Crippen Firing Room” to KSC’s Launch
2006 achievements. To prepare for honor STS-1 Commander John Services Program
the transition from the Space Young and Pilot Robert Crippen. managed five
Shuttle Program to NASA’s In June, KSC selected the Atlas expendable launch
Constellation Program and future V, now part of the United Launch vehicle liftoffs from
space exploration missions, KSC Alliance rocket family, for the Cape Canaveral Air
aligned with other NASA centers Mars Science Laboratory. This is a Force Station and
by combining the engineering mission to carry a large rover to the Vandenberg Air
work force into one new engineer- red planet in fall 2009. The six- Force Base, Calif.
ing group. wheeled rover will explore Mars NASA’s New
On Feb. 8, the Virgin Atlantic for two years, examining sites to Horizons mission, the
Airways GlobalFlyer aircraft took identify where the building blocks first in the New
off from KSC’s Shuttle Landing for life may exist. Frontiers Program,
Facility in an attempt to set a new Space Shuttle Discovery lifted launched using
world record for the longest flight off on mission STS-121 on July 4 Lockheed Martin’s
made by any aircraft. Piloted by (the first mission to launch on massive Atlas V
Steve Fossett, the aircraft used Independence Day) from Launch launch vehicle on
more than 13,000 feet of the Pad 39B, carrying critical hardware Jan. 19 from Cape
15,000-ft. runway. to the station for future assembly Canaveral. The SPACE SHUTTLE Discovery launches on
In March, the center held a missions. The mission restored the piano-sized space- mission STS-121 to kick off the fireworks for the
ribbon-cutting ceremony to station to a three-person crew for craft will travel to U.S. holiday and make history as the first time a
officially open the newly con- the first time since May 2003. STS- Pluto and conduct shuttle has launched on Independence Day.
structed Operations Support 121 also marked the first use of the the first close-up, in-depth study of Terrestrial Relations Observatories
Building II. The five-story, Launch Control Center’s newly the dwarf planet and its moons in (STEREO) on Oct. 25 from Cape
189,000-square-ft. facility com- renovated Firing Room 4. Space summer 2015. Canaveral.
prises more than 900 office spaces, Shuttle Atlantis launched on NASA’s Space Technology 5 CloudSat and CALIPSO are
a 300-person mission conference mission STS-115 on Sept. 9, also spacecraft, also known as ST5, orbiting the Earth as part of the “A-
from Launch Pad 39B, launched aboard the Orbital train,” a constellation of Earth-
carrying the P3/P4 Sciences Pegasus XL vehicle from observing satellites. CALIPSO
integrated truss Vandenberg on March 22. ST5 provides climate observations,
segment for installa- consists of three miniature orbiting including the advanced study of
tion on the station. satellites which were flight tested clouds and aerosols, to help
The mission resumed in the harsh environment of space, improve the ability to predict
assembly of the station and their ability to make research- climate change and study the air
after a hiatus of four quality scientific measurements we breathe. CloudSat’s trio of
years. was evaluated over 90 days. experimental satellites uses radar
The final launch of The Geostationary Operational to perform the first study of clouds
the year was made by Environmental Satellite-N, also and precipitation on a global basis
Discovery on mission called GOES-N, launched into from space. STEREO is NASA’s
STS-116 on Dec. 9. It orbit for NASA aboard a Boeing first 3-D solar imaging mission to
was the last currently Delta IV on May 24 from Cape help researchers understand how
planned shuttle launch Canaveral. Upon entering Earth’s the sun creates space weather.
from Launch Pad 39B. orbit, it became GOES-13. The KSC’s work force looks
The challenging satellite is rotating around the forward to an aggressive launch
mission included planet to view developing weather schedule in 2007, with five space
installing the P5 short systems across the world. shuttle missions and eight expend-
space truss segment to Expendable launch vehicle able launch vehicle missions,
the station’s P3/P4 missions aboard Boeing Delta II along with continuing transition
truss segment and vehicles included CloudSat/ work for the new Constellation
TECHNICIANS INSTALL strips of the New CALIPSO on April 28 from
Horizons mission decal on the spacecraft fairing
completely rewiring Program and future space launches.
and activating the Vandenberg, and the twin Solar
in the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility.
January 26, 2007 SPACEPORT NEWS Page 7

Remembering Our Heritage


40 years ago: Fire, regret at America’s moonport
By Kay Grinter minutes later, when the inner hatch
Reference Librarian was opened, it was already too late.
All three astronauts had died from

T
he simulated countdown for inhaling carbon monoxide and
AS-204, the first manned other toxic gases generated by the
mission in the Apollo flash fire.
Program, was under way at Launch In the accident’s aftermath, the
Pad 34 on Jan. 27, 1967. The crew NASA family was distraught.
was in position for the full dress Flight Director Gene Kranz
rehearsal in the command module lectured his team at the Manned
atop a Saturn IB rocket. Spacecraft Center in Houston:
NASA astronauts Gus Grissom, “From this day forward, Flight
Edward White and Roger Chaffee Control will be known by two
made up that crew. words: ‘Tough and Competent.’
Grissom was one of the seven Tough means we are forever
original NASA astronauts selected accountable for what we do or
in 1959, and he flew on the second what we fail to do. Competent
manned Mercury flight in 1961 means we will never take anything
and on Gemini 3 in 1965. for granted.”
White was selected as an The Apollo 204 Review Board
astronaut in 1962. On Gemini 4 in determined the probable initiator
1965, he became NASA’s first of the fire was an electrical arc in
spacewalker. The rookie on the an equipment bay where instru-
crew, Chaffee was selected as an mentation power wiring led
APOLLO 1 astronauts (from left) Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger
astronaut in 1963. AS-204 was his between the environmental control Chaffee pose in front of Launch Complex 34 which housed the Saturn 1
first flight assignment. unit and the oxygen panel. launch vehicle. The vehicle unexpectedly caught fire Jan. 27, 1967.
At 6:31 p.m. on this otherwise In April that year, AS-204 was
ordinary Friday evening, the officially designated Apollo 1, a remember the three dedicated KSC, but I am proud to follow in
unthinkable happened. The mission number that had been used astronauts. my father’s footsteps as a NASA
vehicle rocked twice as the alarm by the astronauts publicly and Chaffee’s daughter, Sheryl, employee,” she said, “He was
“Fire!” was received from inside included on their insignia. Today, works as the administrative officer proud of what he did for his
the capsule. a small group of family and friends for Center Operations at Kennedy country, and I know he would
Pad personnel scrambled to gather at Pad 34 at sunset on the Space Center. “It has sometimes support NASA’s mission to return
reach the White Room, but just six anniversary of the accident to been hard for me to work here at men to the moon and on to Mars.”

NASA will use metric system for lunar missions


O
nly the United States, Liberia and Burma still primarily use Agreeing to use a single measurement system will make the human
English units — the rest of the world is metric. And now the habitats and vehicles placed on the moon by different space agencies
moon will be metric too. more compatible with each other. That could come in handy if, say, one
NASA has decided to use metric units for all operations on the lunar agency’s moonbase needs emergency spare parts from another agency’s
surface when its astronauts return to the moon. The Vision for Space base.
Exploration calls for returning astronauts to the moon by 2020 and No need to worry about trying to fit a 15-millimeter nut onto a 5/8-
eventually setting up a manned lunar outpost. inch bolt. A metric standard will make it easier for countries to form new
The decision is a victory not only for the metric system itself, which partnerships and collaborations after their lunar operations are already in
by this decision increases its land area in the solar system by 27 percent, place. All data will be in compatible units, whether it’s scientific data or
but also for the spirit of international cooperation in exploring the moon. operational data — such as how far a rover must travel to reach the edge
The decision arose from a series of meetings that brought together of a crater. A single measurement system will make sharing this data and
representatives from NASA and 13 other space agencies to discuss ways merging operations more seamless.
to cooperate and coordinate their lunar exploration programs. Although NASA has ostensibly used the metric system since about
Standardizing on the metric system was an obvious step in the right 1990, English units linger on in much of the U.S. aerospace industry. In
direction. practice, this has meant that many missions continue to use English
The meetings, which began in April 2006, included representatives units, and some missions end up using both English and metric units.
from the Australian, Canadian, Chinese, European, French, German, The confusion that can arise from using mixed units was highlighted
British, Indian, Italian, Japanese, Russian, South Korean and Ukrainian by the loss of the Mars Climate Orbiter robotic probe in 1999, which
space agencies, all of which are either planning or considering some form occurred because a contractor provided thruster firing data in English
of lunar exploration. units while NASA was using metric.
Page 8 SPACEPORT NEWS January 26, 2007

KARS Flyers group enjoys remote control aircraft


By Jennifer Wolfinger activity. Somebody showed me, so
Staff Writer I feel like it’s my obligation to
show somebody else. Children can

K
ennedy Space Center may learn a valuable lesson on team-
be home to massive, work and reading instructions,”
cutting-edge spacecraft, Reyes said.
but it’s also the base for the KARS The group has also helped with
(Kennedy Athletic, Recreation and NASA projects such as identifying
Social organization) Flyers group requirements, testing sensors and
which remotely pilots model avionics packages, and developing
airplanes and promotes the hobby in-house expertise in remote
of remote-control aircraft construc- control aircraft. Over the last 10
tion and flying. years, members have also sup-
Approximately 50 people ported community educators, the
make up the group, which flies KSC Visitor Complex, Space
aircraft with wingspans ranging Camp and mentor programs.
from two to 12 feet. All members “One thing I always think of is
belong to the Academy of Model the close history of NASA and the
Aeronautics (AMA), a national AMA,” said Secretary/Treasurer
organization which coordinates Bill Woodward of Space Gateway KARS FLYERS group members enjoy use of the Shuttle Landing Facility
during a recent fly-in. The primary flying field is located at KARS Park 1.
model aircraft activities in the U.S. Support. “The two engineers that
and provides liability insurance proved the space shuttle glide test forward to the club’s growth He has constructed and flown
and contest and safety regulations. would work did it by building and opportunities. model airplanes since the early
For example, during flight flying models of the 747 and “With our primary flying field 1970s.
activities, they’re required to form shuttle, and using them as a test moving to KARS Park 1, special “I’m involved in the hobby out
a safety line to separate spectators bed. Those two aircraft are on badging is not required for access, of a love of aviation,” said Pfaller
and aircraft. display in our national museum so members will then be able to of InDyne, Inc. “It’s such a thrill to
“Ever since we formed the and those engineers are AMA bring guests to the flying field. fly at Kennedy Space Center,
club, we’ve never had an accident members. The KARS Flyers hope to have especially when we get invited to
of any kind,” said founding “In 2003, I flew technology more involvement with commu- the Shuttle Landing Facility.
member and President Ernie Reyes. aboard my 86-inch wingspan nity educators in getting area “It’s a thrill to fly where the
“We offer instruction at no charge hand-built model airplane. The youth exposed to remote-control shuttle lands. Membership also
and even provide the models and flight was to prove that models and aircraft,” Thomas said. gives people an opportunity to
gasoline. A KARS pass and badge the project they are working on According to club member visit places at KSC that they
is all that’s needed. were compatible,” said Woodward. Jack Pfaller, people join for many wouldn’t get to see through their
“It’s a great way for older and Vice President Doug Thomas reasons including for sport, jobs.”
younger people to enjoy an of United Space Alliance looks relaxation and the joy of building.

Graduate, undergraduate programs accepting civil service applications

T
he Kennedy Space Center up to one academic year. Program Web site at www.http:// Program Web site at www.http://
Human Resources Develop- The Human Resources Devel- ba.ksc.nasa.gov/kgfp.htm or the ba.ksc.nasa.gov/kusp.htm.
ment Office is accepting opment Office is also accepting Kennedy Undergraduate Studies
nominations of full-time perma- nominations of full-time perma-
nent NASA civil service employ- nent NASA civil service employ-
ees of KSC to participate in full- ees of KSC to participate in John F. Kennedy Space Center
and part-time doctoral and full- degree-granting programs at
time master’s programs under the accredited colleges and universi- Spaceport News
Kennedy Graduate Fellowship ties under the Kennedy Under-
Program. graduate Studies Program. Appli-
The purpose of the program is cants must have completed a Spaceport News is an official publication of the Kennedy Space Center and
to provide employees with the minimum of 12 semester/credit is published on alternate Fridays by External Relations in the interest of KSC
opportunity to complete residency hours and currently have a 3.0 civil service and contractor employees.
requirements for graduate or GPA (on a 4.0 scale) to be eligible Contributions are welcome and should be submitted two weeks before
publication to the Media Services Branch, IDI-011. E-mail submissions can be
postgraduate education to develop to apply. sent to Jeffery.Stuckey-1@ksc.nasa.gov.
the expertise required to accom- The deadline for applications
plish the center’s strategic objec- for each of these programs is Feb. Managing editor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . William Johnson
Editor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Jeff Stuckey
tives. Sponsorship provides 14. Employees must submit
Copy editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Corey Schubert
funding for tuition, fees and applications to Karen Milford/
textbooks, and permits eligible CNI-3, Kennedy Learning Insti- Editorial support provided by InDyne, Inc. Writers Group.
employees to attend approved tute, Room 1002. Visit the NASA at KSC is located on the Internet at http://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy
programs on a full-time basis for Kennedy Graduate Fellowship USGPO: 733-049/600125