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March 23, 2007 Vol. 46, No.

Spaceport News
John F. Kennedy Space Center - America’s gateway to the universe

Petro becomes first woman deputy director at KSC

Former Science Applications International Center Operations, including Aerospace, including program
division and deputy operations manager for overseeing and
Corporation manager begins position April 29 manager. She directed technical executing a classified $13-million

teams in the design, installation U.S. Department of Defense
ASA recently selected ers, and was responsible for and sustainment support for the program at Cape Canaveral Air
Janet Petro as the new overseeing program and project Subsurface Engineering and Force Station. The program
deputy director of the managers and providing opera- Logistics Support contract. involved integrating, supporting
Kennedy Space Center effective tional guidance on various In SAIC’s St. Petersburg and coordinating payloads onto
April 29. Petro succeeds William technical projects. division, she led the Cooperative various space vehicles at U.S. Air
(Bill) Parsons, who assumed the “I am extremely pleased that Engagement Capability Pre- Force and NASA facilities. Petro
position as the director of the Janet has decided to join the Planned Product Improvement also served as a captain in the U.S.
center in January. leadership team at Kennedy,” said Program Team in developing Army’s aviation branch.
Prior to joining NASA, Petro Parsons. “She brings with her a supportability products for an She holds a bachelor’s degree
served in various management strong technical management upgraded signal data processing in engineering from the U.S.
positions for Science Applications background and extensive assembly. Military Academy at West Point,
International Corporation, also engineering leadership that is “I am honored I was selected to N.Y., and a Master of Science
known as SAIC, where she directly applicable to the challeng- join the talented team of profes- degree in business administration
provided extensive program ing future here at Kennedy.” sionals at KSC and feel excited to from Boston University Metropoli-
management and technical At SAIC, Petro held positions be a part of the tremendously tan College.
leadership since December 2000. of increasing responsibility within important mission we have been She resides in Indian Harbor
She directly interacted with the corporation’s Satellite Beach given,” said Petro. Beach with her daughter, Hannah,
senior-level government custom- Subsurface Engineering and Data Earlier in her career, Petro held and son, Andrew.
various senior management
Atlantis processing continues positions with McDonnell Douglas

while new launch date considered

Employees, families enjoy
2007 All-American Picnic

IN THE Vehicle Assembly Building, technicians secure protective material

around the base of the nose cone of Space Shuttle Atlantis’ external tank. THE 2007 Kennedy Space Center All-American Picnic was held
The nose cone is undergoing repair from recent hail damage. At press March 10 at KARS Park 1, complete with beautiful weather and fun
time, the launch date for mission STS-117 was still to be determined. activities. See contest results and photographs on pages 4-5.
Page 2 SPACEPORT NEWS March 23, 2007

Students in ‘Harmony’ in naming space station module

By Linda Herridge The winning entries for
Staff Writer “Harmony” came from World
Group Home School in Monona,

rom theAwards
incredible minds of Wis.; a ninth grade class from
children came the new name Lubbock High School in Texas;
of NASA’s Node 2 module, third grade classes from Buchanan
which was announced during an Elementary School in Baton
unveiling ceremony on March 15 Rouge, La., and West Navarre
at Kennedy Space Center’s Space Intermediate School in Navarre,
Station Processing Facility. Fla.; and eighth grade classes from
Russ Romanella, along with League City Intermediate School
mission STS-120 Commander Pam in League City, Texas, and Browne
Melroy and Pilot George Zamka, Academy in Alexandria, Va.
revealed the module’s new name: Harmony will be delivered to
“Harmony.” It is the first U.S. piece the station on mission STS-120,
of the station named by people scheduled for later this year. It is
outside of the agency. the second of three nodes that will
Also attending the event were serve as connectors on the station.
Bill Gerstenmaier, associate During the mission, Harmony will
administrator for Space Operations, be attached to the front of the U.S.
and astronaut Mike Baker, a Lab Destiny.
veteran of four space flights. IN THE Space Station Processing Facility, Russ Romanella (right), Both the European Space
“It’s an exciting time in the director of International Space Station and Spacecraft Processing, Agency Columbus module and the
history of human exploration, with presides over a ceremony to unveil the new name of NASA’s Node 2 Japan Aerospace Exploration
the recent incredible assembly
module, Harmony. With him are mission STS-120 Commander Pam Agency Kibo research module will
Melroy and Pilot George Zamka. use connecting ports on Harmony.
activities onboard the station, as
well as preparations for future required students to learn about Entries came from 32 states and In an agreement between
station missions happening here in the space station, build a scale one U.S. Department of Defense NASA and ESA, the node was built
this facility,” said Romanella, who model of Node 2 and write an school in Japan. The 62 entries by Alenia Spazio at its facility in
is director of International Space essay explaining their chosen involved more than 3,000 students Torino, Italy. Harmony weighs
Station and Spacecraft Processing. name. across all grade levels. The most approximately 30,000 pounds and
The node received its new “Involving the youth of our suggested name was submitted by is about 24 feet in length and 15
name through the NASA Exploring nation in our space program is six different schools and was feet in diameter. According to
Space Challenges program geared important,” Melroy said. “It will be selected because it symbolizes the Romanella, it is presently the
at kindergarten through 12th grade an exciting moment when the STS- spirit of international cooperation heaviest element for delivery to
students nationwide. The Node 2 120 crew opens the module in embodied by the station as a the station.
Challenge, held in the fall of 2006, space.” whole.

U.S. Army’s Golden Knights to appear at World Space Expo

he World Space Expo set for November 3-11 at the Kennedy Space
Center Visitor Complex will include a weekend aerial salute by
the U.S. Army parachute team’s Golden Knights as part of a 45th
anniversary tribute to Project Mercury.
The Mercury program successfully launched six of the original
“Mercury 7” astronauts into space, including Alan Shepard, the first
American in space, and John Glenn, the first American to orbit Earth.
The 920th Rescue Wing based at Patrick Air Force Base will also stage
a demonstration as part of the tribute. The wing, formerly the 301st
Rescue Squadron, was responsible for recovering the Mercury capsules
when they splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean.
“We could not think of a better way to open the World Space Expo
aerial salute than with a tribute to the brave men who pioneered
America’s manned space program,” said Daniel LeBlanc, chief operating
officer of Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, host of the World
Space Expo.
The U.S. Army played a key role in the success of Project Mercury,
using its Redstone vehicle as a launch platform.
“It is a privilege to perform over the Kennedy Space Center while THE U.S. Army’s Golden Knights parachute team will perform at the
paying tribute to the 45th anniversary of Project Mercury,” said Sgt. 1st opening of the Nov. 3-11 World Space Expo. The salute will pay tribute to
Class Karen Morrison of Golden Knights Operations. the 45th anniversary of Project Mercury.
March 23, 2007 SPACEPORT NEWS Page 3

Hanson receives woman engineer award

By Jennifer Wolfinger According to Hanson, the women engineers develop their
Staff Writer directorate works closely with the potential.
Launch Services Program, Launch Nominees also must have

oselle Hanson, the Engi- Vehicle Processing, International worked for and significantly
neering Directorate’s Space Station and Spacecraft contributed to the enhancement of
deputy director for manage- Processing, and Constellation women’s status on the job or in the
ment, was recently selected as the Ground Operations organizations. community; have at least seven
Outstanding Woman Engineer of “I have been very fortunate to cumulative years of engineering
the Year by the Society of Women have had opportunities to work in experience; and reside or work in
Engineers’ Space Coast Chapter. many directorates here at Kennedy Brevard, Volusia or Indian River
She was recognized for her Space Center and at NASA counties.
sustained excellence, outstanding Headquarters and Johnson Space Hanson graduated from Corbin
leadership and personal integrity Center, and to have led several High School in her hometown of
that exemplifies and promotes the high-performing teams,” she Corbin, Ky. She received an
goals of the society. explained. associate’s degree in civil engi-
“I was very surprised and “I love the work we do at neering technology from the
honored to be selected. I was NASA and the people — our University of Kentucky. Later, she
nominated about 10 years ago in NASA and contractor work force earned a Bachelor of Science
another category and, from that — are the best. I believe in degree in electrical engineering
experience, I knew the other mentoring individuals and helping and a Master of Science in
nominees would be highly them see opportunities to learn and industrial engineering and
talented, respected and have grow.” management systems from the
outstanding credentials,” said Award nominees must demon- University of Central Florida.
Hanson. “I did not expect to win; it strate a high level of competence, Her husband, Dave, teaches
the 2007 Outstanding Woman
truly was a surprise.” Engineer of the Year by the Society leadership and personal integrity and coaches at Astronaut High
In her position, she is respon- of Women Engineers’ Space in their job; contribute personally School in Titusville. They enjoy
sible for the business, work force Coast Chapter. to their organization’s mission; being active in their church and
and personnel aspects of the have developed, or be developing, have two adult children, Eric and
Engineering Directorate. She the skills and work force required their own potential in the engi- Jill. For information about the
works with all of the directorate’s to meet NASA’s needs on time and neering profession or outside society, visit http://www.swe-
divisions and offices to maintain on budget. activities and have helped other

Willcoxon to lead Launch Vehicle Processing

By Linda Herridge already heavily engaged in “I am enjoying my new role,”
Staff Writer activities leading to the planned Willcoxon said. “I’ve had different
2009 launch of the Ares 1-X challenges in my career, but this is

hen Rita Willcoxon test flight. the most challenging. The Launch
became director of the “The challenge for the organi- Vehicle Processing organization
Launch Vehicle zation is in balancing all three of has a very exciting future and I am
Processing Directorate at Kennedy these very important KSC roles ” grateful to be a part of it.”
Space Center in January, she Willcoxon said. She said former Shuttle
became the first woman in the She said the biggest challenge Processing Director Mike Wetmore
history of the space program to will be to safely fly four to five helped to prepare her for the new
hold that position. shuttle launches per year in order role. “And I’m surrounded by a
Her responsibilities include to complete the International great group of highly motivated
overseeing the processing of three Space Station before the end of the people who are passionate and
orbiter vehicles and integrating program in 2010, while gearing up dedicated to their work.”
and launching the Space Transpor- for the new Constellation Program Willcoxon said she is grateful
tation System missions. She is also at the same time. for the expertise of NASA Space
responsible for the transition and “Our primary near-term Shuttle Program Manager Wayne
retirement of shuttle assets as the challenge in Constellation is to Hale. “He’s there to make sure RITA WILLCOXON is director of the
program concludes. complete the ground support everything we do is integrated Launch Vehicle Processing
She has recently been tasked system modifications to prepare for across the agency and he asks the Directorate. She is the first woman
by Tip Talone, the KSC Constella- the Ares I-X test flight.” hard questions,” she said. to hold that position at Kennedy.
tion Project Office director, to This work will be added to the Willcoxon has worked at KSC
assist in planning and ultimately existing Space Program Operations for 19 years, but has 25 years of Previous positions included acting
performing the launch vehicle and Contract in which Willcoxon has government service. Prior to her director and deputy director of the
integrated processing of the technical management representa- new position, she served as deputy Spaceport Engineering and
Constellation system. Her team is tive responsibility. director of Shuttle Processing. Technology Directorate.
Page 4 SPACEPORT NEWS March 23, 2007

More than 5,000 people attend 2007 Kenne

rom the beautiful Florida Florida Chapter. ALS is often
weather to the delicious referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
samples at the annual Chili Orion’s Irish Pub sponsored by
Cookoff, the 2007 Kennedy Space Lockheed Martin won the Judges’
Center All-American Picnic on Choice category, and the Pirates of
March 10 at KARS Park 1 was the the Chilibean sponsored by the
perfect opportunity for employees NASA Human Resources Office
to meet co-workers and their won Best Storefront.
families. In the fishing tournament,
For the Chili Cookoff, attend- winners included Stephanie
ees voted the C.O.P.S. booth Ouellette, Patrick Matthews, Sean
sponsored by the NASA Federal Benzinger, Steven Valdivia and
Law Enforcement Training Alyssa Coe. Free-throw tournament
Academy and Space Gateway winners were Timothy Buntting in
Support as the People’s Choice the children’s category and Corey
winner. For receiving the most Walker in the teenager category.
votes, the group will donate The popular pie-eating contest was
$1,130 to the Amyotrophic Lateral won by Ryan Bonnicksen.
Sclerosis Association (ALS),

THE 2007 Kennedy Space Center All-American Picnic held March 10 at KARS Park
With temperatures in the 70s, employees and families enjoyed the perfect setting fo

ASTRONAUTS JANICE Voss (left), Eric Boe and Megan McArthur sign
personalized autographs during this year’s All-American Picnic.

THE PEOPLE’S Choice winner for the Chili

Cookoff went to the C.O.P.S. booth sponsored
by the NASA Federal Law Enforcement
Training Academy and Space Gateway
Support. The team includes, from left, Jon
Willoughby, Amanda Hurley, Tim Suspanic,
Keith Fields, John Stubbe and Rachelle
JUDGES FOR the Chili Cookoff included, from left, Bill Sample, Mike and-white 1961 Volkswagen Bug, th
Bolger, Bob Willcox, Pat Simpkins and Joe Dowdy. They chose Orion’s
Irish Pub, sponsored by Lockheed Martin, as their favorite.
March 23, 2007 SPACEPORT NEWS Page 5

edy Space Center All-American Picnic

Airmen talked about
their personal
experiences and
signed autographs
during the All-
American Picnic.
Other exhibits
included the
Awareness and
Action Working
Group, KSC
Barracudas Dive
Club, KSC Fitness
Centers, KSC
Astronomers, US
Fish and Wildlife
Service and more.

k 1 included an expanded menu selection.

or a day outdoors.

THE CHILDREN at this year’s picnic enjoyed a variety of games and treats. At left, Ashley Campbell gets her
face painted by Shani Pehl. Nineteen children’s games were part of the Children’s Carnival.

(left) presents Rocco Russo, owner of a red-

he trophy for “Center Director’s Choice.”
CATHY HESTER’S 2002 Victory Drifter, which features DENNIS MCDONOUGH won Truck Best of Show for
the space station on the gas tank and a space shuttle his custom pickup.
on the back fender, won Motorcycle Best of Show.
Page 6 SPACEPORT NEWS March 23, 2007

Kennedy co-hosts FIRST robotics regional contest

By Jeff Stuckey playing field.
Editor Midway through the first day’s
competition, a select number of

igh school students from students served as hosts for
throughout Florida, seven sponsors attending an invitation-
other states and Puerto only luncheon featuring Kennedy
Rico packed the University of Space Center Director Bill Parsons
Central Florida Arena March 8-10 as guest speaker.
to compete in the 2007 Florida “The new Vision for Space
FIRST Regional Robotics Compe- Exploration was rolled out in 2004
tition. NASA’s Kennedy Space and that takes us back to the moon
Center and the UCF College of and on to Mars,” Parsons said.
Engineering and Computer “Although NASA has been
Science co-hosted this year’s involved in a lot of space opera-
FIRST, or For Inspiration and tions since the Apollo era, we have
Recognition of Science and not designed a new space vehicle
Technology, regional event. in quite a while, so this will be a
This annual contest brings new endeavor for us and we need
together students, mentors, students like you to help us. We
teachers and parents to collaborate need you to get involved with
and share challenges after six engineering, get involved in
weeks of designing and building a science and get as much hands-on
robot. experience as you possibly can.”
The Florida regional event is Other major sponsors involved COMPETING ROBOTS try to loop the large metal target with colored
part of a nationwide contest that in the Florida regional event rings. The robots are products of student teams taking part in the FIRST
teams mentors and young people include ASRC Aerospace, Boeing, robotics event held at the University of Central Florida Arena March 8-10.
together to solve an engineering Lockheed Martin and United
design problem in a competitive Space Alliance. CENTER
way. The national competition will More than 70 scholarship
Parsons (center)
involve more than 30,000 high opportunities worth close to $8 dons the pink wig
school students on more than million are available to students that represents
1,130 teams this year. participating in this year’s FIRST team No. 233,
This year’s game, called “Rack events. The FIRST Championship composed of
and Roll,” featured students will take place at Atlanta’s Georgia students from
designing and building robots that Dome on April 12-14. Visit Rockledge,
placed inflatable tubes on a three- for information. Cocoa Beach
level rack in the center of the and Viera High
Schools. The
team is co-
sponsored by

Florida and several
out-of-state areas
display and work on
their robots in the
pit area for the
FIRST robotics
event. NASA and the
University of Central
Florida are co-
hosts of this year’s
Florida regional
contest. Several
Kennedy Space
Center employees
serve as mentors,
THE FIRST, or For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, judges and
Robotics Competition challenges teams of young people and their mentors referees at the
to solve a common problem in a six-week timeframe using a standard kit of annual event.
parts and a common set of rules.
March 23, 2007 SPACEPORT NEWS Page 7

Remembering Our Heritage

45 years ago: ‘How much does it cost to build a moonport?’
NASA number crunchers ask
By Kay Grinter according to phases of develop-
Reference Librarian ment. NASA Headquarters then
transferred money to the center at

eveloping the budget to intervals for each project.
build a moonport was All of the funds appropriated
almost as challenging as for a project for a specific fiscal
building the space center itself. year were rarely released during
NASA was already partnered that year.
with the U.S. Army Corps of NASA alumnus Libba Johnson
Engineers in 1961 when NASA was a program budget analyst in
announced that 80,000 acres of financial management in 1962 and
land on Cape Canaveral and the deputy of resources management
surrounding area would be when she retired in 1992. “After we
purchased to support manned lunar got a lump sum from NASA
flight and missions requiring Headquarters,” she said, “we
advanced Saturn and Nova parceled it out to various contrac- EARLY DEVELOPMENT at the center included extending the railroad past
boosters. NASA requested that the tors.” the Central Supply Warehouse (above) and completion of the Operations
Under contract to NASA, the and Checkout Building (below).
Corps act as the real estate agent
for the acquisition, and later Corps was allowed to recover
perform design and construction administrative fees by agreement.
services for the facilities. “The orange groves were also
The budget process was leased back to the original owners
complicated in 1962 for Rocco through the Corps,” Johnson
Petrone, chief of the Heavy recalled.
Vehicle Systems Office for the The construction funding
Launch Operations Center. His “spoon-fed” to the center peaked
team had to plan and budget for in 1963 at $204.3 million, with
new facilities and equipment for an only slightly lower amounts
undefined launch vehicle to meet transferred over the next three
the deadline set before the years.
decade’s end. Hal Row was a structural
Budget figures had previously engineer who joined the Corps in
been in the millions of dollars; 1962. “We took NASA’s require-
expenditures in the hundreds of ments and turned them into design how dramatic the outcome would cost to build a moonport? By the
millions now had to be justified. requirements,” recalled Row, now be.” time 1968 drew to a close, $917.9
After Congress passed an a consultant at the Kennedy Space Row thrived on the challenge million had been spent on con-
appropriation act, the Bureau of Center Visitor Complex. and left the Corps in 1967 to work struction of facilities at Kennedy
the Budget released apportioned “Everything was being done for NASA. Space Center.
money to NASA periodically for the first time. We had no idea In retrospect, how much does it

National Space Club honors Melnick with Debus Award

he National Space Club Center.
Florida Committee invites The reception begins at 6:30 honored with the 2007 Debus
the spaceport to honor p.m., followed by dinner at 7:30 Award for his contributions to
Bruce Melnick, former NASA p.m. Individual tickets are $75 for America’s space program. The
astronaut and current vice presi- members and $85 for non-mem- event will be held April 28 at the
dent of Boeing Florida Operations, bers. Corporate tables, with seating Kennedy Space Center Visitor
as the winner of the 2007 Debus for 10, are available for $800. Complex’s Debus Center.
Award for outstanding contribu- Space is limited at the black-tie-
tions to America’s space program. optional event. Contact LaDonna
The Debus Dinner will be held Neterer at 321-505-2037 or
April 28 at the Kennedy Space for
Center Visitor Complex’s Debus reservations.
Page 8 SPACEPORT NEWS March 23, 2007

Cape Canaveral Lighthouse lantern room restored

s workers wait at the top of
the newly repainted Cape
Canaveral Lighthouse (left), a
crane carefully moves the refurbished
18,000-pound lantern room toward
them. The optic, or light, (visible in
the center of the tower) was powered
down for the restoration and removed
for maintenance and overhaul, as
well. This rotating beacon — which
can be seen up to 22 miles offshore
— is operated by the U.S. Coast
Guard, while the lighthouse is owned
by the U.S. Air Force.
The extensive refurbishment
project was started a year ago
following many years of normal
weathering in the coastal location,
which was heightened by hurricane
damage from the 2004 season. As part
of the restoration, the original brass
roof of the lantern room was returned
to the structure and its familiar black-
and-white “daymark” was repainted.
The final step will be the relighting
of this active navigational aid,
scheduled for sometime in spring.

Biannual Diversity Event features Star Trek actor

he 2007 KSC Biannual most of his childhood at Camp of the Human Rights Campaign.
Diversity Event with guest Rohwer in the swamps of Arkansas Seating allocations for this
speaker George Takei will and at wind-swept Camp Tule presentation will be provided to
be held in the KSC Training Lake in northern California. His directorates and contractors. The
Auditorium at 11:30 a.m. April 9. family eventually returned to Los program will also air on NASA TV
Takei is best known for his Angeles, where Takei began his for those unable to attend. No
portrayal of Mr. Sulu in the acting career. flash photography or individual
acclaimed television and film A community activist, Takei videography will be allowed
series “Star Trek.” Takei is serves as chairman of the council during the presentation. For those
currently playing the father of time of governors of East West Players, present in the auditorium, there
traveler Hiro Nakamura on the the nation’s foremost Asian Pacific will be an opportunity for ques-
NBC TV series “Heroes.” American theatre. He is chairman tions following the formal presen- GEORGE TAKEI will appear at the
Takei was born in Los Angeles. emeritus of the board of trustees of tation. Training Auditorium on April 9.
During World War II, his family the Japanese American National
and 120,000 other Japanese- Museum and a past member of the
John F. Kennedy Space Center
Americans were placed within advisory committee of the Califor-
barbed-wire enclosures of U.S.
internment camps. Takei spent
nia Civil Liberties Public Educa-
tion Program. He is also a member Spaceport News
Spaceport employees receive 15-percent Spaceport News is an official publication of the Kennedy Space Center and
discount for Camp KSC spring session is published on alternate Fridays by External Relations in the interest of KSC

civil service and contractor employees.
amp Kennedy Space and contractors of Kennedy Space Contributions are welcome and should be submitted two weeks before
Center’s spring session Center, Cape Canaveral Air Force publication to the Media Services Branch, IDI-011. E-mail submissions can be
sent to
for children entering Station, Patrick Air Force Base
second though ninth grade is and retired KSC personnel. Spring Managing editor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . William Johnson
scheduled for March 26-30. camp hours are from 9 a.m. to Editor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Jeff Stuckey
Regular tuition is $295 per 4:30 p.m., with extended drop-off Copy editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Corey Schubert
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