Engineer Applies Knowledge to School Role

stover-profile3-croppedSafety engineer Billy Stover is part of the NASA team making the new generation of commercial spacecraft safe. He will use the same determination and open-minded approach as he supports the Brevard County School Board make the best capital improvements to the school system.

“It’s all about problem-solving – life is all about problem solving,” Stover said. “I’m going to bring my set of project management skills to a different environment, the schools. Each company, each organization has its own culture. To me it’s all about getting the task done as efficiently as possible with the people being as effective as they can be.”

Read the details here.

Construction Underway on Crew Access Tower

CCP-towercloseupBoeing, United Launch Alliance, NASA and other organizations were represented today for the ceremonial start of construction on the first new crew access tower at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station since the 1960s. The 200-foot-tall structure will be crucial to allowing astronauts to board Boeing’s CST-100 spacecraft as it sits atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. You can read our account of today’s groundbreaking ceremony for a new crew access tower at SLC-41 along with all the details about the structure and what it means to American spaceflight here. 

 

Scenes from Today’s Groundbreaking

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Bob Cabana, Kennedy Space Center director, in sunglasses, talks about the design of the Commercial Crew Access Tower at Space Launch Complex-41 with Jim Sponnick of United Launch Alliance. United Launch Alliance is building the new structure in partnership with Boeing, the operator of the CST-100 spacecraft. The tower will be built between launches of the Atlas V rocket on other missions. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett
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Howard Biegler, Launch Operations lead of Human Launch Services for United Launch Alliance, shows members of news media the area at Space Launch Complex 41 where the Commercial Crew Access Tower will be built. The 200-foot-tall structure is designed to provide safe access by flight and ground crews to the Boeing CST-100 spacecraft at the pad. The tower will be built between launches of the ULA Atlas V rocket on other missions.
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Officials take part in the formal groundbreaking at Space Launch Complex 41 where the Commercial Crew Access Tower will be built. The 200-foot-tall structure is designed to provide safe access for flight and ground crews to the Boeing CST-100 spacecraft at the pad. The tower will be built between launches of the ULA Atlas V rocket on other missions. The participants in the groundbreaking are, from left, John Mulholland, vice president of Boeing commercial programs, John Elbon, Boeing vice president and general manager of Space Exploration, Jim Sponnick, vice president of Atlas and Delta programs for ULA, Bob Cabana, director of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Kathy Lueders, manager of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, Col. Shawn Fairhurst, vice commander of the U.S. Air Force’s 45th Space Wing, Jim Kuzma, chief operating officer of Space Florida and Lynda Weatherman, president and chief executive officer of the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast.
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Participants in the groundbreaking ceremony at Space Launch Complex-41 gather at the launch pad where the Commercial Crew Access Tower is being built for future missions launching astronauts to the International Space Station. United Launch Alliance is building the new structure in partnership with Boeing, the operator of the CST-100 spacecraft. The tower will be built between launches of the Atlas V rocket on other missions. Pictured are, from left, Adam Morgan of Boeing, John Mulholland, vice president of Boeing commercial programs, John Elbon, Boeing vice president and general manager of Space Exploration, Lynda Weatherman, president and chief executive officer of the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast, Bob Cabana, director of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Kathy Lueders, manager of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, Jim Kuzma, chief operating officer of Space Florida, Col. Shawn Fairhurst, vice commander of the U.S. Air Force’s 45th Space Wing, Jim Sponnick, vice president of Atlas and Delta programs for ULA, and Lyn Chassagne of ULA. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

 

Spacewalks to Prep Station for Commercial Crew Spacecraft

A set of three spacewalks by astronauts on the International Space Station will focus on preparing the orbiting laboratory for the arrival in coming years of spacecraft under development by partners of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. Astronauts Barry Whitmore and Terry Virts will perform the extravehicular activities, or EVAs, on Saturday, Wednesday and Sunday, March 1. The spacewalkers will prepare two of the ports on the station to receive two docking adapters that are compatible with the hatches of Boeing’s CST-100 and the SpaceX Crew Dragon. Those two spacecraft are scheduled to be built and flight-tested then certified in 2017 leading up to operational missions to take astronauts to the station. Boeing built the adapters, and a cargo-only version of the SpaceX Dragon will be used to take them to the station later this year.

In addition to regaining America’s ability to launch astronauts to the station from U.S. soil, the new spacecraft will expand the crew of the station to seven people, which will double the amount of time astronauts can devote to research work on the station.

Spacewalks are complicated endeavors calling for detailed choreography and careful planning. You can learn more about the spacewalks and everything involved with achieving the objectives in this briefing from earlier this week.

Boeing Commercial Crew Access Tower Groundbreaking

CciCap Render 2Boeing and United Launch Alliance (ULA) will mark the start of construction of the Commercial Crew access tower at Space Launch Complex 41(SLC-41) on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida at 2:30 p.m. EST Friday, Feb. 20. Media are invited to tour operations and attend the formal groundbreaking event.

Groundbreaking participants include:

  • John Mulholland, vice president of Boeing commercial programs
  • Jim Sponnick, vice president of Atlas and Delta Programs at ULA
  • Kathy Lueders, manager of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program
  • Robert Cabana, director of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida
  • Shawn Fairhurst, vice commander of the U.S. Air Force’s 45th Space Wing
  • Jim Kuzma, chief operating officer for Space Florida
  • Lynda Weatherman, president and chief executive officer of the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast

The new crew access tower at SLC-41 will reach 200 feet in height and include an elevator, as well as means for quick evacuation from the structure in the event of an emergency. SLC-41 is one of the most active launch complexes on the Space Coast, so construction of this tower is scheduled to take place between launches, with segments of the structure being built off-site then assembled at the pad.

Under a Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) contract with NASA, Boeing’s Crew Space Transportation (CST)-100 spacecraft, currently in development, will be certified by NASA’s Commercial Crew Program to fly crews to and from the International Space Station. The spacecraft will launch on a ULA Atlas V rocket from SLC-41.

Read the details: http://go.nasa.gov/1zSvye1

State of NASA From Houston

Missioncontrol-stateofnasa15838763373_5be0a55576_oLast week, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden delivered his annual State of NASA address from Kennedy Space Center in Florida to audiences at centers across the agency. The speech was even broadcast to a control room at Mission Control at Johnson Space Center in Houston. Kennedy and Johnson will work closely in developing and flying the next generation of human spacecraft for the Commercial Crew Program.

New Details: Boeing’s Crew Transportation System

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  • The Atlas V that will launch the first CST-100 flight test – uncrewed – will be the 76th mission for the Altas V family. The first flight test with a test pilot and astronaut aboard will fly on the 80th Atlas V mission. Both missions have been placed on the United Launch Alliance manifest.
  • Boeing plans these two flight tests for its CST-100 vehicle in addition to extensive component and systems testing already completed in the development program.
  • Work to build the Crew Access Tower at Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida is already underway. The tower is needed to meet the requirements of a human-rated launch pad.
  • CciCap Render 2The CST-100 will conduct a pad abort test in early 2017 to show the effectiveness of the spacecraft’s launch abort system or LAS.
  • A flight test completing a full orbital mission profile will be flown in mid-2017, with the CST-100 flying on an Atlas V into space.
  • Mid 2017 is also the timeframe for the flight test that will include a Boeing test pilot and an astronaut. The spacecraft will visit the station in a demonstration of the complete crew transportation system.

Inside KSC Features Commercial Crew Event

Watch a short recap of this week’s Commercial Crew Program news in this week’s episode of Inside KSC! Kennedy is the home of the Commercial Crew Program and the launch site of the systems now in development by Boeing and SpaceX that will carry NASA astronauts to the International Space Station in 2017.