Government, Industry Leaders Share Ideas at Roundtable Discussion

The Center Planning and Development (CPD) Directorate at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida held a roundtable discussion with government and industry representatives, led by Scott Colloredo, CPD director, standing. The group toured facilities at the multi-user spaceport and then participated in a discussion about Kennedy’s partnership efforts and future plans. Photo credit: NASA/Bill White
The Center Planning and Development (CPD) Directorate at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida held a roundtable discussion with government and industry representatives, led by Scott Colloredo, CPD director, standing. The group toured facilities at the multi-user spaceport and then participated in a discussion about Kennedy’s partnership efforts and future plans. Photo credit: NASA/Bill White

The Center Planning and Development (CPD) Directorate hosted its fifth roundtable discussion Feb. 4 at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Government and industry representatives toured facilities, including the Vehicle Assembly Building, Launch Pad 39B, and other facilities that have been upgraded to make the center a multi-user spaceport.

Scott Colloredo, CPD director, presented an overview of the center’s core strategies and the partnerships forged with commercial aerospace and industry companies. He led a panel discussion to receive panelists’ feedback on continued development of the center, how to get the message out to potential partners, and thoughts on the future of the center.

Participants for this roundtable included, Keisha Rice, former director of the Florida Office of Trade, Tourism and Economic Development; Mike Powell, CEO of the Titusville-Cocoa Airport Authority; Bill McCollum, former congressman and state of Florida agriculture commissioner; Marshall Heard, retired Boeing senior executive; Lee Solid, retired Rockwell senior executive; Louie Laubscher, Enterprise Florida; Frank O’Dea, Florida Department of Transportation, District 5; and Jesse Panuccio, former director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

Processing Begins on Orion Crew Module at Kennedy Space Center for NASA’s Exploration Mission-1

The Orion crew module pressure vessel is secured on a birdcage test stand in the Operations and Checkout Building at Kennedy Space Center.
The Orion crew module pressure vessel is secured on a test stand called the birdcage inside the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Photo credit: NASA/Ben Smegelsky

The Orion crew module pressure vessel for NASA’s Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1) has been secured in an upgraded version of a test stand called the birdcage in the high bay inside the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout (O&C) Building at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The pressure vessel is the underlying structure of the Orion crew module. It arrived at Kennedy on Feb. 1 aboard NASA’s Super Guppy aircraft at the Shuttle Landing Facility operated by Space Florida at Kennedy. It was offloaded and transported to the O&C.

In the high bay, NASA and Orion manufacturer Lockheed Martin will prepare the vehicle for its mission. Over the next 18 months, more than 100,000 components will arrive at Kennedy and be integrated with the spacecraft by the team. It will be outfitted with its systems and subsystems necessary for flight, including its heat-shielding thermal protection system.

The Orion spacecraft will launch aboard NASA’s Space Launch System rocket on EM-1, a test flight that will take it thousands of miles beyond the moon over the course of about a three-week mission.

For more information on EM-1, visit: http://go.nasa.gov/1SD5oVk.

Orion Crew module for Exploration Mission-1 Arrives at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center

NASA's Super Guppy aircraft arrives at Kennedy Space Center.
NASA’s Super Guppy aircraft, carrying the Orion crew module pressure vessel for NASA’s Exploration Mission-1, arrived at the Shuttle Landing Facility operated by Space Florida at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Photo credit: NASA/Brittney Mostert

The Orion crew module pressure vessel for NASA’s Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1) arrived today at the Shuttle Landing Facility operated by Space Florida at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Arrival of the module marks an important milestone toward the agency’s journey to Mars.

The crew module arrived aboard the agency’s Super Guppy aircraft from NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. Welding work on the pressure vessel, which is the underlying structure of the crew module, was completed at Michoud.

The crew module was offloaded from the Super Guppy and readied for transport to the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building high bay for processing. In the high bay, NASA and Orion manufacturer Lockheed Martin will outfit the crew module with its systems and subsystems necessary for flight, including its heat-shielding thermal protection system.

NASA’s Space Launch System rocket will be the largest rocket ever built. It will carry the Orion spacecraft on EM-1, a test flight scheduled for 2018. During EM-1, Orion will travel thousands of miles beyond the moon over the course of a three-week mission.

Aft Skirt Moved to RPSF for Solid Rocket Booster Pathfinder Operations at Kennedy Space Center

An aft skirt is moved to the RPSF facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center.
An aft skirt is moved from the Booster Fabrication Facility to the Rotation, Processing and Surge Facility to be prepared for solid rocket booster pathfinder operations at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Photo credit: NASA/Charles Babir

An aft skirt similar to one that will be used on a solid rocket booster (SRB) that will help launch NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket into space was transported from the Booster Fabrication Facility to the Rotation, Processing and Surge Facility (RPSF) at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The aft skirt will remain in the RPSF and be readied for simulated stacking operations with a pathfinder, or test version, of a solid rocket booster. February 1 will mark the official start date for booster pathfinder operations after the aft skirt is inspected and undergoes limited processing.

Segments of the pathfinder SRB will arrive from Promontory, Utah, to Kennedy in mid-February and will be transported to the RPSF.

Engineers and technicians with NASA and industry partners will conduct a series of lifts, moves and stacking operations using the aft skirt and pathfinder SRB to simulate how SRB will be processed in the RPSF to prepare for an SLS/Orion mission.

The pathfinder operations will help to test recent upgrades to the RPSF facility as the center prepares for NASA’s Exploration Mission-1, deep-space missions, and the journey to Mars.

G-Level Work Platform Next to Arrive at Kennedy Space Center for NASA’s Journey to Mars

The first half of the G-level work platforms for the Vehicle Assembly Building arrives at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Photo credit: NASA/Mike Justice
The first half of the G-level work platforms for the Vehicle Assembly Building arrives at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Photo credit: NASA/Mike Justice

Continuing efforts to upgrade the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB), the first half of the G-level work platforms arrived today at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The G platforms are the fourth of 10 levels of platforms that will support processing of the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft for the journey to Mars.

Hensel Phelps moved Platform G on an over-sized load, heavy transport trailer from the Sauer Co. in Oak Hill, Florida. The platform was successfully delivered to the VAB west parking lot work area.

A total of 10 levels of new platforms, 20 platform halves altogether, will be used to access, test and process the SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft in High Bay 3. Twenty new elevator landings and access ways are being constructed for each platform level. The high bay also will accommodate the 355-foot-tall mobile launcher tower that will carry the rocket and spacecraft atop the crawler-transporter to Launch Pad 39B.

The platforms are being fabricated by Steel LLC of Scottdale, Georgia, and assembled by Sauer. A contract to modify High Bay 3 was awarded to Hensel Phelps Construction Co. of Orlando, Florida, in March 2014.

The Ground Systems Development and Operations Program at Kennedy is overseeing upgrades and modifications to the high bay to prepare for NASA’s exploration missions to deep-space destinations.

The first three sets of platforms, H, J and K, were delivered to Kennedy last year. The first half of the K-level platforms was installed in the VAB on Dec. 22. It was secured into position about 86 feet above the VAB floor, or nearly nine stories high, in High Bay 3.

First Work Platform for NASA’s Space Launch System Installed in Vehicle Assembly Building

A 325-ton crane has lowered the first half of the K-level work platforms into High Bay 3 of the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The platform will be secured into position on tower E, about 86 feet above the floor. The K work platforms will provide access to NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) core stage and solid rocket boosters during processing and stacking operations on the mobile launcher.  Photo credit: NASA/Ben Smegelsky
A 325-ton crane has lowered the first half of the K-level work platforms into High Bay 3 of the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The platform will be secured into position on tower E, about 86 feet above the floor. The K work platforms will provide access to NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) core stage and solid rocket boosters during processing and stacking operations on the mobile launcher. Photo credit: NASA/Ben Smegelsky

The first of ten new work platforms that will provide access to NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket has been installed in High Bay 3 inside the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

An overhead crane that can hold as much as 325 tons was used to lift the first half of the K-level work platforms up from High Bay 4, across the transfer aisle 19 floors up, and then lowered it into High Bay 3. The platform was secured into position, about 86 feet above the VAB floor, or nearly 9 stories high. The K-level work platform halves will provide access to the SLS core stage and solid rocket boosters during processing and stacking operations on the mobile launcher.

A total of 10 levels of new platforms — 20 platform halves altogether — will surround the SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft and provide access for testing and processing. The giant steel platforms, each measuring 38 feet long and 62 feet wide, will be attached to rail beams that will provide structural support and contains the drive mechanisms to move them in and out or up and down as needed.

The Ground Systems Development and Operations Program is overseeing upgrades and modifications to the VAB, including installation of the new work platforms, marking preparations for the agency’s journey to Mars.

NASA awarded a contract to modify High Bay 3 to the Hensel Phelps Construction Co. of Orlando, Florida, in March 2014. Steel LLC, of Scottdale, Georgia, is the subcontractor fabricating the huge steel platforms, and Sauer Co. in Oak Hill, Florida, is assembling the platforms.

Hensel Phelps, along with its subcontractors, and Kennedy’s Institutional Services Contract, Engineering Services Contract and safety personnel are supporting crane operations, installation and initial inspection of each of the platforms.

For more information about the new work platforms, visit https://www.nasa.gov/feature/first-work-platform-for-nasas-space-launch-system-arrives-at-kennedy-space-center.

Work Platform H Arrives at Kennedy Space Center to Support NASA’s Journey to Mars

The second half of the H level work platforms for the Vehicle Assembly Building arrives at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The second half of the H level work platforms for the Vehicle Assembly Building arrives at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Photo credit: NASA/Ben Smegelsky

The second half of the H level work platforms for the Vehicle Assembly Building arrived today at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The H platforms are the third of 10 levels of platforms that will support processing of the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft for the journey to Mars.

Hensel Phelps moved Platform H on an over-sized load, heavy transport trailer from the Sauer Company in Oak Hill, Florida, and was successfully delivered to the VAB west parking lot work area.

As the platform was being transported through Titusville, the edge of the platform contacted a light pole near US1 and DeLeon Street. There was no personal injury and the City of Titusville is working the repairs. There was very minor damage to the platform and no indication of structural damage.

A total of 10 levels of new platforms, 20 platform halves altogether, will be used to access, test and process the SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft in High Bay 3. Twenty new elevator landings and access ways are being constructed for each platform level. The high bay also will accommodate the 355-foot-tall mobile launcher tower that will carry the rocket and spacecraft atop the crawler-transporter to Launch Pad 39B.

The platforms are being fabricated by Steel LLC of Scottdale, Georgia, and assembled by Sauer. A contract to modify High Bay 3 was awarded to Hensel Phelps Construction Co. of Orlando, Florida, in March 2014.

The Ground Systems Development and Operations Program at Kennedy is overseeing upgrades and modifications to the high bay to prepare for NASA’s exploration missions to deep-space destinations.

The first two sets of platforms, J and K, were delivered to Kennedy earlier this year.

To read more about the new work platforms, visit http://go.nasa.gov/1ba5T6V.

Space-Grown Flowers Will be New Year Blooms on International Space Station

Veggie_Patch_finalFlowers could be blooming on the International Space Station after the New Year.

This morning, Nov. 16, NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren activated the Veggie plant growth system and its rooting “pillows” containing zinnia seeds on the space station.

It is the first time that a flowering crop experiment will be grown on the orbiting laboratory. Growing zinnias in orbit will help provide precursory information about other flowering plants that could be grown in space.

“Growing a flowering crop is more challenging than growing a vegetative crop such as lettuce,” said Gioia Massa, NASA Kennedy Space Center payload scientist for Veggie. “Lighting and other environmental parameters are more critical.”

Lindgren will turn on the red, blue and green LED lights, activate the water and nutrient system to Veggie, and monitor the plant growth. The zinnias will grow for 60 days, which is twice as long as the first and second crop of Outredgeous red romaine lettuce that grew on the space station.

During the growth cycle, the LED lights will be on for 10 hours and off for 14 hours in order to stimulate the plants to flower.

“Growing the zinnia plants will help advance our knowledge of how plants flower in the Veggie growth system, and will enable fruiting plants like tomatoes to be grown and eaten in space using Veggie as the in-orbit garden,” said Trent Smith, Veggie program manager at Kennedy.

Researchers also hope to gather good data regarding long-duration seed stow and germination, whether pollen could be an issue, and the impacts on crew morale. Growing tomato plants on the space station is planned for 2017.

The Veggie system was developed by Orbital Technologies Corp. (ORBITEC) in Madison, Wisconsin, and tested at Kennedy before flight. Veggie, along with two sets of pillows containing romaine seeds and one set of zinnias, was delivered to the station by SpaceX on the third cargo resupply mission in April 2014.

Safety Demonstration Focuses on Fire Protection Systems

 

NASA Kennedy Space Center employees observed a fire safety demonstration Oct. 8  presented by the Florida Fire Sprinkler Association during the National Fire Protection Association's Fire Prevention Week. Kennedy Space Center firefighters were on hand to extinguish the fire. Photo credit: NASA/Greg Harland
NASA Kennedy Space Center employees observed a fire safety demonstration Oct. 8 presented by the Florida Fire Sprinkler Association during the National Fire Protection Association’s Fire Prevention Week. Kennedy Space Center firefighters were on hand to extinguish the fire. Photo credit: NASA/Greg Harland

The National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) Fire Prevention Week is Oct. 4-10. NASA Kennedy Space Center takes the safety of each employee seriously.

Just how quickly can a fire spread? NASA and contractor employees saw firsthand as Kennedy Space Center Fire Safety personnel illustrated the importance of having fire protection systems in buildings and homes during a live demonstration conducted Oct. 8 in the Launch Complex 39 area.

Two small trailers containing typical home furnishings for one room were staged for viewing by Kennedy workers. One trailer was equipped with a smoke alarm and sprinkler system, while the other was not. Fires were set in each trailer to show the difference between having a sprinkler system and just how quickly an unchecked fire can spread in a structure that does not have fire sprinklers. The room without sprinklers was engulfed in flames and smoke in under three minutes, while the sprinkler system in the other room extinguished the fire in about one-and-a-half minutes.

Kennedy Firefighters used Fire Engine No. 2 to extinguish the fire in the trailer lacking a fire sprinkler system. The demonstration also showed how having working fire sprinklers in a building allows the needed time to escape a burning building alive.

According to Lorrell Bush, executive director for the Florida Fire Sprinkler Association, it can take anywhere from six to nine minutes for the Fire Department to arrive at your home, and that’s after the call for assistance has been received.

At home, nearly half of fire deaths result from fires reported between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., when most people are asleep. The key message of the NFPA 2015 Fire Prevention week is to “hear the beep where you sleep.”

“People need to make sure that they not only have smoke alarms, but that they are working,” said Jenni Ginsburg, a mechanical engineer in the Project Integration Office on the Institutional Services Contract at Kennedy. “We hope this live fire demonstration will help people realize just how important it is to have a working fire protection system in their homes and at the office.

Umbilical for Mobile Launcher Prepped for Testing

A heavy-lift crane is used to lift the Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage Umbilical (ICPSU)
A heavy-lift crane is used to lift the Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage Umbilical (ICPSU) on Sept. 28 at the Launch Equipment Test Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Preparations are underway to move the ICPSU for installation on the A Tower mobile launcher simulator for testing. Photo credit: NASA/Glen Benson

The Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage Umbilical (ICPSU) for NASA’s Space Launch System was lifted and attached to the A Tower mobile launcher simulator Sept. 28 at the Launch Equipment Test Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The ICPSU will provide super-cooled hydrogen and liquid oxygen to the rocket’s interim cryogenic propulsion stage, or upper stage, at T-0 for Exploration Mission-1.

Kennedy engineers and technicians from the center’s Engineering Directorate and Ground Systems Development and Operations Program prepared the large 70,000-pound steel structure to be lifted by crane for installation on the test tower. The umbilical will be prepared for load and functional tests.

During four months of testing, beginning in 2016, engineers will check the ICPSU’s swing arm function and its primary and secondary retraction systems to ensure they are working properly. Simulated fueling tests using liquid hydrogen and liquid nitrogen also will be performed.

The ICPSU is one of the umbilical arms that will be attached to the mobile launcher for EM-1. The umbilical will be located at the 240-foot level of the mobile launcher and will supply fuel, oxidizer, gaseous helium, hazardous gas leak detection, electrical commodities and environment control systems to the upper stage of the Space Launch System rocket during launch.