Space Station Processing Modified with Eye on Future Use

Operational upgrades are completed inside the SSPF, featuring Bob Cabana

The high bay designed to process, test and complete a multitude of modules for the International Space Station will be able to house a robust assortment of space-bound hardware after continued modifications to the Space Station Processing Facility free up zones tailored to a variety of needs by commercial space companies and other NASA programs.

For instance, even moving the operations desk about 40 feet so it doesn’t restrict a large doorway was a small amount of work that made the high bay more accessible from nearby laboratories, said Bill Dowdell, International Space Station technical director.

“I think it’s important for people to come in here and see that we are organizing and getting ready for that eventuality of commercial entities operating in this building along with NASA programs,” Dowdell said. “It’s in keeping with what we’ve done before with industrial operations zones. This enables us to give people a footprint of their own to work in.”

Although the space station has been complete for more than five years, the processing hall has been used to prep numerous other missions including Orbital ATK Cygnus spacecraft for two cargo resupply missions. Orbital ATK with help from Jacobs engineers and specialists under the Test and Operations Contract, or TOSC, will use the high bay again for a third Cygnus spacecraft that will fly a cargo mission to the space station.

The modifications to the Space Station Processing Facility are the latest in a continuing line of improvements across the Florida spaceport. Rather than shape its facilities for a single program and spacecraft, Kennedy is becoming home to multiple programs, spacecraft and rockets. For example, former space shuttle hangars are being used for a new generation of human-rated spacecraft, launch pads have been refit to support large new rockets and the Vehicle Assembly Building has been modernized. For more: Photo credit: NASA/Daniel Casper

Support Stoked Stroke Victim’s Rehabilitation

A woman who had to relearn everything about daily life following a nearly fatal stroke when she was 12 revealed to an audience at Kennedy some of the keys to her recovery and how she synthesized her own strengths with help from family and friends to graduate high school and then get into college.

As the keynote speaker for the event sponsored by Kennedy’s Disability Awareness and Action Working Group, or DAAWG, Alex and her mother, Juli Dixon, detailed Alex’s journey from age 4 – when she wanted to be a farmer so she could help animals – to pneumonia that struck her at age 10. The illness went away, but had set the stage for a stroke and coma that followed two years later. Since that occurrence, the pace of her learning slowed significantly and Alex had to re-learn everything from speech to how to work around paralysis in her right hand and other significant disabilities.

“I was determined that I would get better,” Alex Dixon said. “It’s slow, but you can do it. Failure isn’t just failure, there’s always something that improved. I just had to do it better next time.”

“We couldn’t give up,” Juli said of her family’s own determination to work with Alex. “We had to be satisfied with baby steps.”

After Alex Dixon graduated high school, her mother took to calling around to see what she could do to get Alex in to the University of Central Florida where Juli Dixon is a professor. “While I was busy calling around and finding out what I could do, Alex applied and got in completely on her own.”

Alex Dixon beamed at the memory and pointed to her college enrollment as the achievement she is most proud of. It’s also the environment that gave her considerable insight into the way people cope with disabilities, and what others do around them that helps them.

“In class, I was Alex with a disability, but in groups outside of class I was just Alex and I had special abilities,” she said. “I was like everybody else and I felt like I was like everybody else.”

She offered a bit of advice for the Kennedy community, including offering even small opportunities to those who are disabled. “Small opportunities combine into big opportunities,” she said. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

Energy Awareness Day Reveals Kennedy Doing Its Part


2016 Energy Awareness Day event occuring at the MFF at Kennedy Space Center.

Energy-ChartOn Oct. 20, Kennedy Space Center promoted the center-wide effort to underscore how central energy is to our center’s mission, security, and environmental well-being. Employees, vendors, and representatives of local energy utility companies were on hand at Kennedy’s Multi-Function Facility to share energy consumption data, energy conservation tips, and ideas.

“There are things we can do at home and the office to meet our president’s goals, be environmentally friendly and meet the sustainability goals outlined in the KSC Sustainability Plan.” said Cory Taylor, an energy and water conservation specialist at Kennedy.

In keeping with the Executive Order goals set by President Obama, Kennedy continues to reduce energy consumption while increasing production from renewable sources.

For example, one of the goals is to reduce the amount of energy used per square foot in facilities on center by at least 25 percent in comparison to what was used in 2015 by 2025.

According to Nick Murdock, an energy and water program manager at Kennedy, every little bit adds up toward reaching our sustainability goals.

“Our goal is to be 30 percent dependent on renewable energy and we would like to meet and exceed this goal,” Murdock said. “It’s a lofty goal that we need to work toward.”

Among those in attendance were Florida City Gas; Lutron Electronics Co., a lighting control company; and ISC Energy and Water, Kennedy’s energy and water conservation program. Photo credit: NASA/Cory Huston

Engineers Prep to Encapsulate GOES-R For Launch

Both halves of the fairing for the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES-R) are being inspected and cleaned by United Launch Alliance (ULA) team members inside the Astrotech payload processing facility in Titusville, Florida near NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. GOES-R will be the first satellite in a series of next-generation NOAA GOES Satellites. The spacecraft is to launch aboard a ULA Atlas V rocket in November.The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES-R) is undergoing final launch preparations prior to fueling inside the Astrotech payload processing facility in Titusville, Florida near NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. GOES-R will be the first satellite in a series of next-generation NOAA GOES Satellites. The spacecraft is to launch aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket in November.Processing engineers are set to encapsulate the GOES-R weather satellite into its payload fairing at the Astrotech payload processing facility near NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The work is being performed as teams from NASA, United Launch Alliance and NOAA progress toward a liftoff on Nov. 16 from Space Launch Complex 41 aboard an Atlas V rocket. Launch time is 4:42 p.m. EDT.

The spacecraft, folded into launch position, will be enclosed inside the two halves of the fairing before being taken to the launch pad and positioned atop the Atlas V. The fairing will protect the spacecraft during the climb through the lower atmosphere, then the two pieces will be jettisoned as the rocket pushes GOES-R toward its final orbit more than 22,000 miles above Earth. Once in orbit and operational, GOES-R will use its advanced instruments to help weather forecasters on Earth predict storms and atmospheric conditions and to track environmental changes. Photos credit: NASA/Dimitri Gerondidakis

Kennedy to Open Tuesday at 6 A.M.

An ALL CLEAR has been declared for Kennedy Space Center, this message is applicable for KSC only.

KSC will be open for work Tuesday, October 11, 2016 at 6:00 a.m. and all KSC access gates will be open at that time.

All Center facilities have been inspected and are safe for personnel to return to work.  Systems including communications, power, and air conditioning are functional; however, some facility systems remain in the recovery phase.

Since recovery operations are ongoing, personnel should use caution when returning to work.

There are no reported road closures; however, personnel are reminded to use caution nearing intersections with inoperative lights.

Mr. Bob Cabana will conduct a media engagement at the KSC Press Site Tuesday, October 11, 2016 at 12:30 p.m.  A media advisory will be sent out Tuesday morning. A list of damaged buildings and equipment will available at this briefing.

Kennedy to Remain Closed on Monday

KSC damage assessment and recovery team surveys the damage at the Kennedy Space Center on October 8, following Hurricane Matthew.

The Kennedy Space Center remains closed Monday October 10, 2016 with the exception of essential personnel only. The Center’s workforce is encouraged to contact your supervisor for questions regarding your status. KSC gates 3 and 4 remain open for essential activities.

The Disaster Assessment Recovery Team (DART) continues to make progress in assessing hurricane damage across the Center. Again, a list of damaged buildings and equipment will available after the DART assessment is complete. The next update will be available no earlier than Monday evening. Photo credit: NASA/Cory Huston

Aerial Survey of Kennedy

Hurricane Matthew Damage SurveyAfter the initial inspection flight Saturday morning, it was determined that the center received some isolated roof damage, damaged support buildings, a few downed power lines, and limited water intrusion.

Since safety is our utmost concern, teams of inspectors are going from building-to-building assessing damage.

Due to the complexity of this effort, teams need time to thoroughly inspect all buildings and roads prior to opening the Kennedy Space Center for regular business operations.

Not until after a full inspection of the center will a list of damaged buildings and equipment be available.  The next update will be available no earlier than Sunday afternoon.

For photos from today’s aerial survey, go to Kennedy’s Flickr page at
hotos credit: NASA/Cory Huston

Launch Day at Kennedy for OSIRIS-REx

OSIRIS-REx rollout to the Pad 41 for the upcoming launch.

Everything remains on track today for the launch of NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission at 7:05 p.m. EDT, the opening of a 2-hour window. The weather forecast continues to call for an 80 percent chance of acceptable conditions.

Bolted to the top of a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket at Space Launch Complex 41, the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will be sent on a course to rendezvous with an asteroid called Bennu. Once there in August 2018, the spacecraft will take unprecedented surveys of the asteroid and then reach out a mechanical arm to grab a pristine sample of it. Then the spacecraft will head back to Earth, releasing the sample inside a specialized, heat shield-equipped capsule that will parachute the sample safely to Earth where researchers will collect it for study. The mission will take seven years to complete. Our webcast on the launch and mission is below.

Analysis of the sample will reveal the earliest stages of the solar system’s evolution and the history of Bennu over the past 4.5 billion years.  Scientists expect Bennu may hold clues to the origin of the solar system and the source of the water and organic molecules that may have made their way to Earth.

For tonight though, all eyes are on the launch. Our continuous countdown coverage will begin at 5:30 p.m. EDT on the OSIRIS-REx blog. NASA TV’s coverage begins at 3:30 p.m. with an episode of NASA Edge, then will shift at 4:30 p.m. to live views of the Atlas V rocket and OSIRIS-REx spacecraft accompanied by countdown net audio. The launch broadcast will begin at 5:30 p.m. and continue through spacecraft separation, solar array deployment and positive communication with the spacecraft by NASA’s Deep Space Network. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

Asteroid Sampler Placed Atop Atlas V for Launch

OSIRIS-REx Transport from PHSF to VIF, Lift & Mate

The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft was lifted into the Vertical Integration Facility at Space Launch Complex 41 and bolted into place on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V on Monday. The spacecraft, enclosed in a protective fairing, is to liftoff aboard the rocket on Sept. 8 to begin its mission to survey an asteroid called Bennu and then take a small sample from its surface and send that sample to Earth for analysis. Photo credits: NASA/Dimitri GerondidakisOSIRIS-REx Transport from PHSF to VIF, Lift & Mate

OSIRIS-REx being transported from the PHSF to the VIF at Pad 41, then lifted to the Atlas V vehicle in preparation for launch.
OSIRIS-REx being transported from the PHSF to the VIF at Pad 41, then lifted to the Atlas V vehicle in preparation for launch.
OSIRIS-REx being transported from the PHSF to the VIF at Pad 41, then lifted to the Atlas V vehicle in preparation for launch.
OSIRIS-REx being transported from the PHSF to the VIF at Pad 41, then lifted to the Atlas V vehicle in preparation for launch.