Kennedy News

Bruce Buckingham
Kennedy Space Center
321/867-2468

Jan. 4, 2002
 
RELEASE : 01-02
 
 
A Successful 2001 Lifts Kennedy Space Center Into A New Year
 
 
During the past year, Kennedy Space Center (KSC) achieved many milestones. KSC celebrates these 2001 accomplishments and will use the momentum to accomplish the ambitious goals set for 2002.

The International Space Station completed its first phase and saw the first Utilization Flight. Six Shuttle missions were launched in 2001 and six more are planned for 2002. In 2001, four of NASA's seven Expendable Launch Vehicle (ELV) Program missions were launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS). The others were launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., and the Kodiak Launch Complex, Alaska. Thirteen NASA ELV missions are currently scheduled for 2002.

In addition to providing those safe, successful launches, the Center moved forward in its quest to enhance its mission as a Spaceport Technology Center. Several partnerships with other government agencies, commercial enterprises and academia were strengthened or formed.

The International Space Research Park (ISRP) is a new partnership between NASA and the state of Florida. The goal of the ISRP venture is to build an environment for world-class research and technology development performed through the collaborative efforts of industry, academia, and government.

The NASA-led Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) project will allow for full-scale demonstration, testing and qualification of Spaceport Technology projects within an infrastructure resembling a launch environment. Spaceport Technology projects showing promise in a laboratory environment can be deployed and qualified at the ATDC under "real world" conditions.

NASA's Education Programs and University Research Division, United Space Alliance and The Boeing Co. established a partnership with Florida Space Research Institute (FSRI) to work with KSC experts to develop an Advance Learning Environment. The objective is to develop a prototype cryogenics module and additional partnerships with national and international universities and aerospace industry representatives to take the learning environment into the academic community, as well as utilize it in other industries.

Space Shuttle


All six Shuttle missions in 2001 focused on the International Space Station, each marking a new milestone in Station assembly. Working with Expedition crews, transporting supplies and performing Station maintenance were all tasks associated with the 2001 Shuttle missions.

The first Shuttle mission of the year, STS-98, installed the U.S. Destiny Laboratory Module onto the Station, relocated a docking port, delivered supplies and equipment to the Expedition One crew, and conducted three successful spacewalks.

STS-102 marked the return of the Space Station's first resident crew-Expedition One. Space Shuttle Discovery also delivered the Expedition Two crew and the contents of the Leonardo Multi-Purpose Logistics Module, and completed two spacewalks. While at the Station, the STS-100 crew delivered and installed Canadarm2, a new-generation robotic arm supplied by the Canadian Space Agency to perform assembly operations. They also helped to transfer supplies and equipment from the Raffaello Multi-Purpose Logistics Module and conducted two spacewalks.

The STS-104 crew teamed with the Expedition Two crew and performed three spacewalks to install the Joint Airlock Module. The module enables astronauts to exit the Station and conduct spacewalks without the presence of the Shuttle as well as house gear and provide a location for astronauts to sleep the night before a planned spacewalk.

The STS-105 crew delivered the Expedition Three crew, attached the Leonardo Multi-Purpose Logistics Module, transferred supplies and equipment to the Station, and completed two spacewalks.

Not only did the STS-108 crew deliver the Expedition Four crew to the Station, conduct a spacewalk and attach the Raffaello Multi-Purpose Logistics Module to the Station, but the mission also celebrated many historical moments. STS-108 was the first Utilization Flight of the Station program. The returning ISS crew's stay marked one year of continuous human presence in orbit. NASA also honored victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks by sending nearly 6,000 small U.S. flags into orbit as part of the "Flags for Heroes and Families" campaign. Families of victims and survivors will receive these flags along with a memorial certificate.

Orbiters launched by the KSC team during 2001 carried 38 crew members into space and carried many major payloads into orbit. Four of the six missions landed at KSC. Missions STS-98 and STS-100 landed at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.

Six shuttle missions are currently planned for 2002. These diverse flights will include Expedition crew rotations, a Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission (STS-109), and a research mission (STS-107).

Expendable Launch Vehicles


KSC enjoyed a successful 2001 as the lead center for NASA's acquisition and management of expendable vehicle launch services. Seven ELV launches occurred during 2001. Four were launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. One was launched from Kodiak, Alaska, and two from Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB), Calif.

The 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft began its journey aboard a Delta launch vehicle from CCAFS. It will begin to map the Martian surface in April 2002 where it will search for geological features that could indicate the presence of water and may contribute significantly toward understanding the requirements for a more sophisticated exploration of Mars.

The Microwave Anisotropy Probe (MAP), a NASA Explorer mission, was launched in June aboard a Delta II rocket. It will measure the temperature of the cosmic background radiation over the full sky with unprecedented accuracy to provide answers to fundamental questions about the origin and fate of our universe.

The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-M (GOES-M) launched in July aboard an Atlas II rocket with a new instrument, a Solar X-ray Imager, aboard to forecast space weather and the effects of solar storms.

The Genesis mission, designed to collect and return to Earth 10 to 20 micrograms of solar wind, lifted off in August from CCAFS aboard a Delta II.

Two ELV launches took place in September. The Quick Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (QuikTOMS), launched from VAFB, was placed in an improper orbit after a problem with staging caused the Taurus rocket to lose velocity. An Athena I launch vehicle carried the Kodiak Star mission into orbit from the new Kodiak Launch Complex in Kodiak, Alaska. NASA's Starshine 3 and three Department of Defense satellites were delivered into different orbits.

The Jason-1/TIMED launch from VAFB closed out the year. Jason-1 will monitor global ocean circulation, study the link between the oceans and atmosphere, improve global climate predictions, and monitor weather conditions such as El Nino. TIMED will explore the Earth's atmosphere, the Mesosphere, and the Lower Thermosphere/Ionosphere.

Eight ELV missions are currently scheduled to launch from CCAFS during 2002. The first launch, a High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager (HESSI) mission, is planned for late January. Five launches are scheduled from VAFB.

International Space Station


The Station is the largest, most sophisticated and most powerful spacecraft ever built and additions during 2001 contributed to its dominance. Enhancements included the Destiny Lab, Canadarm2, and the Quest Joint Airlock.

Payload processing at KSC hit a record high in fiscal year 2001, with eight Space Station components prepared for first flight. The components -- the Z1 truss, the P6 truss, the U.S. Lab Destiny, the Canadian robotic arm, three Multi-Purpose Logistics Modules, and the Joint Airlock Module -- underwent final assembly, system level qualification testing, acceptance testing and preflight preparations.

The delivery and installation of Quest during Shuttle mission STS-104 in July completed Phase II of Station assembly. December's STS-108 Shuttle mission was the first Utilization Flight of the Station program.

On Nov. 2, 2001, the International Space Station celebrated one full year of continuous international human presence in orbit.

Four of the six Shuttle missions planned for 2002 will perform Station work. Six additional elements, including three trusses and the Mobile Base System that joins the Canadarm2 as part of the Mobile Servicing System, will be delivered. STS-110, the first of these Shuttle missions, is slated to launch in April.

Spaceport Technology


In 2001, KSC proved it was on the right path for developing the center as a Spaceport Technology Center.

KSC aligned Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR), Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR), Center Director's Discretionary Fund (CDDF) and university research and funding with Spaceport Technology thrust areas. KSC also developed a prototype of a range process simulation model and a technology portfolio analysis tool with the SBIR contractor.

For the second consecutive year, KSC came in first out of all the NASA Centers for Space Act Awards for fiscal year 2001. The Center's efforts won $175,000 for KSC, NASA and contractor innovators.

KSC and contractor employees submitted 123 new invention disclosures. This represented 10 percent of all the invention disclosures submitted by the eleven NASA centers, including Headquarters. KSC also initiated five new license agreements and two have been finalized representing 7 percent of all new NASA licenses. KSC received $56,000 for the fiscal year, representing 6 percent of all NASA royalties for the period.

2001 Technology Spinoffs


The Thermal Insulation System and Method were designed by the Cryogenics Test Laboratory as a cryogenic insulation system and a method for manufacturing and packaging the insulation. The spacing between the insulation layers allows it to provide higher insulation properties at soft vacuum conditions than current cryogenic insulation. The new insulation can be manufactured in blanket, sheet, or sleeve form, depending on the application.

The Active Particle Fallout Monitor measures the size and number of particles as small as 5 micrometers in diameter that are collected on a witness surface and provides multiple cleanliness measurements that conform to Military Standards. This technology has been patented, licensed and commercialized. Targeted markets include aerospace, semiconductors, medicine and electronics fabrication.

The Improved Single-Station Accurate Location of Lightning Strikes technology was developed at KSC. It determines the ground strike point of lightning in the immediate vicinity of the Space Shuttle launch pads. The technology provides the location (within a meter) of a strike within the perimeter of the observation area.

The Photographic Images Scaling Device can be attached to a charge-coupled device (CCD) or film cameras and through use of laser beams, projects a known pattern into the field of view. When a photograph is taken, the image of the pattern appears, along with the image of the object under investigation, allowing the viewer quantifiable information as to the size of the object.

The Signaling Enhancing Wireless Communications Headset Subsystem technology provides NASA with wireless push-to-talk signaling in its launch operations. The technology permits multiple wireless users to operate independently in the same environment without interference.

Community Outreach and Education


In 2001, KSC exceeded the $220,000 goal by raising over $260,000 during the Combined Federal Campaign. This was the first time KSC raised over a quarter of a million dollars. Forty percent of the funds went directly to the local community. The remainder of the funds was distributed to national and international organizations.

In October, over 250 KSC employees partnered with local volunteers for Days of Caring. Volunteers participated in a variety of community service projects around Brevard County, benefiting health and human service agencies funded by the United Way of Brevard.

In April, KSC participated in Space Day in Tallahassee. Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Lt. Gov. Frank Brogan, and Speaker of the House Tom Feeney spoke from the floor of the House Chamber to the Expedition Two crew aboard the International Space Station. Florida Commissioner of Education Charlie Crist honored the winner of a statewide art contest sponsored by KSC and several contractors.

KSC's Education Programs and University Research Division had one of its busiest and most successful years in 2001. Throughout the fiscal year, over 120,000 teachers, students, and citizens participated in KSC education programs. Over 1,000 K-12 teachers worldwide participated in KSC's summer educator workshops, which are modeled after the national standards in math, science and technology.

KSC transitioned the Fundamental Biology Outreach Program (FBOP), formerly Space Life Sciences Outreach, from Ames Research Center (ARC). FBOP provides quality opportunities for customers to gain understanding of, or to participate in, research objectives and benefits of NASA's fundamental biology research.

KSC's 2001 Undergraduate Student Research Program (USRP) summer program, a pilot program sponsored by NASA Headquarters Education Division, had more than 500 undergraduate student applicants, representing more than 300 colleges and universities from all 50 states and Puerto Rico. Twelve interns were selected, and these students worked with technical mentors in their chosen disciplines during the summer.

The International Space Station webcast series gave students and educators a behind-the-scenes look at KSC's role in Space Station processing. Participants observed the 100th Shuttle launch and an overview of the Station featuring the Destiny module, and learned about the function of international partners, life in space and KSC's role in meeting astronaut medical requirements. Over 20,000 participating viewers worldwide "toured" KSC facilities and had their questions answered live by NASA experts.

KSC Director Roy Bridges summed up the year. "Clearly we had a great run," he said. "That things went so well is a real credit to the professional team at KSC…..You can count on the KSC team to do it right."

 

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