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Marshall Space Flight Center, AL 35812

Phone: 256-544-0030
Marshall website

The Marshall Star is published online every Wednesday by the Public and Employee Communications Office at the George C. Marshall Space Flight Center, National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Submissions should be written legibly and include the originator's name.

Send email submissions to: Marshall.Star@msfc.nasa.gov.

Manager of Public and Employee
Communications:
Dom Amatore

Editor: Jessica Wallace Eagan

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Marshall Star, April 25, 2012 Edition
 
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In This Week's Star (Click to Expand)


A Year Since the Tornadoes: How Marshall Is Prepared If They Hit Again
By Jessica Eagan

Robby Newton, a chemist in the Environmental Control and Life Support System Development Branch in the Engineering Directorate, was one of the Marshall employees whose home -- which is located in Harvest -- was destroyed during the April 27, 2011, tornadoes. Weather alerts started going out early the day of April 27, 2011. Weather Service meteorologists warned Alabama to brace for what could possibly be life-threatening twisters. We've all heard the warnings before, but this time it was different and the results deadly: Over a hundred tornadoes made their paths across the state. It was a tremendous outbreak that made history.

Image right: Robby Newton, a chemist in the Environmental Control and Life Support System Development Branch in the Engineering Directorate, was one of the Marshall employees whose home -- which is located in Harvest, adjacent to the Anderson Hills subdivision -- was destroyed during the April 27, 2011, tornadoes. "I know that we are all about 'outer space' here at NASA," said Newton, “but the compassion that flowed from the hearts -- 'inner space' -- of the Marshall team toward the communities impacted by last April's storms will never be forgotten by those of us on the receiving end." He and his family rebuilt their home and reoccupied it just a few weeks ago. (MSFC/Robby Newton)


When the community woke up to sunny, clear skies April 28, the devastation hit home -- literally. While some people salvaged around for batteries for their radios because power lines took a direct hit, others lost the roofs over their heads. And some would never see daylight again.

It's been a year and it's still fresh in most everyone's minds.

While mission-essential facilities kept operating, it took 11 days to bring the rest of the Marshall Space Flight Center back to work. Though the center was fortunate to not sustain any physical damage, Marshall teams worked around the clock to bring everything back to normal. Each day that recovery effort was centered at Marshall's Emergency Operations Center, known as the EOC, managed by the Office of Center Operations.

The EOC -- located in Building 4629 and overseen by Carole Valenti, Marshall's emergency management director -- is the command hub for the center's emergency preparedness and management functions. It addresses issues that could interfere with or disrupt center operations, from pollution to fires to explosions, personnel injuries or accidents, workplace violence, bomb threats or suspicious packages, emergency evacuation scenarios, and, of course, severe weather.

Building 4629 also houses the NASA Information Support Center. It provides 24-hour, 7-day-a-week support to the EOC, and monitors and disseminates inclement weather information during non-duty hours at Marshall.

After the tornado outbreak, teams of 75 to 100 Marshall leaders and employee volunteers gathered daily at the Emergency Operations Center to determine what needed to be done that day. To read more about how the center leadership and employees worked diligently to reopen Marshall, visit the May 12, 2011, Star here and the May 19 Star here.

Changes since the April 27 tornadoes
"Since April 27, we have made some changes so we're better prepared in case something this powerful happens again," said Valenti. "We've recently moved the EOC from the Building 4202 basement to Building 4629. It was a good move because the new location is a limited-access, 24/7 facility with several backup generators. It's built to take the storm."

Valenti also has hired two emergency management specialists who work a 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. shift Monday through Friday. "Should inclement weather come our way, we have the ability to bring more trained people to back up the management specialists so someone will always be here to monitor the conditions," she said. "If it's determined that bad weather is coming overnight, I will then make a 3 a.m. call to whomever is working to get updates. If necessary, I will have a 4 a.m. meeting with the center operations director and deputy director, the Protective Services Office, the Facilities Management Office and the Office of Human Capital to see what we need to do and whom we need to contact. We would also work with the Army side to make sure we're in sync.

"Sometimes, the Army's weather sirens go off and Marshall's don't, and everybody wonders why," added Valenti. "When the outdoor siren in downtown Huntsville goes off, so does the Army's and their employees are told to take shelter. At Marshall, we don't want to make everyone evacuate to a protective area if a tornado is hitting on a side of the county that doesn't affect us, so we won't always follow what the Army does. We have storm spotters, and we send observers up in designated buildings who are trained to tell us what they see coming. We then let the Marshall Center and Redstone Arsenal know if we spot bad weather rolling in. We also utilize a chat function to work closely with the National Weather Service in Huntsville before we make any announcements to the center."

If severe weather is predicted to occur, selected managers from several Marshall organizations -- such as the Office of Center Operations, the Office of Human Capital, Safety & Mission Assurance Directorate and the Office of Strategic Analysis & Communications -- will meet the day before the weather incident is predicted to discuss what actions are necessary and what messages need to be sent to employees.

If a catastrophe occurs, procedures call for those managers to meet at the EOC or call in whenever the next 9 o'clock comes, whether day or night. For example, if an event happens at 7 p.m., then the next meeting will be at 9 p.m. This 12-hour schedule improves communication so there's never a question about when leadership will meet to discuss necessary actions and communications to employees.

Valenti said the Office of Center Operations has reassessed all buildings at Marshall to determine which buildings, because of their functions or contents, cannot be subjected to days without electricity.

"We have a lot of chemicals, as well as hardware such as large servers and computers that need to be in an environmentally controlled area or they will be damaged," she said. "Not having power for four days is one thing, but 11 days is entirely different."

After the storms last year, the Office of Human Capital's Personnel Accountability Team -- responsible for ensuring that all Marshall personnel are accounted for and their status is known -- worked at Building 4202, albeit with limited resources. A re-evaluation of procedures since last April resulted in a procedure that calls for the team to initially meet at the EOC after a weather or other emergency, and then relocate to Building 4627, where phone lines, an operational kitchen, cot space and showers will be available for those working the emergency.

Also, if Marshall management requires an alternate work site on center, they will be located at the Protective Services Building in 4494 with phone and online availability.

"Last year's tornadoes taught us a lot," said Valenti. "We're working a lot better as a community. People say this kind of outbreak only happens once every 20 years. Maybe, maybe not. But whatever the circumstance, we want to be prepared as much as we possibly can to deal with it and understand what we need to do."

Lessons learned
"Our response to last year's storms was pretty good, but we always learn from our experience," said Steve Doering, director of Marshall's Office of Center Operations. "As a result of our lessons learned, we have made a number of changes in how we prepare for disasters -- including changing our processes to make them more independent of communication equipment failures, ensuring we have dedicated backup power to our fuel station and encouraging everyone to keep their emergency contact information updated in the Emergency Notification System."

In the event of an emergency or emerging situation at a NASA facility, this system provides NASA the ability to send both agency- and center-related messages to employees by multiple communication devices such as email, text, cellular and home/office numbers. The system gives everyone the ability to respond to notifications and provide safety statuses.

It is extremely important, Valenti noted, that all Marshall Center team members provide the necessary contact information to ensure everyone can be accounted for. "Some people said they did not receive text messages or calls" during last year's tornado event. "Civil service employees should update your information in Employee Express, and contractors should update in IdMAX."

She also suggested that employees keep their electronic devices charged and fuel in their vehicles. "I think for everyone, last year's tornado outbreak was a wake-up call," she said. "I don't think anyone realized how big it was going to be or how long the recovery would last."

She reminded employees that Marshall is serious about safety first. "When the center is closed, please don't try to come here," she said. "People left in a hurry that day last April. They left personal items such as medicine. Take them with you when you go because if the center is closed, we are not going to open it for you to get your things."

A community that came together
The April 27 tornadoes destroyed the homes of 45 Marshall team members and damaged 48 others. There were no employee fatalities -- but some employees lost family members and friends.

In the immediate aftermath of the tragedy, the Marshall community came together and created a volunteer team. "We worked with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to clean up the tremendous amounts of debris," said Valenti. "We found housing for people who needed a place to sleep. We gave clothing and food to those who lost everything. We took care of every person who told us they needed help. Nobody was turned away."

"The center is proud of how the Marshall community came together to keep the mission going and support our community," said Marshall Center Acting Director Gene Goldman, reflecting on events of a year ago. "We kept each of our key missions going, including space shuttle launch preparations, and our response reached as far as helping FEMA respond throughout the impacted areas by providing satellite imagery from the Short-term Prediction Research and Transition Center."

To read more about how the Short-term Prediction Research and Transition Center helped identify tornado damage, visit here on page 1.

"We can't always control whether tragedy is going to strike," said Bob Devlin, deputy director of the Office of Center Operations. "But we can strive to be ready to respond to it in the best way possible. The tornados caused a level of damage and suffering far beyond anything that we have experienced before. Even a year later, the impact on our families and friends is still fresh in our minds and, as a community, our prayers go out to those who are still suffering the effects of the tragedy."

Eagan, an AI Signal Research Inc. employee and the Marshall Star editor, supports the Office of Strategic Analysis & Communications.

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Rockets Away! More than 500 Students Participate in NASA Student Launch Projects Challenge
By Rick Smith and Megan Davidson

Tim Flores, deputy manager of the Space Launch System Advanced Development Office at the Marshall Center, discusses the new rocket's capabilities during a speech in Morris Auditorium on April 19 to students participating in this year's NASA Student Launch Projects. Specially crafted rockets soared high into the skies April 22 at the 2011-12 NASA Student Launch Projects challenge.

Image left: Tim Flores, deputy manager of the Space Launch System Advanced Development Office at the Marshall Center, discusses the new rocket's capabilities during a speech in Morris Auditorium on April 19 to students participating in this year's NASA Student Launch Projects. More than 500 middle school, high school and college students from across the United States participated in Student Launch activities April 19-22. The program challenges students in designing, building and launching a reusable rocket to 1 mile above ground level with a scientific or engineering payload. Prior to launch day at Bragg Farms April 22, students participated in opening day activities, toured Marshall facilities and listened to SLS presentations from Flores, Liquid Engines Office Deputy Manager Sheri Kittredge, and systems engineer Mike Rabban. (NASA/MSFC/Emmett Given)


More than 500 students, representing 53 middle schools, high schools, colleges and universities in 28 states, launched rockets of their own design -- complete with working science payloads or engineering payloads -- at Bragg Farms in Toney, Ala.

James Kelly, right, a member of the Mississippi State University The students vied to see whose rocket could come closest to the 1-mile altitude goal and safely return its onboard science payload to Earth. Fifty-one teams took part, though two faced mechanical or technical issues and did not launch. Ten preliminary awards were presented, and the grand prize -- $5,000 from ATK Aerospace Group in Salt Lake City, Utah -- will be awarded May 18 after final post-flight analysis and review are complete. This is the fifth year ATK has sponsored Student Launch Projects.

Image right: James Kelly, right, a member of the Mississippi State University "Space Cowboys," shows off the team's rocket April 20 at the Student Launch Projects rocket fair in Activities Building 4316. At the event, students had the opportunity to talk with Marshall Center employees about the handcrafted rockets they designed, complete with working science or engineering payloads. (NASA/MSFC/Emmett Given)


This year's preliminary awards, sponsored by ATK, included:

  • Best Vehicle Design: Utah State University of Logan received the award for the most creative, innovative, safety-conscious rocket design.
  • Best Payload Design: Vanderbilt University of Nashville, Tenn., won the award for the most creative and innovative payload experiment, emphasizing safety and scientific value.
  • Best Web Design: The University of Louisville in Kentucky won the award for the best rocketry website: http://uoflusli.com/engagement.php.
  • Science Mission Directorate Payload Award: Mississippi State University in Starkville was honored for having the most creative and innovative payload design, while maximizing safety and science value.
  • Project Review Award: The University of Florida in Gainesville was honored for delivering the best combination of written preliminary design, critical design and flight readiness reviews and formal presentations.
  • Education Engagement Award: Vanderbilt University won for best inspiring the study of rocketry and other space-related topics. Mississippi State University in Starkville and the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa received honorable mention.
  • Closest to Altitude Award: The team from Florida A&M University in Tallahassee received the university-level award for coming closest to the specified 1-mile altitude goal. The rocket reached an altitude of 5,270 feet -- just 10 feet off the mark.
  • Peer Awards: All rocket teams submitted votes for peer awards in each division. The "Best-Looking Rocket" awards went to Plantation High School Team 2 of Florida, and to Alabama A&M University of Huntsville. The "Best Team Spirit" prizes were awarded to Lake Zurich High School of Lake Zurich, Ill., and the University of Hawaii - Windward Community College of Kaneohe.

Teams and guests gathered April 21 under the Saturn V rocket at the Davidson Center for Space Exploration for the Student Launch Projects awards banquet. All prize-winning teams received plaques and participation trophies from ATK and the Marshall Space Flight Center, which organizes the yearly challenge.

Image left: Teams and guests gathered April 21 under the Saturn V rocket at the Davidson Center for Space Exploration for the Student Launch Projects awards banquet. Speakers included Marshall Center Acting Director Gene Goldman, Marshall Office of Human Capital Director Tereasa Washington and former astronaut Brian Duffy, currently vice president and Johnson Space Center program manager for exploration systems at ATK. (NASA/MSFC/Fred Deaton)


The final two university division awards -- "Rookie Team of the Year" and "Best Overall Team of the Year" -- will be presented after teams have submitted their post-launch review documentation and science or engineering payload reports, due May 7. NASA and ATK will pick the 2011-12 winner based on those final reports -- plus all the work teams did leading up to launch day.

The Fisk Altitude Achievement Missile Team from Fisk University of Nashville, Tenn., get their rocket ready for launch April 22 at Bragg Farms. The annual NASA event celebrates innovative young minds and seeks to inspire them to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Image right: The Fisk Altitude Achievement Missile Team from Fisk University of Nashville, Tenn., get their rocket ready for launch April 22 at Bragg Farms. (NASA/MSFC/Fred Deaton)


Teams designed and built their rockets and experiments starting in the fall of 2011. They maintained websites to document the experience and reached more than 45,000 students at schools and organizations in their communities to share their enthusiasm for rocketry and inspire those students to pursue the study of technical subjects critical to the work of NASA and the nation.

Brian Duffy gives a big thumbs-up in support of one of the two teams from Presidio High School of Presidio, Texas, at the April 22 Student Launch Projects challenge. Hundreds of flight enthusiasts flocked to the launch site at Bragg Farms to cheer for the student rocketeers. More than 56,000 viewers also watched live via the streaming video service UStream. Archived launch-day coverage is available at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/nasa-msfc.

Image left: Brian Duffy gives a big thumbs-up in support of one of the two teams from Presidio High School of Presidio, Texas, at the April 22 Student Launch Projects challenge. (NASA/MSFC/Emmett Given)


NASA held the first Student Launch event in 2000-01. In response to its growing popularity, NASA expanded it in 2003, creating one division for middle schools and high schools, and in 2006, another for colleges and universities.

Spectators watch as a rocket heads for the skies, leaving behind a brilliant trail of smoke and fire. The Marshall Center's Academic Affairs Office, part of the Office of Human Capital, manages the rocketry challenge. The project is sponsored by NASA's Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, Science Mission Directorate and the Education Flight Projects Office in NASA's Office of Education, all at NASA Headquarters. ATK provided corporate sponsorship. The National Association of Rocketry provided technical review and launch support. Bragg Farms has hosted the launch challenge since 2008.

Image right: Spectators watch as a rocket heads for the skies, leaving behind a brilliant trail of smoke and fire. (NASA/MSFC/Ray Downward)


For complete lists of participating students, visit http://education.msfc.nasa.gov/sli and http://education.msfc.nasa.gov/usli.

Holly Lamb, right, of ATK Aerospace Group, presents Florida A&M University of Tallahassee with the Visit NASA Student Launch Projects on Facebook and Twitter http://www.facebook.com/NASAStudentLaunch and http://twitter.com/SLI_1MILEHIGH.

Image left: Holly Lamb, right, of ATK Aerospace Group, presents Florida A&M University of Tallahassee with the "Closest to Altitude" award for coming closest to the specified 1-mile altitude goal. The rocket reached an altitude of 5,270 feet -- just 10 feet off the mark. (NASA/MSFC/Tony Triolo)


For more information about NASA education projects, visit http://www.nasa.gov/education.

Smith and Davidson, AI Signal Research Inc. employees, support the Office of Strategic Analysis & Communications.

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J-2X Engine Ready For Second Test Series
NASA news release

On April 20, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, right, takes an up-close look at the first development J-2X engine on the A-2 Test Stand at Stennis Space Center, where the engine is being prepared for a second round of testing. Accompanying Bolden is A-2 Test Stand Director Skip Roberts, at left. The next-generation engine that will help carry humans deeper into space than ever is back, bigger and better. The J-2X engine is currently on the A-2 Test Stand at the Stennis Space Center for an extensive round of tests to build on last year's successful test firings. The engine will provide upper-stage power for NASA's evolved Space Launch System, or SLS, a new heavy-lift rocket capable of missions to deep space.

Image right: On April 20, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, right, takes an up-close look at the first development J-2X engine on the A-2 Test Stand at Stennis Space Center, where the engine is being prepared for a second round of testing. Accompanying Bolden is A-2 Test Stand Director Skip Roberts, at left. The J-2X engine will provide upper-stage power for NASA’s evolved Space Launch System, a new heavy-lift launch vehicle capable of missions to deep space. (NASA/SSC)


"We're making steady and tangible progress on our new heavy-lift rocket that will launch astronauts on journeys to destinations farther in our solar system," said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, who recently visited Stennis and saw the J-2X in its test stand. "As we continue test firings of the J-2X engine and a myriad of other work to open the next great chapter of exploration, we're demonstrating our commitment right now to America's continued leadership in space."

The space agency conducted an initial round of sea-level tests on the first developmental engine last year. This second test series will simulate high-altitude conditions where the atmospheric pressure is low. The SLS will use J-2X engines on the second stage of flight after the first stage is jettisoned.

"The first round of testing helped us get to know the engine, how it operates and its basic performance characteristics," said Tom Byrd, J-2X engine lead in the SLS Liquid Engines Office at the Marshall Space Flight Center. "Now, we're looking forward to testing J-2X in the SLS flight configuration, collecting nozzle data and continuing to learn about the performance of the engine itself."

NASA has worked closely with the J-2X prime contractor, Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne of Canoga Park, Calif., to prepare the J-2X engine, dubbed E10001, for its second round of tests.

The J-2X engine nozzle is different from the nozzle used on the space shuttle main engine for the last 30 years of space missions. While the space shuttle main engine nozzle was hydrogen cooled to save weight, the J-2X hydrogen-cooled nozzle is shorter and attached to a lightweight, passively cooled nozzle extension.

A total of 16 tests are scheduled, tentatively beginning this week. They are expected to conclude by the end of this year.

In its first round of testing, the J-2X engine reached 100 percent power in just four tests and achieved a full flight-duration firing of 500 seconds in its eighth test, faster than any other U.S. engine. The engine was fired a total of 10 times for a cumulative 1,040 seconds of testing various aspects of performance.

The J-2X is a redesign of the heritage J-2 engine that helped send astronauts to the moon during the Apollo Program in the 1960s and 1970s. In addition to testing the engine, NASA is conducting tests on the J-2X powerpack, which includes the gas generator, oxygen and fuel turbopumps, and related ducts and valves. Tests of the powerpack components are being conducted on the A-1 Test Stand at Stennis.

It is the first new liquid-oxygen and liquid-hydrogen rocket engine developed in 40 years that will be rated to carry humans into space.

For more information about the J-2X engine, visit www.nasa.gov/j2x.

For more information about NASA's Space Launch System visit www.nasa.gov/sls.

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NASA Transfers Shuttle Discovery to National Air and Space Museum
By Sanda Martel

Space shuttle Discovery, mounted atop a NASA 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, was photographed from a NASA T-38 aircraft as it flew over the Washington skyline. After traveling 148 million miles, completing 5,830 orbits around Earth and spending 365 days in space, space shuttle Discovery completed its last mission April 18, landing at Dulles International Airport outside Washington.

Image left: Space shuttle Discovery, mounted atop a NASA 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, was photographed from a NASA T-38 aircraft as it flew over the Washington skyline. (NASA)


The mission was not to deliver crew members into orbit, as it had done 39 times, but to reach its new home at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Chantilly, Va., where it will be on permanent display at the museum's Udvar-Hazy Center near Dulles.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, who twice flew on shuttle Discovery, spoke at the transfer ceremony April 19 at the Udvar-Hazy Center. Discovery will replace shuttle Enterprise, now displayed at the center. Enterprise will be relocated to the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York City. Both shuttles will commemorate past achievements in space and continue to educate and inspire future generations of explorers.

Bolden, interviewed on the CBS program "Face to Face" April 18, said, "Today, while we look back at Discovery's amazing legacy, I also want to look forward to what she and the shuttle fleet helped to make possible. As NASA transfers the shuttle orbiters to museums across the country, we are embarked on an exciting new space exploration journey. Relying on American ingenuity and know-how, NASA is partnering with private industry to provide crew and cargo transportation to the International Space Station, while developing the most powerful rocket ever built to take the nation farther than ever before into the solar system."

A young explorer gets a hands-on description of NASA's Space Launch System at the space shuttle Discovery delivery celebration April 19 at the Smithsonian's Udvar-Hazy Center from Twila Schneider, an SLS communications coordinator supporting Marshall's Office of Strategic Analysis & Communications. Discovery, NASA's oldest surviving orbiter, which flew from 1984 to 2011, departed the Kennedy Space Center April 17 riding piggy-back atop a NASA 747 jumbo jet. As it left, Discovery put on a final show for thousands of Space Coast residents and tourists who jammed area beaches just after sunrise to witness a low-altitude flyby.

Image right: A young explorer gets a hands-on description of NASA's Space Launch System at the space shuttle Discovery delivery celebration April 19 at the Smithsonian's Udvar-Hazy Center from Twila Schneider, an SLS communications coordinator with the Schafer Corp. supporting Marshall's External Relations Office within the Office of Strategic Analysis & Communications. SLS staffers were on hand to share the future of spaceflight following the retirement of the Space Shuttle Program. The SLS Program is designing and delivering the nation's next human-rated flagship space launch vehicle, capable of carrying crew aboard the Orion spacecraft and cargo to deep space. (NASA/Dan Woodard)


Before landing at Dulles April 18, the 747 transport jet flew Discovery through the Washington area, making a low-altitude pass along the National Mall. Traffic stalled on bridges and office workers stood on the lawns outside the U.S. Capitol and the Pentagon to gaze in amazement while the shuttle circled around Washington landmarks for about a half-hour.

Discovery made its first voyage Aug. 30, 1984, and its final mission ended at Kennedy on March 9, 2011.

Discovery was the first orbiter to leave Kennedy for its new home. Space shuttle Endeavour is scheduled to depart Kennedy in September, bound for the California Science Center in Los Angeles. Space shuttle Atlantis will remain at NASA's Florida launch site until it is moved to the Kennedy Space Center visitor's complex adjacent to the center later this year.

Martel, an AI Signal Research Inc. employee, supports the Office of Strategic Analysis & Communications.

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The Face of Mission Success at Marshall Is: Diane Fleming
Administrative Operations Specialist in the Ground Operations Liaison Office in the Marshall Center's Resident Office located at Kennedy Space Center

Diane Fleming

Image right: Diane Fleming (NASA/DP Associates Inc./Bethany March)

  • Organization: Space Launch System Program
  • Years at Marshall: 20 years -- 15 years as a NASA employee, five years as a Marshall contractor
  • Responsibilities: Key responsibilities during my whole career have been badging and training Marshall civil service employees and contractors who visit Kennedy for official purposes. Over the years, the methods have changed but the requirements have always been the same -- Marshall team members need to come to Kennedy to do their jobs. I proactively manage and coordinate the training and clearance requirements necessary to provide individuals with access. In addition to my key responsibilities, just by virtue of my residing in the Resident Office brings about a whole different realm of responsibilities. I coordinate requests from Marshall for tours of Kennedy facilities, and I often assist with the actual visits. We are currently conducting tours of Marshall facilities at Kennedy for historic preservation and closure. In addition, since I have a working relationship with Kennedy Guest Relations because of space shuttle launches, I hosted a guest bus for the Atlas V launch of the Mars Science Laboratory in November.
  • How does your work at Marshall support the agency's goals? I have supported the agency's goals of enabling the shuttle to fly safely, as well as supporting a new vehicle flight program, the Space Launch System, by authorizing employees to access facilities and hardware.
  • Safety remains Job One for NASA; how do you strive to live by that code? A recent example of my dedication to safety came after consolidating our Resident Office with the Assembly & Refurbishment Facility in January. Since SLS will be doing booster processing in the facility, we will have new operational requirements. I have been very involved with Kennedy security and our contractor partners to ultimately revamp the badging requirements. I also represent our office as hurricane coordinator, attending safety meetings and forwarding all pertinent severe weather information to my colleagues here.
  • What do you hope to accomplish in your role this year? I hope to better understand and support Marshall's role with SLS as the program is more clearly defined. I also hope to better understand the requirements for access to facilities, operating conditions and hazards, along with new badging requirements and systems.
  • What is the biggest challenge you face? After working for shuttle for 14-and-a-half years, I knew the processes and steps in my job that I had to take to get ready for a launch. Now we are dealing with new, complex situations that involve a lot of changes. My biggest challenge is dealing with those changes and trying to decide which is most important.
  • Do you partner outside your org/outside Marshall on your work? What exemplifies Marshall's value as a business partner? Yes, just by the fact of being located at Kennedy, my job requires me to partner outside both my organization and Marshall on a daily basis. As each shuttle flew out, the number of access requests from various individuals grew tremendously, along with the need to coordinate and draw on all available resources. The Resident Office took the lead to provide much-needed coordination and we received numerous positive notes, letters and emails from guests and employees. I believe this exemplifies the Marshall culture as a strong partner that takes care of the agency's needs.
  • What is something people would be surprised to find out about you? I love car races (and driving fast, but don't tell anyone). I've been to Daytona, Fla., a few times for the NASCAR races, but my favorite is the Indy 500, which I have attended several times.
  • What is your favorite memory at Marshall? My best memory didn't seem like it at the time, as it required long work hours. After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and all the security changes at Kennedy that followed, the launch car pass system also was revised so only badged employees were eligible for passes. The Space Shuttle Propulsion Directorate had a lot of their employees working in the immediate aftermath of the attack, so their families were not able to watch a launch from the onsite viewing area without them. To accommodate those families and other guests, the directorate began sponsoring buses to the viewing area. It became my job to keep track of the roster and host the buses. When this started, we had one or two buses for each launch, but we grew to four, except for the last launch when we sponsored seven buses. I had the opportunity to fulfill a lot of bucket lists and lifelong dreams of the guests. Of course, I did not host these buses all by myself. I relied on a whole group of my Marshall colleagues who either hosted a bus or were on my bus as my technical expert. If I named names, I am sure to leave some out. So to all my helpers, I am forever grateful.

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Safety, Health and Environmental Day 'Happens' May 2
By Megan Davidson

On Earth Day 2012, SHE HAPPENS! On May 2, Marshall Space Flight Center team members are invited to Safety, Health and Environmental, or SHE, Day. The event, with the theme "SHE Happens," will combine both the traditional Marshall Earth Day as well as Safety and Health Day activities, while offering more hands-on demonstrations and interactive exhibits.

Activities will be held from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. both in and outside Buildings 4315 and 4316. A yoga-for-anxiety class, a HEMSI search-and-rescue dog demonstration, and information on master planning and flight safety are just a few of the more than 30 SHE Day activities and exhibits. Free tree seedlings also will be provided by Wyle Laboratories' Science, Technology and Engineering Group of Huntsville. Lunch will be available for purchase from several food vendors between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

SHE Day is a stand-down event. With the exception of mandatory services -- such as fire, security and cafeterias -- all work will be suspended so Marshall team members can participate in SHE Day activities.

Team members also can earn four hours training credit for attending the event. Sign-up is required by April 27 through SATERN to obtain the credit. The course is listed as "SHE Day 2012."

More detailed information is posted on ExplorNet at https://explornet.msfc.nasa.gov/groups/she-day.

Davidson, an AI Signal Research Inc. employee, supports the Office of Strategic Analysis & Communications.

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Former NASA Administrator, Former Marshall Center Director, Former Ares Projects Manager to Speak to Marshall Association May 7

Three familiar faces will return to the Marshall Space Flight Center to speak at the May 7 Marshall Association meeting. Former NASA Administrator Michael Griffin, along with former Marshall Center Director David King and former Ares Projects Manager Steve Cook will talk about the evolution of spaceflight from the government to the private sector at 11 a.m. in Activities Building 4316.

Griffin served as the NASA administrator from 2005-2009 and is now an eminent scholar and mechanical and aerospace engineering professor at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. King, director of Marshall from 2003-2009, is currently executive vice president of Dynetics Inc. in Huntsville. Cook, manager of Ares Projects from 2005-2009, is now director of space technologies at Dynetics.

Cost of attendance is free but Marshall team members will be responsible for paying for their lunch. Newk's will provide boxed lunches for $10 for members and $12 for nonmembers. Visit here for the menu. Feel free to bring your own lunch.

To RSVP, contact Katherine Chavis, the association's president, at Katherine.M.Chavis@nasa.gov, or Amir Deylami, treasurer, at Amir.Deylami@nasa.gov by close of business May 3 with food order information. Payment for the lunch also is due that day.

For more information about the Marshall Association, visit http://inside.msfc.nasa.gov/marshall_association/index.html. For more information about the upcoming meeting, Marshall team members can visit ExplorNet at https://explornet.msfc.nasa.gov/docs/DOC-5914.

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Obituaries

Michele Roeske, 59, of Huntsville died April 7. She retired from the Marshall Center in 2011 as a program analyst.

Richard M. Henritze, 86, of Huntsville died April 13. He retired from the Marshall Center in 1986 as an engineer. He is survived by his wife, Patty Henritze.

Doyle Eastep, 89, of Athens died April 13. He retired from the Marshall Center in 1974 as an aerospace engineering technician.

Joseph Robert Suns, 81, of Huntsville died April 16. He retired from the Marshall Center in 1987 as an aerospace engineering technician. He is survived by his wife, Mary Alice Suns.

Joseph D. Dyar Jr., 91, of Arab died April 19. He retired from the Marshall Center in 1977 as an inventory management specialist. He is survived by his wife, Jean Thrasher Dyar.