Kennedy News

Bruce Buckingham
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

Dec. 20, 2002
RELEASE : 131-02
Kennedy Space Center Reflects On 2002, Prepares For 2003
As 2002 draws to a close, NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC) is in an ongoing celebration of its 40th year as America's premier gateway to the stars. Designated the Launch Operations Center on July 1, 1962, the year saw the accomplishment of ten successful launches in addition to the unveiling of a new Master Plan for the Cape Canaveral Spaceport and displaying leadership in the areas of environmental stewardship, research and technology project development, educational initiatives, and safety and health performance.


Between March and November 2002, KSC launched five Space Shuttle missions: the Hubble Space Telescope Servicing Mission and four assembly flights to the International Space Station (ISS). During the past 12 months, more than 56,000 pounds in components have been added to the Space Station, including the S0, S1 and P1 trusses.

The Station's backbone of trusses, launched from KSC, now stretches almost 133 feet. As a result, the previous internal volume, compared to an efficiency apartment, has increased to that of a three-bedroom house. The year also included launch and assembly of the Mobile Transporter, the first "space railroad," and two Crew and Equipment Translation Aid (CETA) carts.

The physical growth of the Station has brought its purpose of scientific research and experiment to the forefront. Experiments on the Station attained more than 90,000 hours of operating time. Of these, 65 U.S. investigations were conducted, as well as many international studies.

The KSC team also managed five successful Expendable Launch Vehicle (ELV) launches in 2002: the High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager (HESSI), Feb. 5; Tracking and Data Relay Satellite-I (TDRS-I), March 8, and Tracking and Data Relay Satellite-J (TDRS-J), Dec. 4; Aqua EOS (Earth Observing System), May 4; and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration-M (NOAA-M) satellite, June 24. Two of these launches were from pads at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., and three from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS), adjacent to KSC in Florida.

KSC Master Plan

The continuing growth of KSC toward becoming a technology-based Center brought about a collaborative effort among NASA, the Air Force, and the state of Florida in developing a comprehensive Master Plan for the Cape Canaveral Spaceport. The 50-year vision of the Spaceport's future was unveiled Aug. 28.

Plan partners are the Florida Space Authority, the 45th Space Wing Command, the Naval Ordnance Test Unit, the Merritt Island Fish and Wildlife Refuge, and the Canaveral National Seashore.

The plan outlined three planning horizons -- 25 years, second generation technology, and third generation technology -- and illustrates sub-area planning for the KSC Visitor Complex/Industrial area, the CCAFS Industrial area, and the Port property. A Launch Activity Prediction Model outlines market demand-based launches through third generation technology (approximately 250 land-based launches). It outlines two new horizontal launch facilities through the first two planning horizons, and a total of six new vertical launch complexes through the three planning horizons.


By forming business relationships with other innovative organizations, KSC was able to develop new assets for the Cape Canaveral Spaceport and better serve its customers while expanding the Center's research and technology development capabilities.

Space Experiment Research and Processing Laboratory (SERPL): Construction began in 2002 on a world-class facility to support both ISS life sciences experiment processing and fundamental biological research. KSC's SERPL partner is the state of Florida, including the Florida Space Authority and the Florida Space Research Institute. The new 100,000-square-foot laboratory is scheduled for completion in late 2003.

Space Agricultural Biology Research and Education (SABRE) Institute: SABRE will support scientific research with a focus on discovery and development of technology aspects of advanced life support strategies. The University of Florida's Institute for Food and Agricultural Sciences is KSC's partner.

Interdisciplinary biotechnology programs will emphasize the fundamental biology of organisms used in space flight applications, including those involved in advanced life support. The program focus parallels Earth-based applications for solving problems in agricultural and environmental sciences, and thus presents key elements of future agricultural and ecological systems.

International Space Research Park (ISRP): The ISRP evolved from SERPL and will attract and foster research and technology development at KSC to support the use and commercialization of the Station, KSC's growth as a Spaceport Technology Center, and the exploration and development of space by Cape Canaveral Spaceport customers.

KSC partnered with the state of Florida to support ISRP. The year-long concept development effort was completed in May and forecasts show an additional two million square feet of facilities, employing about 8,000 ISRP employees by 2023. The first construction phase was completed on Space Commerce Way, a new highway leading to the ISRP tract. Delaware North Park Services initiated construction of the second phase that will wind around the back of the Visitor Complex and extend on to NASA Causeway. When completed next year, the new Space Commerce Way will enable 24-hour access to both the park and the Visitor Complex.

The Link Project is a collaboration between KSC and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The project utilizes the Solid Rocket Booster recovery vessel, Liberty Star, for mapping the Oculina Bank off Cape Canaveral's coast. The first of two expeditions was completed in October to survey the coral reef using multi-beam sonar (at right, on board the Liberty Star) to provide detailed habitat mapping and characterization. Survey results will be used to guide the second expedition in spring 2003, when the reef fish spawn, again using NASA's ship, plus their underwater robot and an acoustic hydrophone system for listening to fish and vessel noise.

Other pursuits are advanced power supply development, state-of-the-art sensor and monitoring technology, and energy management.

Environmental Stewardship

KSC continued its efforts to preserve and enhance a wildlife sanctuary intertwined with the ever-growing spaceport. As part of the Center's pollution prevention program, more than 800 tons of steel and 300 tons of paper and cardboard were recycled, and a new recycling contract was awarded to enhance the program's return. In an effort to restore Center environmental quality, more than 11,000 tons of contaminated soil from three KSC sites was disposed of properly. In addition, KSC closed 10 locations after investigations found environmental pollution, and then took appropriate steps to remedy the contamination discovered.

NASA, Florida Department of Environmental Protection and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station continued a long-term Permitting and Compliance partnering effort. Air Resources Management, Water Resources Management, Hazardous/Solid Waste Management and Environmental Awareness and Integration determined best management practices and how to streamline activities, along with other process improvements. Two results were recycling initiatives and combined training efforts.

KSC's Ecological Program members worked closely with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Endangered Species Office for the continued survival of the federally protected Florida scrub jay in east central Florida. Members are developing complex population viability models, including relationships between habitat quality and habitat management approaches and influences of wildfires, land development and landscape fragmentation on the reproductive success and survival of individual scrub jays. This data can be used to assess the risk of extinction for isolated populations of the unique birds. Results of these studies, which have been published in peer-reviewed scientific journals, are used by Florida's land management agencies and the Endangered Species Office to develop the Species Recovery Plan required by the Endangered Species Act.

As a result of KSC's environmental efforts, the Center received several awards. The Presidential Award for Leadership in Federal Energy Management was presented by U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney to NASA's energy team. KSC's energy program achievements contributed to earning this award.

The Department of Energy recognized energy saving efforts at KSC with two awards: KSC-Boeing employee Doug Thom was named NASA's Energy Champion for reducing energy consumption and costs by aggressively improving operations and maintenance practices in Payload/Station processing facilities; KSC received the Federal Energy and Water Management Award for results of long-term efforts to improve energy efficiency at the tracking and data relay station.


For the third consecutive year, KSC innovators earned more Space Act Award dollars than any other NASA center. The fiscal year 2002 award amount of $190,850 was divided among four areas: software release, $51,600; patent applications, $23,000; TechBriefs, $47,600; and board action, $68,650. This year's award dollars showed a significant increase from the total amount of $12,000 awarded just 10 years ago.

KSC developed new technologies that will impact future spaceports and communities. Listed below are a few of the technology spinoffs, originally designed for the space program, that are being mainstreamed into the civilian world to better the lives of thousands or even millions of Americans.

1) Remote Monitoring and Alarm System (RMAS): This electronic central monitoring system checks the health of remotely located equipment modules of transmitting and receiving equipment in KSC's fiber optic communication network.

2) Improving Effectiveness of a Permeable Treatment Wall with Ultrasound: The method encompasses the introduction of an ultrasonic radiation-generating transducer in or near a permeable treatment wall. KSC's ultrasonic enhancement process allows the wall's effectiveness to be maintained and enhanced without requiring the use of chemicals or generating any undesirable by-products. The technology was patented and licensed for commercialization.

3) In-Situ Reductive Dehalogenation of DNAPLs Through the Use of Emulsified Zero-Valent Iron Particles: Similar to the previous technology, this process employs the use of zero-valent iron in an emulsion formula to reductively dechlorinate dense non-aqueous phase liquid (DNAPL) sources in polluted water. This technique replaces the pump and treats technologies due to their slow dissolution of the solvents. A patent was filed and is currently pending; the technology is available for commercialization.

4) Personal Cabin Pressure Monitor and Altitude Warning System: This new device may prevent aircraft accidents by warning the crew of potentially dangerous or deteriorating cabin pressure conditions and reminding them of the need for supplemental oxygen. This personal, portable device can be used in a variety of aviation, aerospace and non-aerospace applications where warning of one's exposure to high-pressure altitude is important. A patent was filed and issued and the technology was licensed for commercialization.

5) Liquid Applied Galvanic Coatings for Protection of Steel in Concrete: This innovation involves a liquid coating applied to the outer surface of reinforced concrete to protect the embedded rebar from corrosion. This technology is innovative because it can be applied (1) to the outside surface of reinforced concrete and (2) with a conventional brush or sprayer. A patent was filed and the technology is available for licensing.

Advanced Technology Development

An Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) is currently under construction at Launch Complex 20 (LC-20) on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The ATDC, which will be developed in phases, will allow for full-scale demonstration, testing and qualification of new Spaceport Technologies in an environment closely approximating an actual launch facility. KSC partners with the 45th Space Wing and Florida Air National Guard to support the ATDC, which is NASA-led.

Spaceport Technology projects that show promise in a laboratory environment can be deployed and qualified at the ATDC under "real world" conditions, including high-volume, low-pressure cryogenic flow testing. It is currently supporting two major programs: qualification of liquid oxygen (LOX) transfer pumps for the Space Shuttle program, and testing of densified hydrogen and oxygen production units for the Space Launch Initiative (SLI). LOX pump testing is currently scheduled for mid-2003, with densified propellant testing following in mid-2004.


Kennedy Space Center's Education Programs and University Research Division provided meaningful educational and professional development experiences for nearly 150,000 participants. The Division created new programs, partnerships, and products and assisted in KSC's evolution to a Spaceport Technology Center. They also integrated programs and strengthened relationships across KSC to pipeline qualified participants into educational, research and career opportunities in the space industry. Among its accomplishments:

Three new student program grants were awarded to universities to provide motivation to undergraduate students in engineering, mathematics and sciences. The Space Research Lecture Series was created to increase working-level interaction between NASA-sponsored scientists and Florida-based researchers. KSC partnered with the Florida Space Research Institute, the Space Business Round Table, Delaware North Park Services and the Florida Space Grant Consortium to create the program. The events are held quarterly and feature world-class scientists whose experiments launch from the Spaceport, and whose space research and technology advancements are of interest to NASA and the Spaceport.

One of the new programs developed, with sponsorship from the State Department of Education, was the SEE NASA (Student Educational Experience) to use the unique resources and missions of the KSC Spaceport to motivate students from schools selected by the State of Florida to study math and science.

KSC also hosted the Minority University Presidents Conference, which provided an opportunity for more than 100 university presidents to hear about NASA research and educational opportunities. This activity has led to new partnerships within the NASA family with some of these minority universities.

Through strategic planning, innovative staffing and extensive internal and external partnerships, KSC's R&D area created new programs and issued competitive grants to strengthen relationships with academia R&D communities in Florida and also nationally. These partnerships have increased the amount of financial and intellectual resources available to solve the Spaceport's technology challenges.

Safety and Health

Superior safety and health performance is one of Kennedy Space Center's top priorities. Several innovative programs were accomplished in 2002.

OSHA's Voluntary Protection Program (VPP): Started in December 2000,VPP is the benchmark for improvements to KSC's safety and health programs. In preparation for the program, 240 safety program improvements were identified and developed. More than 170 KSC employees belong to teams striving for STAR Certification, the highest VPP certification level. Two of KSC's largest contractors, United Space Alliance and Space Gateway Support, achieved STAR status.

Safety Resources Web Site: This new Web site presents one-stop shopping for Center safety information on VPP, safety and health guidelines and contacts, and links to KSC safety and mission assurance organizations.

Automated Heat Stress Monitoring: This innovative notification system for heat illness prevention uses continuous monitoring of ambient Wet Bulb Globe Temperatures (WBGT) for shade and direct sunlight. It sends real time WBGT measurements to desktop computers and provides current WBGT and informational material on a Heat Stress Web site. The system also sends e-mail and pager notification of heat stress conditions which can be tailored to personalized operational requirements of KSC subscribers. The messages include appropriate set-point WBGT for particular work and describe prevention measures.

Employee Health: Informational programs on improving employee health along with nutrition and fitness programs were offered to the workforce. Free screenings for such concerns as cardiovascular disease indicators and breast cancer were also available. Information sharing on topics such as skin cancer prevention and hearing conservation was provided to all employees.

The new year looks bright for KSC. In 2003, six Space Shuttle launches are planned, beginning with Columbia in January on mission STS-107, a microgravity research mission. The remaining five are Space Station assembly flights, which will add two more trusses and solar arrays to the ISS.

Eight ELV launches from CCAFS are planned for 2003: Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment (SORCE), Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX), Propulsive Small Expendable Deployer System (ProSEDS), Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF), Mars Explorer Rover A and Rover B, Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-N (GOES-N) and Swift. Three are planned from Vandenberg: Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite (ICESat)/Cosmic Hot Interstellar Plasma Spectrometer (CHIPSat), SCISAT-I and Gravity Probe B.

Center Director Roy Bridges captured the prevailing spirit of KSC's workforce when he said, "This year Kennedy Space Center marked 40 years of pioneering the future. We continue to look toward the future with renewed enthusiasm and . . . we will share in the excitement and new discoveries that will come as we commit our passion and excellence to advocating the state of the art in space launch operations and spaceport and range technologies to serve our customers well into the future."


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