Kennedy News

George Diller/Tracy Young
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
321-867-2468 /

May 31, 2013
NASA Associate Administrator Robert Lightfoot Visits Space Coast and Meets With Media June 3-4
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- NASA Associate Administrator Robert Lightfoot will visit Florida's Space Coast on Monday, June 3, and Tuesday, June 4. He will be available to meet with news media in Cape Canaveral and NASA's Kennedy Space Center to discuss the agency's new initiatives, including an astronaut mission to study an asteroid and a potential new way to detect asteroids.

On June 3, Lightfoot will join Kennedy Center Director Bob Cabana for an open house event with Craig Technologies from 4 to 6 p.m. EDT at the Aerospace and Defense Manufacturing Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla.

The event will include tours of the facility and remarks from representatives of NASA, Craig Technologies, Space Florida and Brevard Workforce. Media interested in attending the event should contact Carey Beam at 321-613-5620. Those planning to tour the facility must wear flat, closed-toe shoes.

In June 2012, NASA and Craig Technologies entered into a partnership under a five-year, non-reimbursable Space Act Agreement to use the unique manufacturing equipment previously used to support the Space Shuttle Program for other hi-tech purposes. The Craig Technologies Aerospace Defense and Manufacturing Center provides custom avionics, precision machining and fabrication, specialty manufacturing and test and evaluation services for commercial and government customers.

For more information about partnerships with NASA and Kennedy, visit:

For more information on Craig Technologies, visit:

On June 4, Lightfoot will brief reporters on the agency's new asteroid initiative and NASA's new Ka-Band Objects Observation and Monitoring (KaBOOM) system, a three-antenna test bed radar array at Kennedy.

NASA recently announced plans to find, study, capture and relocate an asteroid for exploration by astronauts. The asteroid initiative is a strategy to leverage human and robotic activities for a first human mission while accelerating efforts to improve detection and characterization of asteroids.

The goal of KaBOOM is to prove technologies that will allow future systems to characterize near-Earth objects in terms of size, shape, rotation/tumble rate and to determine the trajectory of those objects. Radar studies can determine the trajectory 100,000 times more precisely than can optical methods.

Current NASA radar systems are limited in both resolution and the distance at which they are effective. KaBOOM is the penultimate, low-cost step before proceeding with a high-power, high-resolution radar system. NASA expects this proof of concept to be completed in about two years.

News media wishing to attend the event should be at Kennedy's Press Site by 2:15 p.m. on June 4. Media accreditation requests should be submitted online at:

Contact Jennifer Horner at 321-867-6598 with questions about accreditation or for additional information. The accreditation timeframe for international news media to participate in this event has passed.

For more information on NASA's asteroid initiative, visit:


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