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Cape Canaveral

The Cape Week in Review – Commerce Secretary Visits, R2 to Make an Appearance

By jason_rhian
August 9, 2010
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As the Senate approved a measure to compromise various political plans that would impact the Space Coast region, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke paid his third visit to the area. This time it was to speak to KSC employees facing unemployment and to tour the space center’s facilities. An Atlas V is scheduled to launch the first AEHF-1 satellite on August 12. That same day NASA will host an event that will display the upcoming STS-133 mission’s payload. Back over at KSC, elements for the final two scheduled shuttle missions were coming into place.

Commerce Secretary visits Kennedy Space Center
Gary Locke, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce visited NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) Wednesday, October 4. This is part of ongoing efforts to improve the situation of KSC’s shuttle workers. It is estimated that some 8,000 employees will be laid off when the space shuttle program ends in 2011. While at KSC the commerce secretary toured the Space Life Sciences Lab.
Locke shared a lunch with employees that will be unemployed come Oct. 1. Locke spent this time attempting to reassure these employees that the White House was doing everything possible to minimize the impact that this change will have on their lives and to seek out ideas as to how to improve their chances of finding new employment.
There have been a number of job fairs and forums held recently in the Space Coast region. These events have worked to guide former aerospace workers into new career fields, retrain them and to polish their resumes. It is hoped that these efforts will assist these workers find new jobs. Locke’s visit to KSC was one part fact-finding tour, one part morale-boosting effort.
Locke co-chairs the Presidential Task Force on Space Industry Work Force and Economic Development with NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. The task force has some $40 million at its disposal that it will give out to concepts deemed viable to create jobs and improve the economic diversity of the area. The task force is scheduled to present its recommendations to President Obama on Aug. 15.
cwir_090810_1_371x272.jpgCommerce Secretary Gary Locke, left, and Rep. Suzanne Kosmas learn about research taking place in the Space Life Sciences Lab. As part of Locke’s visit to Kennedy a meeting also was held with about a dozen workers expected to lose their jobs with the retirement of the Space Shuttle Program to discuss what the Commerce Department, NASA and the White House are doing to improve the local economy as the program winds down. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett
Kennedy Space Center to Host Media Event With STS-133 Payload Next Week
NASA announced that it will host a media event at 1 p.m. EDT on Thursday, Aug. 12 which will highlight the payload that fly to the International Space Station (ISS). The permanent multi-purpose module (PMM) will launch aboard the space shuttle Discovery on mission STS-133 currently scheduled to launch no-earlier-than Nov. 1.
One of the most interesting aspects of this mission’s payload is without a doubt – Robonaut 2, more commonly known as R2. This humanoid robot will be on display at the event and is a joint program between NASA and General Motors.
The PMM carry a wide variety of spare parts and supplies to the space station as well as R2. When the mission is concluded, the PMM will remain connected to the station where it will be used to conduct microgravity experiments.

STS-133 and STS-134 Elements Coming Together
Although not as glamorous as an actual launch and not as indicative of history happening as a shuttle landing, events were taking place at Kennedy Space Center that signaled the end of the shuttle era.
Over at the Space Station Processing Facility (SSPF) technicians prepared the Express Logistics Carrier-4 (ELC-4) for the upcoming STS-133 mission, scheduled to launch on Nov.1 aboard space shuttle Discovery. This mission will also carry much needed spare parts to the orbiting laboratory.
When on-orbit it will provide astronauts aboard the ISS with a platform to deploy experiments into the space environment.
For STS-134 the forward section of the Solid Rocket Boosters (SRB) for the final planned shuttle mission were brought to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB). These forward segments consist of the nose cone, frustum and the forward skirt of the SRB. Endeavour will use these 149-foot-tall reusable boosters to lift her crew to orbit.
cwir_090810_2_371x272.jpgOne of space shuttle Endeavour’s two solid rocket booster forward assemblies were transported from the Assembly Refurbishment Facility to the Vehicle Assembly Building. Endeavour and its STS-134 crew are targeted to deliver the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, as well as critical spare components, to the International Space Station next year. Photo credit: NASA/Jack Pfaller

The Cape Week in Review is compiled by Jason Rhian, the Cape Insider, and is a weekly
round-up of what’s happening at Cape Canaveral. If you have information or suggestions for the Cape Week in Review please email us at