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Boeing at NASA Kennedy Space Center

By Aida Yoguely Cortés-Peña
Summer 2010

After graduating High School, I returned as an intern at the John F. Kennedy Space Center. There I worked with the Boeing Integrated Site Support team on the Computing Assets Recovery Project, in support of an IT industry standard metric regarding computer to head count ratios. Our goal was to reduce the ratio for Boeing at the Kennedy Space Center. The ratio represented an excess of over 500 machines that include tablets, CPU’s, monitors, docking stations and laptops. Change in budget proposals and planned reductions in force causes the increase of computers without users. Our duty was to organize and recover these computers to be issued to another user or transferred to non-profit organizations. As part of the Online Learning Community, I made a Vodcast interview with my amazing mentor Vicki Mazurek.

Mentor: Vicki Mazurek

Links:, Abstractpdf, Technical Paperpdf

Weekly Blog

As part of the NASA Online Learning Community, I have blogged my experience as a INSPIRE intern at the Kennedy Space Center during the summer 2010.

Week #1

Hola Amigos! I’m working for the Boeing IT Desktop Support team and since the first day it has been a blast! We work all over the place at the Space Station Processing Facility (SSPF), the Operations and Support Building (OSB), the Boeing Facility in Titusville and the Apollo warehouse at Cape Canaveral. My mentor introduced me to interesting people from the business and engineering field who work with virtual servers, transporting large equipment, databases and repairing computers. One of my projects for the summer is called CARP-Computer Assets Recovery Project. I get to work on the process of recovering computers and preparing them for excess disposition to nonprofit organizations that support the local school district. On my first day of work I excessed over 28 computers and the following day I setup three computers ready for the use of NASA and BOEING employees. I’m very excited for the upcoming week because there are yet so many things left to learn.

Week #2

This past week I worked on reducing the computer to head count ratio at Kennedy Space Center. The ratio at the beginning of the internship was 1.4 and I’ve reduced it to 1.34, which means I have excesed over 30 computers. I learned to excess three different types of machines, some which require the notification of other offices and others through excel and access databases. I have also learned to setup equipment and correctly complete paperwork to issue it to new users. It has been a very productive week!

Week #3

This week I learned to complete the process of relocating computers. I also began working on a Desktop Instruction that explains how to use the hardware database and generate reports. One of the most exciting things that happened this week was the tour of the Launch Complex 39B. I was 255 stories high looking straight to where the Orbiter’s wing would be. I also attended a LEAN continual improvement meeting and learned about how Boeing works to reduce the quantity of energy and waste generated by the center. Additionally, I was able to be part of the PIE process. It’s an amazing event. We pick up hardware from the KSC warehouses and take them to building 100 where various organizations pick them up and donate them to kids and schools. The greatest part of the PIE event was that we really had pie! We ate apple, cherry and berry pie. During the rest of the week I got to work at the OSB (Operations Support Building). Here I worked on erasing data on Blackberry’s and preparing them for new users. The following day I attended the tour of the Space X launch pad, I learned about the different mechanisms it uses in comparison to NASA launch pads. Finally, I attended a Networking enrichment activity where I learned the importance of communicating with new people, because in reality no one succeeds on their own. I think I might have gotten carried away writing, but like they say… a lot goes on at the Kennedy Space Center!

Week #4

This week I worked at the OSB with Gold Cards which are like small calculators that generates passwords for users to gain access through “virtual tunnels” to the Boeing network. I visited various employees to issue them the cards and teach them how to use the new mainframe system. Another task I was given was a list of assets to go verify that they are at the indicated location and update any information such as user, tag number, and room number. The next day I worked on the CAMS database and worked with some incoming transfers. I attended a FSSO Property Review of the Orbiter and Logistics Assets in the OSB. At the meeting we met with various custodians to discuss and update a ADPe report. We had a tour of the Prototype lab and learned how products were invented, modeled and created in as little as 3 days! Amazing! I also learned about UNIX servers. Finally, on Friday I had the best tour of OPF1 and OPF 2. We saw the Atlantis and Endeavour Orbiters. This week was great, do not miss out on our DLN next week.

Week #5

The past weekend I got the chance to really enjoy some of Florida’s attractions. We went to Bush Gardens, downtown Disney, Embry Riddle and finally we watched the fireworks by the beach. During work, the workers from the shuttle program went to the VAB to sign the wall. This week I got to work at the OSB II , there I walked on the 5th floor balcony where NASA directors from different space centers gather to determine whether the next shuttle is go or no go for launch. Also this week we had the DLN (Digital Learning Network), where we video conference with Langley Research Center and Marshall Space Flight Center and shared our knowledge and experience on our summer projects. It motivated me ever more to listen to all the cool projects other INSPIRE kids where working on this summer.

Afterwards we went to the visitor complex and hopped on the Shuttle Launch Simulation. The following day I had a QAIMS Mainframe 101 session where a professional taught me how it works and the various databases that exist within the system and the security built within it. I assisted a Solid Rocket Motors presentation in the O&C building (Operations and Control). In the afternoon I had the opportunity of working at the Logistics Facility issuing Gold Cards to employees of the United Space Alliance. The Logistics facility contains thousands of space shuttle hardware. On Friday I assisted a FSSO meeting with property custodians from the NSLD. We determined which computers where possible candidates for recovery and excess. Finally I attended the enrichment activity “Tips for making a good life” presented by the ex-deputy director James W. Kennedy, whom I had a chance to shake hands with. Here are the take away points:

Tips for making a good life great

1) Treat everyone with dignity and Respect.
2) Equality of all people
3) Act with integrity (do the right thing even when no one is watching
4) Praise in Public, criticize in private
5) Go the extra mile
6) Exploit your intellectual curiosity
7) Don’t be Afraid of Failure
8) Follow your passion
9) Be thoughtful of others
10) Be proud of who you are
11) Have the courage of your convictions
12) Pause to celebrate your accomplishments
13) Change is not a bad thing. Not only accept change, but embrace it.
14) The Harder you work, the luckier you get
15) Keep a sense of Humor
16) Life is complicated .. Practice KISSíng (Keep It Simple Stupid)
17) Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.
18) Get inspired by a Young Person.
19) The worlds a beautiful place, you just have to look for it.
20) I will prepare for some day my chance will come. Luck is when preparation meets opportunity.
21) If at first you don’t succeed, try harder.

Week #6

This week I began working at the NSLD (NASA Shuttle Logistics Depot). There I worked on inventory, identifying users who for some reason have more than one computer, or have an old computer that cannot upgrade to Windows 7. We gathered four computers to excess and many to be replaced. Then I worked on issuing Gold Cards since Z-Token, the old method of tunneling into the Boeing system, would retire soon. At the end of that day a Logistics employee gave me a fantastic tour of the NSLD and showed me the Space Shuttle windows, the emergency egress window, its layers and how they put it together. The following day I worked at the Logistics Facility setting up the remaining Gold Cards. It is very difficult to catch everyone at their office at a particular time. After I completed the most I could I walked to the TPSF (Thermal Protection System Facility) were I issued another two Gold Cards. At the end of the day I had the best tour of the TPSF. There they manufacture the orbiter’s tiles, gap fillers, and insulation blankets that protect the exterior of the shuttle from the heat of launch and re-entry. There are over 24,000 tiles on the shuttle. I walked through the different room through which the titles are processed, such as where the tile layers are pressurized together, coated, densified, heat and water proofed. I also went to the last floor where some of the fabric is sewed by men and women. The next day I walked over to the Banana River near the VAB where the External Tank has just arrived in a covered barge from NASA’s Michoud Space Systems Assembly Facility near New Orleans. There they unloaded the ET and I walked right next to it as they moved it in to the VAB.

Yoguely External Tank

After that I went to a presentation at building 100 about entrepreneurs, it was about people starting their own businesses because of the planned reduction in workforce. Then I worked at the SSPF, there I met Ron Woods a veteran spacesuit preparer for the space shuttle astronauts. He dressed up Buzz Aldrin for the Apollo 11 mission. Currently he paints spacesuits and other flight crew equipment. The following day I went to an amazing tour of KSC, we went to the VAB, LC 39A, and the Launch Control Center firing rooms used for the Apollo and Shuttle program. In the afternoon I met the following astronauts: Commander Ken Ham, Mission Specialists Piers Sellers, Pilot Tony Antonelli, Mission Specialist Steve Bowen. The next day I attended a conference in the OSB II about Boeing’s future plans in the space exploration industry. Then I attended a conference given by the latter four astronauts I mentioned. This week was great, I cannot wait for the next!

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