May 11, 2001

George H. Diller
Kennedy Space Center

KSC Release No. 55-01

Note to Editors/News Directors:

This year begins a new era in the monitoring of expendable vehicle data with the advanced capability of the upgraded Launch Vehicle Data Center (LVDC). Contained within NASA's historic Hangar AE on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, this new facility will be recognized with a ceremonial open house on Tuesday, May 15.

The new facility's three individual control rooms replace a single LVDC control room in use since the mid-1970's. Developed by NASA-KSC to support multiple test operations in parallel or a single large launch operation, the new LVDC allows up to 100 launch vehicle engineers to monitor the voice, data and video systems that support the checkout and launch of an expendable vehicle. This facility can also be linked with NASA's control rooms at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. used for launching polar-orbiting spacecraft.

State-of-the-art displays provide enhanced capability to engineers and the voice communications capability has also been upgraded for each of the new consoles. These monitoring systems have been almost six years in development. The first use of the new LVDC occurred successfully with the launch Mars Odyssey in April.

Participating in the dedication ceremony will be:

Roy D. Bridges, Jr.
Director, Kennedy Space Center

Stephen M. Francois,
Program Manager, Expendable Vehicles and Payload Carriers

Michael J. Benik
Director, Expendable Vehicle Launch Services, Kennedy Space Center

NOTE: Media may attend the open house, tour the new control rooms and interview the ceremony participants. The associated Mission Directors Center and Hangar AE Telemetry Station used for all NASA launches of expendable vehicles will also be available for the press to tour. Food will be served. Those press representatives who wish to attend the event should be at the KSC Press Site no later than 9:15 a.m. on Tuesday for transportation to Hangar AE.

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