NOTE TO EDITORS: News media representatives are invited to cover
FutureFlight Central’s simulation of Kennedy Space Center’s new
Shuttle Landing Facility control tower on June 26, 2002, from 11:00
a.m. to 12 noon PDT. To reach Ames, take the Moffett Field exit off
Highway 101 and drive east to the main gate. Members of the news
media must present a driver’s license or valid government-issued
photo I.D. and press credentials at the NASA Ames main gate, where
they will be issued a visitor badge and directed to FutureFlight
Central. All foreign news media must have clearance prior to the
simulation, bring a passport and press credentials, and will be
escorted at all times.

A state-of-the-art simulator at NASA Ames Research Center is helping
design a new control tower that will make space shuttle landings
safer and more efficient.

In a series of simulations at NASA Ames’ FutureFlight Central in
California’s Silicon Valley, engineers from NASA’s Kennedy Space
Center (KSC), Fla., are modeling a world-class control tower for the
Space Shuttle Landing Facility. Ground-breaking for the new tower is
slated for mid-Fall 2002 with work to be finished in 2003.

“The purpose of this simulation was to evaluate several interior
tower cab configurations as well as optimizing tower height before
beginning expensive construction,” said Ken Christensen, FutureFlight
Central project manager.

During the simulation, KSC engineers checked and evaluated several
prospective control tower site locations, heights and orientations
under varying visibility and weather conditions. The new tower design
will allow greater visibility and safety during space shuttle
landings and Shuttle Training Aircraft (STA) flight operations.

“To conduct a true assessment, it is important to be able to closely
replicate the workplace – here lies the strength of this simulator,”
said Dr. Dawn Elliott, KSC principal investigator.

FutureFlight Central displayed very realistic, detailed and
high-resolution day and night scenes, including the KSC skyline,
runway and topography, thus providing a great resource for the
simulation of the new tower. The simulation also evaluated the
interior of the tower using human factors principles to determine the
most efficient layout. FutureFlight Central, the world’s premier air
traffic control tower simulator for airport operations and planning,
includes a 360-degree high-fidelity visual simulation configurable to
any airport in the world.

“FutureFlight Central is a unique NASA capability. It will optimize
the working environment for our people and offer future safety
training opportunities. Spaceport planners, using this tool, can
evaluate future technology impacts, requirements and options well
before decision time. We are fortunate to have this facility
available to us as we start our new tower,” said Ed Taff, NASA
Shuttle Launch Facility operations manager.

The Shuttle Landing Facility, first opened for flights in 1976, was
specially designed for landing NASA’s space shuttle orbiters. Its
paved runway is 15,000 feet long by 300 feet wide, exceeding the
length of the longest paved runways in the United States.

More information about FutureFlight Central can be found at:

More information about the Kennedy’s Shuttle Landing Facility can be found at: