NASA's Aura spacecraft, a next-generation Earth- observing satellite that will supply the most complete information to date on the health of the Earth's atmosphere, is scheduled for launch Saturday, July 10. Liftoff will occur aboard a Boeing Delta II rocket at approximately 6:01:57 a.m. EDT (3:01:57 a.m. PDT) at the opening of a three-minute launch window. Spacecraft separation from the launch vehicle will occur one hour and four minutes later. Launch will be from NASA's Space Launch Complex 2 at Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB), Calif.
News media desiring accreditation for the Aura launch should fax their request on news organization letterhead to:
30th Space Wing Public Affairs Office
Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.
Attention: Lt. Michelle Mayo
PRELAUNCH PRESS CONFERENCE
The Aura prelaunch press conference will be held at 3 p.m. EDT (noon PDT) on Thursday, July 8, in the main conference room of the NASA Vandenberg Resident Office, Building 840, VAFB. Mission experts will be available to discuss the science and engineering aspects of the mission, as well as international participation.
Two-way question and answer capability will be available from NASA Headquarters and participating NASA centers. Media desiring to cover the prelaunch press conference should meet at the south gate of VAFB on California State Road 246 at 11:30 a.m. local time. They will be escorted to the NASA Vandenberg Resident Office.
WEB PRELAUNCH AND LAUNCH COVERAGE
A special live prelaunch webcast is scheduled for July 8 at 5:30 p.m. EDT (2:30 p.m. PDT). For more information, go to the NASA Direct! Web site at: http://www.ksc.nasa.gov/nasadirect/index.htm
NASA Television launch coverage will be webcast at: http://www.nasa.gov/ntv
Live informational updates and post-event video will be available through Kennedy Space Center's Virtual Launch Control Center at: http://www.ksc.nasa.gov/elvnew/Aura/vlcc.htm
Following the prelaunch press conference, media desiring to establish sound-activated remote cameras at the launch pad will be escorted to Space Launch Complex 2. Departure from the south gate of VAFB will be at 1:15 p.m. local time July 8.
PHOTO OPPORTUNITY AT SPACE LAUNCH COMPLEX 2
There will be an opportunity to photograph the Boeing Delta II rocket at the pad after the service tower has been retracted from around the launch vehicle. Media wishing to go to the pad for this event should be at the main gate of VAFB on Friday, July 9, at 6 p.m. PDT.
LAUNCH DAY PRESS COVERAGE
On launch day media covering the Aura launch should be at the main gate of VAFB at 2 a.m. PDT to be escorted to the press site on north VAFB. After launch, media will be escorted back to the main gate. Media desiring interviews will be escorted to NASA Building 840. Launch and mission officials will be available after spacecraft separation, approximately one hour after launch.
NASA TELEVISION, VOICE ("V" CIRCUIT) COVERAGE
The prelaunch press conference will be carried at 3 p.m. EDT (noon PDT) Thursday, July 8. Remote question and answer capability from NASA field centers will be available. On launch day programming on NASA Television will begin at 4 a.m. EDT (1 a.m. PDT) with the start of cryogenic fueling of the Delta II. NASA Television is carried on AMC 9, transponder 9C, at 85 degrees west longitude. Audio only for the news media will be available on the "V" circuits that can be reached by dialing 321/867-1220, -1240, -1260 or -7135.
AURA NEWS CENTER
The Aura News Center at the NASA Vandenberg Resident Office will be staffed beginning July 8, and can be reached at 805/605-3051. A recorded launch status will be available starting on Thursday, July 1, by dialing 805/734-2693. The U.S. Air Force Public Affairs Office at Vandenberg Air Force Base can be reached at 805/606-3595.