Deep Impact Spacecraft Launching Aboard Delta II Jan 12

Press Release From: Kennedy Space Center
Posted: Wednesday, January 5, 2005

image Launch of NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft is scheduled for Jan. 12, 2005, at about 1:48 p.m. EST. Liftoff will occur aboard a Boeing Delta II rocket from Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. On July 4, 2005, the Deep Impact spacecraft will arrive at Comet Tempel 1.

Comets are time capsules that hold clues about the formation and evolution of the Solar System. They are composed of ice, gas and dust, primitive debris from the Solar System's distant and coldest regions that formed 4.5 billion years ago.

Deep Impact is comprised of two parts, a "fly-by" spacecraft and a smaller "impactor" to be released into the comet's path for a planned collision. On impact, the crater produced by the impactor is expected to range in size from that of a house to that of a football field and will be from two to fourteen stories deep. Ice and dust debris will be ejected from the crater, revealing the material beneath. The effects of the collision with the comet will be observed by the fly-by spacecraft, the Hubble, Spitzer and Chandra great observatories, and by telescopes on Earth. Results from the mission will lead to a better understanding of comets and the Solar System's formation.

Prelaunch Press Conference

The prelaunch press conference will be held at the NASA News Center at KSC on Tuesday, Jan. 11, at 1 p.m. EST. Participating in the briefing will be:

Orlando Figueroa, Director, Solar System Exploration Division
NASA Headquarters, Washington

Omar Baez, NASA Launch Director/NASA Launch Manager
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

Kris Walsh, Director of NASA Programs
Boeing Expendable Launch Systems, Huntington Beach, Calif.

Rick Grammier, Deep Impact Project Manager
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

Monte Henderson, Deputy Program Manager
Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corporation, Boulder, Colo.

Joel Tumbiolo, USAF Delta II Launch Weather Officer
45th Weather Squadron, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.

Deep Impact Mission Science Briefing

A mission science briefing will immediately follow the prelaunch press conference. Participating will be:

Dr. Tom Morgan, Deep Impact Program Scientist
NASA Headquarters, Washington

Dr. Mike A'Hearn, Deep Impact Principal Investigator
University of Maryland

Dr. Don Yeomans, Co-Investigator
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

Dr. Lucy McFadden, Co-Investigator
University of Maryland

No post-launch press conference will be held. A post-launch release will be issued with details on the state of health of Deep Impact after spacecraft data is received through the Deep Space Network. This release is expected to be issued approximately two hours after launch.

Accreditation and Media Access Badges for KSC

Those who need press accreditation and access badges to the Kennedy Space Center to cover the Deep Impact prelaunch press conference and mission science briefing may do the accreditation process via the Web by going to:

Media may also send a letter of request on news organization letterhead to the NASA KSC News Center. Include the names and Social Security numbers, birth dates, nationality and country of citizenship of those who require accreditation. Letters should be faxed to 321-867-2692 or may be addressed to:

Deep Impact Launch Accreditation
Kennedy Space Center, FL 32899

All accreditation for the Deep Impact prelaunch press conference and mission science briefing to be held at the KSC press site must be received by the close of business on Monday, Jan. 10. Media may obtain their NASA access badge at the Pass and Identification Building, the badging station located on State Road 405 just east of U.S. 1. Contact the NASA News Center at 321-867-2468 for further information.

Remote Camera Placement at Complex 17

Tuesday, Dec. 11: Photographers who wish to set up remote cameras at the Delta launch complex will be escorted by a Boeing representative to Pad 17-B. Departure will be at 9 a.m. from the Gate 1 Pass and Identification Building located on State Road 401 outside Gate 1 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Tower Rollback Photo Opportunity at Complex 17

Wednesday, Jan. 12: There will be an opportunity to observe rollback of the mobile service tower from around the Deep Impact/Delta II launch vehicle at Pad 17-B. Media will depart at 5 a.m. by government bus from the Gate 1 Pass and Identification Building on State Road 401 outside Gate 1 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Press credentials and identification from a bona fide news organization will be required.

Launch Day Press Site Access to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station

Wednesday, Jan. 12: Media covering the Deep Impact launch will be able to obtain press access badges beginning at 11:30 a.m. at the Gate 1 Pass and Identification Building on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station located on State Road 401. Press credentials and identification from a bona fide news organization will be required to obtain an access badge. A driver's license alone will not be sufficient.

Departure in a vehicle caravan from Gate 1 to Press Site 1 will be at 12:15 p.m.

News Center Hours for Launch

The NASA News Center at KSC will open for Deep Impact news operations starting Monday, Jan. 10, from 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Web Prelaunch and Launch Coverage

A prelaunch webcast is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 10. For more information, go to the NASA Direct Web site at:

NASA Television launch coverage will be webcast at:

Live information updates will be available through Kennedy Space Cente's Virtual Launch Control Center at:

NASA Television Coverage

On Tuesday, Jan. 11, NASA Television will carry live the Deep Impact prelaunch press conference and mission science briefing beginning at 1 p.m. EST. On Wednesday, Jan. 12, NASA Television coverage of the launch will begin at 11:30 a.m. EST and conclude approximately one hour after launch, once data from the Deep Space Network confirms the spacecraft's solar arrays have successfully deployed.

In the continental United States, NASA Television is on AMC-6, Transponder 9 located at 72 degrees West longitude. In Alaska and Hawaii, all Deep Impact events will be on AMC-7 Transponder 18 located at 137 degrees West longitude.

Audio only of the prelaunch press conference and the launch coverage will be carried on the NASA V circuits which may be accessed by dialing 321/867-1220... 1240... 1260. On launch day, "Mission Audio," countdown activities without NASA launch commentary, will be carried on 321/867-7135. It will also be available on local amateur radio frequency 146.940 Mhz which can be heard throughout Brevard County.

Recorded status reports on the launch of Deep Impact and updates to the Media Advisory will be provided on the KSC news media codaphone starting Saturday, Jan. 8. The telephone number is 321/867-2525.

The management of the Deep Impact launch is the responsibility of NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center, Fla., with the Delta II launch service provided by Boeing Expendable Launch Systems in Huntington Beach, Calif. The spacecraft was built for NASA by Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corporation, Boulder, Co. Deep Impact Project Management is by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

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