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NASA Announces ST5 Spacecraft Launch Set For Wednesday

Press Release From: NASA HQ
Posted: Tuesday, March 21, 2006

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The second launch attempt of NASA's Space Technology 5 spacecraft is scheduled for Wednesday, March 22 at 9:02 a.m. EST. NASA TV begins live coverage at 7:30 a.m. EST.

Departure of the L-1011 aircraft carrying the Orbital Sciences Pegasus XL rocket and ST5 is scheduled for 8:04 a.m. EST, from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The Pegasus/ST5 launch is targeted over the Pacific Ocean, 145 miles northwest of Vandenberg. The launch window closes at 10:20 a.m. EST.

The weather forecast on Wednesday is generally favorable with an 80 percent chance of meeting launch criteria.

During the first launch attempt on March 15, the Pegasus starboard flight control surface fin pin did not retract resulting in an aborted attempt. NASA and Orbital Sciences completed an engineering analysis, but the exact cause of the malfunction could not be determined. The most likely reason was the pin retractor system failed to operate due to the formation of ice.

The mechanism was removed and replaced in case there were other contributing causes. Steps have also been taken to mitigate potential water intrusion that could form ice during captive carry. For information about ST5 on the Web, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/st5

NASA TV's Public, Education and Media channels are available on an MPEG-2 digital C-band signal accessed via satellite AMC-6, at 72 degrees west longitude, transponder 17C, 4040 MHz, vertical polarization. In Alaska and Hawaii, they're on AMC-7 at 137 degrees west longitude, transponder 18C, at 4060 MHz, horizontal polarization. For digital downlink information, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/ntv

For information about NASA and agency programs on the Web, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/home

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