NOAA-N Prime Atop Delta II Rocket Ready For Launch Feb. 4


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VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The launch of the NOAA-N Prime polar-orbiting weather satellite for NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 4.

Liftoff will be from Space Launch Complex 2, SLC-2, at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The 10-minute launch window extends from 2:22:01 - 2:32:01 a.m. PST.

The NOAA-N Prime satellite, built for NASA by Lockheed Martin, will improve weather forecasting and monitor environmental events around the world. NOAA-N Prime is the fifth and last in the current series of five polar-orbiting satellites with improved imaging and sounding capabilities.

The satellite will collect meteorological data and transmit the information to NOAA's Satellite and Information Service, which processes the data for input to the National Weather Service for its long-range weather and climate forecasts. Forecasters worldwide also will be able to access the satellite's images and data.

NOAA-N Prime has sensors that will be used in the Search and Rescue Satellite-Aided Tracking System to monitor for distress signals around the world.

ACCREDITATION

News media desiring accreditation for the launch of NOAA-N should fax their request on news organization letterhead to:

2Lt. Raymond Geoffroy
30th Space Wing Public Affairs Office
Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

Telephone: 805-606-3595
FAX: 805-606-8303
E-mail: raymond.geoffroy@vandenberg.af.mil

Information required for U.S. media is full legal name, date of birth and media affiliation.

PRELAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE

Monday, Feb. 2: A prelaunch news conference will be held at 1 p.m. PST in the 2nd floor conference room of the NASA Vandenberg Resident Office, Building 840, at Vandenberg Air Force Base. The news conference will be carried live on NASA Television. Participants will be:

- Mike Mignogno, program manager, Polar Operational Environmental Satellites NOAA

- Omar Baez, NASA launch director Kennedy Space Center

- Kris Walsh, director of NASA and Commercial Programs United Launch Alliance

- R. Wayne McIntyre, NOAA-N Prime spacecraft project manager NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

- Capt. Damon Vorhees, launch weather officer, 30th Weather Squadron Vandenberg Air Force Base

Question-and-answer capability will be available from participating NASA locations.

Media desiring to cover the prelaunch news conference should meet at the south gate of VAFB on California State Road 246 at 12:30 p.m. on Feb. 2. They will be escorted by 30th Space Wing Public Affairs to the NASA Vandenberg Resident Office.

REMOTE CAMERAS

Tuesday, Feb. 3: Media desiring to establish sound-activated remote cameras at the launch pad should meet at the pass and identification building located at the Vandenberg main gate on California State Road 1 at 11:30 a.m. to be escorted to SLC-2.

LAUNCH DAY MEDIA COVERAGE

Wednesday, Feb. 4: Media covering the launch should meet at 1:15 a.m. at the Vandenberg main gate pass and identification building located on California State Road 1. Press credentials and identification from a bona fide news organization will be required for access. A driver's license alone will not be sufficient. Media will then be escorted to the press viewing site located on north Vandenberg.

After launch, media will be escorted back to the gate. A post-launch news conference will not be held. However, media interested in speaking with launch officials will be escorted to the NASA Mission Director's Center for an interview opportunity after spacecraft separation, which occurs 65 minutes after launch.

NASA TELEVISION AND VOICE CIRCUIT COVERAGE

On launch day, Feb. 4, NASA TV launch commentary coverage of the countdown will begin at 12:15 a.m. PST and conclude after spacecraft separation from the Delta II, occurring 65 minutes, 36 seconds after launch.

For NASA TV downlink information, schedules and links to streaming video, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/ntv

Audio of the prelaunch news conference and launch coverage is available to media on the following phone lines: 321-867-1220, -1240, and -1260. This system is not two-way interactive. For launch, "mission audio," countdown activities without NASA launch commentary, will be carried on 321-867-7135 beginning at midnight.

WEB COVERAGE

Prelaunch and launch day coverage of the NOAA-N Prime mission will be available on the NASA Web site at:

http://www.nasa.gov

Live countdown coverage on NASA's launch blog begins at 12:15 a.m. PST. Coverage features real-time updates of countdown milestones, as well as streaming video clips highlighting launch preparations and liftoff.

To access these features, go to NASA's NOAA-N Prime mission Web site at:

http://www.nasa.gov/noaa-n-prime/

NASA NOAA-N PRIME NEWS CENTER

The NOAA-N Prime News Center at the NASA Vandenberg Resident Office will be staffed beginning Wednesday, Jan. 28. For information beginning at that time, call 805-605-3051. A recorded status report will also be available starting at that time by dialing 805-734-2693.

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