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2001 Mars Odyssey Scheduled for launch April 7

Press Release From: Kennedy Space Center
Posted: Thursday, March 29, 2001

The launch of NASA's 2001 Mars Odyssey is scheduled for Saturday, April 7, at 11:02 a.m. EDT. Liftoff will occur aboard a Boeing Delta II launch vehicle from Pad A at Space Launch Complex 17, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. A second launch opportunity exists thirty minutes later at 11:32 a.m., if necessary. Should launch be delayed by 24 hours, the two launch times available on Sunday are 10:29 a.m. and 11:29 a.m. EDT. The planetary launch window extends through April 27.

The 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft, built by Lockheed Martin Space Systems for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, is designed to map the Martian surface. It will search for geological features that could indicate the presence of water, now or in the past, and may contribute significantly toward understanding what will be necessary for a more sophisticated exploration of Mars.

PRELAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE AND MISSION SCIENCE BRIEFING

A prelaunch news conference is scheduled for Friday, April 6, at 1 p.m. EDT in the NASA-KSC News Center auditorium and will be carried live on NASA Television. Participating in the briefing will be:

Chuck Dovale, NASA Launch Manager
Kennedy Space Center

Joy Bryant, Delta II Mission Director
The Boeing Company

George Pace, Mars Odyssey Project Manager
Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Bob Berry, Mars Odyssey Program Manager
Lockheed Martin Space Systems - Astronautics Operations

Joel Tumbiolo, Launch Weather Officer
Department of the Air Force

Following the prelaunch news conference, a 2001 Mars Odyssey Mission Science Briefing will be held at 2 p.m. Participating will be:

Dr. Ed Weiler, Associate Administrator for Space Science
NASA Headquarters

Dr. Jim Garvin, Mars Program Scientist
NASA Headquarters

Scott Hubbard, Mars Program Director
NASA Headquarters

Dr. Firouz Naderi, Mars Program Manager
Jet Propulsion Laboratory

ACCREDITATION Media who wish to cover the launch of Mars Odyssey including the prelaunch news conference and mission science briefing should send a letter of request to the NASA-KSC News Center on news organization letterhead. It should include name and Social Security number or passport number. By close of business Thursday, April 5, letters should be faxed to 321/867-2692 or addressed to:

Mars Odyssey Launch Accreditation
NASA XA-E1
Kennedy Space Center, FL 32899

Mars Odyssey mission badges may be obtained at the NASA-KSC News Center on Wednesday and Thursday, April 4 - 5 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. On Friday, April 6, badges may be picked up at the News Media Pass & Identification Building at Gate 2 on SR3, Merritt Island, between 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. On launch day, Saturday, April 7, Mars Odyssey mission badges will be available starting at 9:15 a.m. and will be issued at the Pass & Identification Building on SR 401 outside Gate 1 of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Departure on launch day from the Gate 1 Pass & Identification Building for Press Site 1 will be at 9:30 a.m. A NASA Mars Odyssey mission badge is required for all media covering the launch at Press Site 1. Annual KSC badges or other Space Shuttle launch credentials will not be honored on Mars Odyssey launch day.

After launch, media may leave unescorted for the return to Gate 1. An escort is required for all other areas of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. For further information on 2001 Mars Odyssey launch accreditation contact Patty Beck at the NASA-KSC News Center at 321/867-2468.

REMOTE CAMERAS

Media wishing to establish remote cameras at the launch pad should meet at the NASA-KSC News Center at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, April 6, to be escorted to Space Launch Complex 17.

PRESS SITE OPERATING HOURS

On launch day, Saturday, April 7, the NASA-KSC News Center will be open from 9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

NASA TELEVISION COVERAGE, V CIRCUITS, WEBCAST AND RECORDED LAUNCH STATUS

NASA Television will carry the prelaunch news conference and mission science briefing beginning at 1 p.m. EDT on Friday, April 6. On launch day, Saturday, April 7, countdown coverage will begin at 9:30 a.m. Coverage from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station will conclude shortly after spacecraft separation that occurs 33 minutes after launch. Commentary will then begin from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for acquisition of the spacecraft's radio signal through the Deep Space Network tracking station at Canberra, Australia. This is anticipated to occur approximately one hour after launch at which time the Mars Odyssey spacecraft's state of health can be reported.

NASA Television is available on satellite GE 2, transponder 9C, located at 85 degrees West longitude. A simulcast of the NASA Television coverage will also be available on the worldwide web at www.ksc.nasa.gov. Information about the 2001 Mars Odyssey mission is available on-line at www.jpl.nasa.gov and www.ast.lmco.com.

Audio only of NASA Television coverage of the prelaunch news conference and launch commentary will be available on the "V" circuits which may be dialed directly at 321/867-1220, 867-1240, 867-1260, 867-7135, 867-4003, 867-4920.

The NASA-KSC News Center codaphone will carry Mars Odyssey pre-launch status reports beginning at L-3 days, on Wednesday, April 4, and may be dialed at 321/867-2525.

George H. Diller
Kennedy Space Center
321/867-2468

Mary Hardin
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
818/354-5011

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