The launch of the GOES-M weather satellite for NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) aboard a Lockheed Martin Atlas IIA rocket (AC-142) has been re-scheduled for Sunday, July 22. Liftoff is targeted to occur at the opening of a launch window that extends from 3:01 - 4:25 a.m. EDT, a duration of one hour and 24 minutes. Launch will occur from Pad A at Complex 36 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
GOES-M is the fifth and last spacecraft to be launched in the current advanced series of geostationary weather satellites for NOAA, however, it is the first to have a Solar X-ray Imager. The spacecraft is a three-axis internally stabilized weather satellite that has the dual capability of providing pictures while performing atmospheric sounding at the same time. Once in orbit the spacecraft will be designated GOES-12.
The new Solar X-ray Imager is a solar storm detection instrument. It will take a full-disk image of the sun's atmosphere once every minute. The images will be used to monitor and forecast the sources of space weather disturbances from the sun. This will enable forecasters to predict disturbances to Earth's space environment that can fry satellite electronics, disrupt satellite, navigation and radio signals, and create surges in power grids. This will also benefit astronauts, high-altitude pilots and scientists.
NASA/NOAA Pre-launch Press Conference
The prelaunch press conference will be held at the NASA-KSC News Center on Friday, July 20 at 12:30 p.m. EDT. Participating in the briefing will be:
There will be a tower-rollback photo opportunity for the news media. Press representatives should be at the Gate 1 Pass and Identification Building on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station located on State Road 401 at 11:30 p.m., July 21. Departure for Launch Complex 36 will be promptly at 11:45 p.m.
Media covering launch only should assemble at the Gate 1 Pass and Identification Building at 1:30 a.m., Sunday, July 22. The convoy to Press Site 1 will depart at 1:45 a.m.
Media who wish to cover the pre-launch press conference and the launch of GOES-M should send a letter of request on news organization letterhead. Include the full names, Social Security numbers and birth dates of those desiring accreditation. Letters should be faxed to 321/867-2692 or may be addressed to:
GOES-M Launch Accreditation
Kennedy Space Center, FL 32899
GOES-M/AC-142 mission badges may be picked up at the NASA-KSC News Center beginning on Wednesday, July 18. Badges may also be obtained on launch day, Sunday, July 22 at the Gate 1 Pass and Identification Building starting at 1:30 a.m. All media are required to have a GOES-M mission badge to cover the launch. STS 104 mission badges will not be valid.
Remote Camera Placement
On Saturday, July 21 at 9:30 a.m., a van will depart from the NASA-KSC News Center for Complex 36 for media photographers to establish remote cameras at the pad. There will be no access or transportation from Gate 1 for remote camera set-ups.
NASA Television will carry live the GOES-M/AC-142 pre-launch press conference on Friday, July 20 at 12:30 p.m. A two-way question and answer capability will be available from other NASA field centers.
A complete GOES-M video package will be broadcast during the NASA TV Video File on July 20 at 12 noon EDT.
On launch day, Sunday, July 22, live coverage on NASA Television will begin at 1:30 a.m. and continue through spacecraft separation at L+27 minutes. If launch should be postponed 24 hours to Monday, July 23, launch coverage will not be on NASA Television, but instead will be on Skynet's Telstar 5, Transponder C-20 located at 97 degrees West.
The pre-launch press conference and all launch coverage will be carried live on the NASA "V" audio circuits which may be accessed by dialing 321/867-7135, 4003, and 4920. NASA Television is available on the GE-2 satellite, transponder 9C, located at 85 degrees West.
Recorded status reports on the launch of GOES-M/AC-142 will be available on the KSC news media codaphone starting on Thursday, July 19. The telephone number is 321/867-2525.