The launch of the Jason 1 and Timed satellites aboard a Boeing Delta II rocket is scheduled to occur on Friday, Dec. 7 from NASA's Space Launch Complex 2 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The 20-minute launch window extends from 6:58 to 7:18 a.m. PST. The target launch time is 7:07 a.m. PST.
Jason 1 is a joint U.S./French oceanography mission. The spacecraft will build on the heritage of the venerable Topex/Poseidon satellite in continuing observations of the global climate interaction occurring between the sea and the atmosphere. Jason 1 will monitor world ocean circulation, study interactions of the oceans and atmosphere, improve climate predictions and observe events such as El Nino. The project is managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., for NASA and the French space agency.
NASA's Timed spacecraft will conduct the first global study of a critical region of Earth's atmosphere, known as the mesosphere, lower thermosphere and ionosphere. The two-year mission will study the influences of the sun as well as humans on this least explored and understood region located between 40 to 110 miles (60 to 180 kilometers) above the Earth's surface. Data provided by Timed will improve our understanding of this "gateway region" and its effects on satellites, communications, and spacecraft re-entering the Earth's atmosphere. Timed is a NASA satellite managed by the Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
U.S. news media desiring accreditation for the launch of Jason/Timed should fax their request on news organization letterhead to:
PRELAUNCH PRESS CONFERENCE
The Jason/Timed prelaunch press conference will be held on Thursday, Dec. 6, at 11 a.m. PST in the main conference room of the NASA Vandenberg Resident Office, Building 840, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. Participants will be:
Media desiring to cover the prelaunch press conference should meet at the south gate of Vandenberg Air Force Base on California State Road 246 at 10:30 a.m. They will be escorted to the NASA Vandenberg Resident Office.
Following the prelaunch press conference, media desiring to establish sound-activated remote cameras at the launch pad will be escorted to Space Launch Complex 2. Departure from the south gate of Vandenberg Air Force Base on California State Road 246 will be at noon on Thursday, Dec. 6.
TOWER ROLLBACK PHOTO OPPORTUNITY
The night before launch, Dec. 6, there will be a photo opportunity at Space Launch Complex 2 for news media to witness rollback of the mobile service tower from around the Delta II launch vehicle.
Media desiring to participate should so indicate in their request for accreditation since attendance is limited for security and safety reasons.
Those attending should be at the Vandenberg Air Force Base main gate at 9 p.m.
LAUNCH DAY PRESS COVERAGE
On launch day, Dec. 7, media covering the launch of Jason/Timed should be at the main gate located on California State Road 1 at 5:30 a.m. to be escorted to the press site located on north Vandenberg Air Force Base. After launch, media will be escorted back to the main gate. A post-launch press conference will not be held.
NASA TELEVISION, VOICE "V" CIRCUIT COVERAGE, WEBCAST
NASA Television is being coordinated for coverage of shuttle mission STS-108 and the Jason/Timed launch. The prelaunch news conference will be carried starting at 11 a.m. PST on Thursday, Dec. 6. On launch day, Dec. 7, NASA TV coverage of the countdown will begin at 5:50 a.m. PST following STS-108 astronaut wake-up activities. Coverage will conclude after Jason/Timed spacecraft separation events have occurred. During the extended coast phase between the separation of Jason and Timed, STS-108 on-orbit activities will be covered during a 45-minute interim period.
NASA Television is carried on GE-2, transponder 9C located at 85 degrees West longitude. Audio only will be available on the "V" circuits that may be reached by dialing (321) 867-1220, 1240, 1260, or 7135.
A Webcast of the launch will also be available through JPL at www.jpl.nasa.gov/jason or on the NASA Kennedy Space Center home page at www.ksc.nasa.gov .
The Jason/Timed News Center at the NASA Vandenberg Resident Office will be staffed beginning Tuesday, Dec. 4, and may be reached at (805) 605-3051. A recorded status report will also be available starting at that time by dialing (805) 734-2693.