CONTOUR Spacecraft Press Opportunity to be Held at KSC June 5

Press Release From: Kennedy Space Center
Posted: Monday, June 3, 2002

The NASA Comet Nucleus Tour (CONTOUR) spacecraft, to be launched in early July, will be featured in a news media opportunity on Wednesday, June 5, at 9:30 a.m.

CONTOUR is our first detailed look into the heart of a comet - it's nucleus. The spacecraft will fly as close as 60 miles (100 kilometers) of at least two comets, taking the sharpest pictures yet of the nucleus while analyzing the gas and dust that surround these rocky, icy building blocks of the solar system. For the first time, CONTOUR will help us assess the diversity of comets and unravel the mysteries of how they evolve. CONTOUR has been built and will be controlled after launch by the Applied Physics Laboratory of Johns Hopkins University located in Baltimore, Md.

For this event, standard clean room protocol will be observed. Those planning to attend are requested to wear long pants. Shorts or tank tops are not permitted. Closed-toe shoes are also required. Clean room attire (bunny suits) will be furnished. Quality control personnel may request cleaning of photographic equipment with alcohol wipes that will be provided. No suede, leather or vinyl attire or accessories are permitted. Please do not wear perfume, cologne or makeup. No graphite pencils, food, tobacco, lighters, matches, or pocket knives will be permitted inside the clean room. Electronic flash photography is permitted. The lighting in the facility is mercury vapor.

The spacecraft's science instruments are sensitive to radio frequency (RF) transmissions. Therefore, for this spacecraft showing, no cellular telephones, pagers, wireless microphones, or two-way radios can be allowed inside SAEF-2.

Spokespeople from the Applied Physics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University will be available to discuss the CONTOUR spacecraft, answer questions and be available for interviews.

Those needing accreditation should contact the NASA News Center at 321/867-2468 by the close of business Tuesday, June 4.

Media currently accredited for Shuttle mission STS-111 do not need additional accreditation.

On Wednesday, June 5, the press bus will depart from the KSC News Center for SAEF-2 promptly at 9:30 a.m. Media will be returned to the press site by 11:30 a.m.

CONTOUR is scheduled for launch on July 1 at 2:56 a.m. EDT at the opening of a 6-second launch window. Liftoff will be aboard a Boeing Delta II rocket from Pad 17-A on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. There is a 25-day science window beginning July 1.

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