JASON/TIME Ready for Launch on Delta II Rocket Dec. 7

Status Report From: Goddard Space Flight Center
Posted: Monday, November 19, 2001

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 - 7:18 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 like El Nino. The project is managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory 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 - 110 miles (60 - 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.


U.S. news media desiring accreditation for the launch of Jason/TIMED should fax their request on news organization letterhead to:

NASA Vandenberg Resident Office
Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.
Attention: George Diller
FAX: 805/605-3380

Foreign news media requesting accreditation must also fax a request not later than Nov. 30 to:

30th Space Wing Public Affairs Office
Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.
Attention: Master Sgt. Lloyd Conley
FAX: 805/606-8303

For further information on NASA launch accreditation procedures call 321/867-2468. For foreign media, call the 30th Space Wing Public Affairs Office at 805/606-3595.


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:

Chuck Dovale, NASA Launch Manager
Kennedy Space Center

Joy Bryant, Delta II Mission Director
The Boeing Company

Bruce Campbell, TIMED Project Manager
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Gary Kuntsmann, Jason 1 Project Manager
Jet Propulsion Laboratory

The launch weather officer from the 30th Weather Squadron at Vandenberg Air Force Base will also participate. Two-way question and answer capability will be available from NASA field centers including Kennedy Space Center, Goddard Space Flight Center, Jet Propulsion Laboratory and NASA Headquarters.

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.


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.


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 is being coordinated for coverage of STS-108 and Jason/TIMED. 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 on the NASA Kennedy Space Center home page at

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.

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