NASA's New Horizons spacecraft, to be launched toward the planet Pluto on Jan. 11 aboard an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral, will be the focus of a news media opportunity at 12:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4 at Kennedy Space Center.
Media representatives will be taken inside the clean room at KSC's Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility (PHSF) to photograph the New Horizons spacecraft and talk with project management and test team members from NASA and the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.
New Horizons is the first mission in NASA's New Frontiers program of medium-class planetary missions. The spacecraft, designed for NASA by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md., will fly by Pluto and its moon, Charon, as early as summer 2015.
The National Research Council ranked the first reconnaissance of Pluto and the Kuiper Belt at the top of its priority list for planetary missions to be launched in this decade. A close-up look at these mysterious worlds will provide new information about the origin and evolution of our solar system.
Carrying seven scientific instruments, the compact 1,060-pound New Horizons probe will characterize the global geology and geomorphology of Pluto and Charon, map their surface compositions and temperatures, and examine Pluto's complex atmosphere. After that, flybys of Kuiper Belt objects from even farther in the solar system may be undertaken in an extended mission.
Participating in the media event will be:
Alan Stern, New Horizons Principal Investigator
Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio
David Kusnierkiewicz, New Horizons Mission Systems Engineer
Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
Michael Stelzer, NASA Mission Integration Manager
NASA Launch Services Program, Kennedy Space Center
Kurt Lindstrom, New Horizons Program Executive
NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C.
Other spokespeople will also be available from the U.S. Department of Energy and Lockheed Martin.
For this event, full clean room protocol must be observed. Those planning to attend are required to wear long pants and closed-toe shoes. Clean room attire (bunny suits) will be furnished. Quality control personnel will request cleaning of photographic equipment with alcohol wipes that will be provided.
No suede, leather or vinyl camera cases are permitted within the clean room. Special bags will be provided for camera accessories. Please do not wear perfume, cologne or makeup. No graphite pencils, food, tobacco, chewing gum, lighters, matches, pocketknives, cell phones or two-way pagers will be permitted inside the clean room. Wireless microphones and electronic flash photography will be permitted. The lighting in the facility is high-pressure sodium (orange).
Those needing accreditation should apply online at https://media.ksc.nasa.gov.
For further information regarding accreditation for the event, contact the NASA News Center at 321/867-2468 by 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 3.
On Friday, Nov. 4, media will depart from the KSC Press Site by bus for the PHSF at 12:30 p.m. Arrival back at the KSC Press Site is anticipated at approximately 3:30 p.m.
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George H. Diller
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.