Kennedy News

George H. Diller
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
321-867-2468
george.h.diller@nasa.gov

Dwayne Brown
Headquarters, Washington
202-358-1726
dwayne.c.brown@nasa.gov

Guy Webster
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
818-354-6278
guy.w.webster@jpl.nasa.gov

Nov. 10, 2011
 
MEDIA ADVISORY : M11-232
 
 
NASA Sets MSL/Atlas V Launch Coverage Events
 
 
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) spacecraft with the Curiosity rover is set to launch to the planet Mars aboard an Atlas V rocket on Nov. 25, 2011, from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The launch window extends from 10:25 a.m. to 12:08 p.m. EST. The launch period for MSL extends through Dec. 18.

The spacecraft will arrive at Mars in August 2012. Curiosity has 10 science instruments to search for evidence about whether Mars had environments favorable for microbial life, including the chemical ingredients for life. The unique rover will use a laser to look inside rocks and release their gasses so that a spectrometer can analyze them and send the data back to Earth.

Briefings about the mission are scheduled throughout the week leading to launch and will be held at the Kennedy Space Center's Press Site.

Science Briefings and Prelaunch News Conference (all times are EST)

Monday, Nov. 21, 1 p.m.: "What Do We Know About Mars?"
Participants will be:

Michael Meyer, lead scientist, Mars Exploration Program
NASA Headquarters, Washington

John Grotzinger, project scientist, Mars Science Laboratory
California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif.

Bethany Ehlmann, scientist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Assistant professor, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif.

Tuesday, Nov. 22, 11 a.m.: "Looking for Signs of Life in the Universe"
Participants will be:

Mary Voytek, director, Astrobiology Program
NASA Headquarters, Washington

Jamie Foster, professor, Department of Microbiology and Cell Science
University of Florida, Gainesville, Fla.

Pan Conrad, deputy principle investigator, Sample Analysis at Mars, MSL
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

Steven Benner, director, Foundation for Applied Molecular Evolution
Gainesville, Fla.

Catharine Conley, planetary protection officer
NASA Headquarters, Washington

Tuesday, Nov. 22, 1 p.m.: Prelaunch News Conference
Participants will be:

Colleen Hartman, assistant associate administrator, Science Mission Directorate
NASA Headquarters, Washington

Omar Baez, NASA launch director
NASA Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Fla.

Vernon Thorp, program manager, NASA Missions
United Launch Alliance, Denver, Colo.

Peter Theisinger, MSL project manager
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

Clay Flinn, launch weather officer
45th Weather Squadron, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.

Curiosity Mission Science Briefing:
This briefing will immediately follow the prelaunch news conference. Participants will be:

Michael Meyer, lead scientist for Mars Exploration Program
NASA Headquarters, Washington

John Grotzinger, project scientist for Mars Science Laboratory
California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif.

Paul Mahaffy, principal investigator for Sample Analysis at Mars investigation on Curiosity
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

David Blake, principal investigator for Chemistry and Mineralogy investigation on Curiosity
NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.

Michael Malin, principal investigator for the Mast Camera and Mars Descent Imager investigations on Curiosity
Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego, Calif.

Roger Wiens, principal investigator for Chemistry and Camera investigation on Curiosity
Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, N.M.

Wednesday, Nov. 23, 1 p.m.: "Why Mars Excites and Inspires Us"
Participants will be:

Leland Melvin, associate administrator for Education
NASA Headquarters, Washington

Scott Anderson, teacher and science department chairman
Da Vinci School for Science and the Arts, El Paso, Texas

Clara Ma, student, NASA contest winner for naming Curiosity
Shawnee Mission East High School, Prairie Village, Kansas

Veronica McGregor, manager, Media Relations Office
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2 p.m.: "Missions to Mars: Robotics and Humans Together"
(Originating from NASA's Johnson Space Center, Houston)

Doug Ming, manager, Human Exploration Science Office; MSL co-investigator
NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston

Bret Drake, deputy chief architect, Human Spaceflight Architecture Team
NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston

Matt Ondler, assistant director, Advanced Project Development
NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston

Mike Gernhardt, NASA astronaut
NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston

Dr. John Charles, program scientist, Human Research Program
NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston

A post-launch news conference will be held at the NASA News Center approximately 2 1/2 hours after launch.

Question-and-answer capability for all briefings will be available from other NASA field centers. Reporters also can ask questions using a phone bridge provided by Johnson Space Center. To use the bridge, journalists must call the Johnson newsroom 15 minutes prior to the start of each briefing at 281-483-5111.

Accreditation and Media Access Badges

Reporters who want to cover the MSL prelaunch news conference, mission science briefing and the launch must complete the online accreditation process at:

https://media.ksc.nasa.gov/


Accreditation for U.S. media must be received by Monday, Nov. 21. Media may obtain their NASA access badge at the Kennedy Space Center Badging Office located near Gate 3 on State Road 405, just past the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Two forms of government-issued identification, one with a photo, will be required in order to receive an access badge. The Kennedy Space Center Badging Office hours are 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, but the office will be closed on Thanksgiving. For further information about accreditation, contact Laurel Lichtenberger at 321-867-4036.

Atlas V Launch Vehicle Rollout

Wednesday, Nov. 23: There will be a media opportunity to observe the rollout of the Atlas V rocket from the Vertical Integration Facility to the launch pad. Reporters should be at the Kennedy Press Site at 9 a.m. for transportation by bus to the viewing location near Space Launch Complex 41. Media should register their planned attendance at the event on a sign-up list at the Kennedy press site.

Remote Camera Placement at Space Launch Complex 41

Wednesday, Nov. 23: Photographers who wish to set up remote sound-activated cameras at the Atlas V launch pad will be taken by government bus to Space Launch Complex 41. Photographers should meet in the parking lot at the Kennedy Press Site at 12:30 p.m. Remote cameras are being placed at the pad two days before launch because the pad will be closed on Thanksgiving Day. Media should plan on using a timer that can be set for more than 24 hours. Only news media representatives establishing a remote camera at the pad will be permitted for this activity. Photographers should register on the sign-up list at the Kennedy Press Site.

Launch Day Press Site Access

Friday, Nov. 25: Reporters will cover the MSL launch from the Kennedy Press Site. Access will be through Gate 2 on State Road 3 or Gate 3 on State Road 405, east of the Kennedy Visitor Complex, beginning at 6 a.m. There will be no access through Gate 1 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station or Gate 4 to the north of Kennedy Space Center.

Kennedy News Center Hours

Monday, Nov. 21: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 22: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Wednesday, Nov. 23: 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Thursday, Nov. 24: Closed for Thanksgiving
Friday, Nov. 25: 5:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.

NASA Television Launch Coverage

On Friday, Nov. 25, NASA Television coverage of the launch will begin at 8 a.m. and conclude after spacecraft separation from the Atlas V occurs 53 minutes, 49 seconds after launch. Live launch coverage will be carried on all NASA Television channels.

A post-launch news conference will be held at the Kennedy Press Site approximately 2 1/2 hours after launch. A post-launch news release will be issued as soon as the health of MSL is confirmed. Spokespeople also will be available at the Press Site to answer questions and do interviews.

For NASA Television downlink information, schedule information and streaming video, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/ntv


Audio only of the news conferences and the launch coverage will be carried on the NASA "V" circuits which may be accessed by dialing 321-867-1220, -1240, -1260 or -7135. On launch day, mission audio of the launch conductor's countdown activities without NASA TV launch commentary will be carried on 321-867-7135 starting at 7:15 a.m. Launch coverage also will be available on local amateur VHF radio frequency 146.940 MHz broadcast within Brevard County.

NASA Web Coverage

Extensive prelaunch and launch day coverage of the liftoff of the MSL spacecraft aboard an Atlas V rocket will be available on NASA's home page on the Internet at:

http://www.nasa.gov


A prelaunch webcast for the MSL mission will be streamed on the Web on Wednesday, Nov. 22, at noon. Live countdown coverage through NASA's Launch Blog begins at 8 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 25. Coverage features live updates as countdown milestones occur, as well as streaming video clips highlighting launch preparations and liftoff. For questions about countdown coverage, contact Jeanne Ryba at 321-867-7824.

To view the webcast and the blog or to learn more about the MSL mission, visit the mission home page at:

http://www.nasa.gov/msl


Twitter

The NASA News Twitter feed will be updated throughout the launch countdown. To access the NASA News Twitter feed, visit:

http://www.twitter.com/nasakennedy


Recorded Status

Recorded status reports on the launch of MSL and updates to the media advisory will be provided on the Kennedy media phone line starting Monday, Nov. 21. The telephone number is 321-867-2525.

Wireless Capability

There is no wireless capability at Kennedy for the news media. Reporters should plan to bring air cards.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., manages the MSL mission. Launch management is the responsibility of NASA's Launch Services Program at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Atlas V launch service is provided by United Launch Alliance, Denver, Colo.

 

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