NASA's Next Shuttle Launch Now Targeted for April 5; Media Credentials Deadlines Updated
WASHINGTON -- NASA is targeting Monday, April 5, for the launch of the next space shuttle from the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Shuttle Discovery's seven crew members had planned to lift off on March 18 to begin the STS-131 mission to the International Space Station. However, cold weather in Florida has delayed Discovery's move to the Vehicle Assembly Building to complete the shuttle's processing, which has delayed the rollout to the launch pad.
The Space Shuttle Program has specific rules against transporting the shuttle when temperatures are below a certain level for extended periods. The vehicle has thrusters with seals that could leak under cold temperatures. As a result of the new STS-131 target launch date, NASA has extended the media accreditation deadlines. Deadlines for journalists to apply for the shuttle rollout and Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test are as early as Feb. 23. To be accredited, reporters must work for verifiable news-gathering organizations. No substitutions of credentials are allowed at any NASA facility.
Additional time may be required to process accreditation requests by journalists from certain designated countries. Designated countries include those with which the United States has no diplomatic relations, countries on the State Department's list of state sponsors of terrorism, those under U.S. sanction or embargo, and countries associated with proliferation concerns. Please contact the accrediting NASA center for details. Journalists should confirm they have been accredited before they travel. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER
Reporters applying for credentials at Kennedy should submit requests via the Web at:
Reporters must use work e-mail addresses, not personal accounts, when applying. After accreditation is approved, applicants will receive confirmation via e-mail.
Accredited media representatives with mission badges will have access to Kennedy from launch through the end of the mission. The application deadline for mission badges is March 24 for all reporters requesting credentials.
Discovery's rollout from the Vehicle Assembly Building, or VAB, to Launch Pad 39A, planned for March 2, follows its rollover from Orbiter Processing Facility-3 to the VAB, which is targeted for Feb. 22. The launch countdown dress rehearsal, known as the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test, is targeted for March 5. Media must apply by 5 p.m. EST, Tuesday, Feb. 23 to cover rollout and the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test.
Reporters with special logistic requests for Kennedy, such as space for satellite trucks, trailers, electrical connections or work space, must contact Laurel Lichtenberger by March 11 at:
There is no longer free wireless Internet access provided at Kennedy's news center. Work space in the news center and the news center annex is provided on a first-come basis, limited to one space per organization. To set up temporary telephone, fax, ISDN or network lines, media representatives must make arrangements with BellSouth at 800-213-4988. Reporters must have an assigned seat in the Kennedy newsroom prior to setting up lines. To obtain an assigned seat, contact Patricia Christian at:
Journalists must have a public affairs escort to all other areas of Kennedy except the Launch Complex 39 cafeteria. JOHNSON SPACE CENTER
Reporters may obtain credentials for NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston by calling the Johnson newsroom at 281-483-5111 or by presenting STS-131 mission credentials from Kennedy. Media representatives planning to cover the mission only from Johnson need to apply for credentials only at Johnson. The application deadline for mission badges is March 19 for all reporters requesting credentials.
Journalists covering the mission from Johnson using Kennedy credentials must contact the Johnson newsroom by March 19 to arrange workspace, phone lines and other logistics. Johnson is responsible for credentialing media if the shuttle lands at NASA's White Sands Space Harbor, N.M. If a landing is imminent at White Sands, Johnson will arrange credentials. DRYDEN FLIGHT RESEARCH CENTER
Notice for a space shuttle landing at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center on Edwards Air Force Base in California could be short. Domestic media outlets should consider accrediting Los Angeles-based personnel who could travel quickly to Dryden. Deadlines for submitting Dryden accreditation requests are March 9 for non-U.S. media, regardless of citizenship, and April 12 for U.S. media who are U.S. citizens or who have permanent residency status.
For Dryden media credentials, U.S. citizens representing domestic media outlets must provide their full name, date of birth, place of birth, media organization, driver's license number with the name of the issuing state, and the last six digits of their social security number.
In addition to the above requirements, foreign media representatives, regardless of citizenship, must provide data including their citizenship, visa or passport number and its expiration date. Foreign nationals representing either domestic or foreign media who have permanent residency status must provide their alien registration number and expiration date.
Journalists should fax requests for credentials on company letterhead to 661-276-3566 or e-mail requests to:
Requests must include a phone number and business e-mail address for follow-up contact. Journalists who previously requested credentials will not need to do so again. NASA PUBLIC AFFAIRS CONTACTS:
Kennedy Space Center: Allard Beutel, 321-867-2468, firstname.lastname@example.org
Johnson Space Center: James Hartsfield, 281-483-5111, email@example.com
Dryden Flight Research Center: Leslie Williams, 661-276-3893, firstname.lastname@example.org
For information about the STS-131 mission, visit:
Two STS-131 crew members, NASA astronaut Clay Anderson and Naoko Yamazaki of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, are tweeting about preparing for their mission. They can be followed at:
For information about the International Space Station, visit:
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