Jonas Dino/Rachel Prucey
Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.
Mar. 03, 2009
NASA Ames Invites News Media for Live Broadcast of Kepler Launch
MOFFETT FIELD, Calif., -- News media and the public are invited to observe the live televised broadcast of the countdown and launch of the Kepler mission on Friday, March 6, 2009 in the Exploration Center at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.

WHAT: An opportunity to watch the live NASA TV broadcast of the countdown to launch of the Kepler mission designed to search for Earth-sized planets around other stars. One of NASA’s Discovery Program missions, Kepler will watch a patch of space for 3.5 years or more for signs of planets moving around stars similar to the sun. The area that the spacecraft will watch contains about 100,000 stars. Using special detectors similar to those used in digital cameras, Kepler will look for slight dimming in the stars as planets pass between the star and the spacecraft.

The launch is scheduled for 7:49 p.m. PST from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Before the launch broadcast, there will be demonstrations on the technology used on the Kepler spacecraft to detect planets and overviews from Jack Boyd, senior advisor to the center director, about the history of planetary exploration and from Dr. Thomas Roellig, NASA Ames astrophysicist, about the Kepler mission.

WHEN: 5:45 p.m. PST, Friday March 6, 2009. The Exploration Center will remain open for approximately one hour following the Kepler launch. Launch windows are 7:49 - 7:52 p.m. and 8:13 - 8:16 p.m. PST.

5:45 p.m. Kepler Orrery (astronomical model) demonstrations, mission animation and videos. 6:40 p.m. Welcome, Lewis Braxton, deputy center director. 6:45 p.m. NASA's history of planetary exploration, Jack Boyd, senior advisor to the center director. 7:00 p.m. Kepler Mission Overview, Thomas Roellig, NASA Ames astrophysicist 7:49 p.m. Kepler Launch

WHERE: NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Exploration Center, located at the main gate, Moffett Field. To reach NASA Ames, take U.S. Highway 101 to the Moffett Field, NASA Parkway exit and drive east on Moffett Boulevard towards the main gate and bear right into the parking lot. The Exploration Center is located in the large white dome.

In the continental United States, NASA Television's Public, Education and Media channels are carried by MPEG-2 digital C-band signal on AMC-6, at 72 degrees west longitude, Transponder 17C, 4040 MHz, vertical polarization. The channels are available in Alaska and Hawaii on an MPEG-2 digital C-band signal accessed via satellite AMC-7, transponder 18C, 137 degrees west longitude, 4060 MHz, vertical polarization. A Digital Video Broadcast compliant Integrated Receiver Decoder is required for reception.

For NASA TV information and schedules on the Web, visit:

For information about the Kepler mission, visit:


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