Kennedy News

George H. Diller
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

Feb. 15, 1996
Expendable Launch Vehicle Status Report

The launch of NASA’s Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) spacecraft aboard a McDonnell Douglas Delta II rocket is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 16, at the opening of a nominal one-minute launch window, which extends from 3:53:06 p.m. to 3:54:06 p.m. EST. The launch window has the flexibility of opening one minute earlier on launch day if collision avoidance or other countdown circumstances dictate. Liftoff will occur from Launch Complex 17 Pad B on Cape Canaveral Air Station. There is a 16-day launch opportunity, which extends through Mar. 2.

The NEAR spacecraft has completed processing and was mated to the solid propellant upper stage booster on Monday, Feb. 5. It is scheduled to be mated to the Delta II rocket at Complex 17 on Thursday, Feb. 8.

The prelaunch news conference is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 15, at 12:30 p. m. in the KSC News Center auditorium and will be carried live on NASA Television. Participating in the briefing will be:

Wesley T. Huntress, Jr., Assoc. Admin. for Space Science, NASA Headquarters
Floyd Curington, NASA Launch Manager, Kennedy Space Center
David Mitchell, Launch Services Manager, Goddard Space Flight Center
Tom Coughlin, Mission Director/Project Manager, Applied Physics Laboratory
Dr. Andrew F. Cheng, Project Scientist, Applied Physics Laboratory
Joel Tumbiolo, Launch Weather Officer, Department of the Air Force

Immediately after the news conference there will be a replay of the NEAR mission science briefing on NASA Television.

Those media without permanent accreditation who wish to cover the launch of Delta/NEAR including the prelaunch news conference on L-1 day should send a letter of request to the NASA-KSC News Center on news organization letterhead. It should include name and Social Security number or passport number.

Letters should be faxed to 407/867-2692 or addressed to:

NEAR Launch Accreditation
Kennedy Space Center, FL 32899

NEAR mission badges may be picked up at the KSC News Center from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 15. On launch day, Friday, Feb. 16 badges will be also available at Gate 1 on Cape Canaveral Air Station at 2:30 p.m. immediately prior to departure for Press Site 1. A Delta-/NEAR mission badge is required for all media covering the launch from Press Site 1 on launch day. For further information on NEAR launch accreditation contact Lisa Fowler at the NASA News Center at 407/867-2468.

On Thursday, Feb. 15 at 1:30 p.m. following the prelaunch news conference a NASA van will depart from the NASA-KSC News Center for Launch Complex 17 for media photographers who wish to establish remote cameras at the pad.

On launch day, media covering the event should assemble at Gate 1 on Cape Canaveral Air Station located on State Road 401 at 2:30 p.m. to convoy to Press Site 1. After launch and spacecraft separation, media may leave via Gate 1 only. At this time a postlaunch news conference is not planned except in the event of a launch contingency.

The NASA News Center at KSC will close at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 16. Should the launch be postponed to the weekend, the NASA News Center will not be open on Saturday or Sunday. However, over the weekend, recorded status reports and instructions for the news media will be provided on the KSC codaphone, which may be dialed at 407/867-2525. The codaphone will also carry Delta/NEAR prelaunch status reports beginning at L-3 days, on Tuesday, Feb. 13.

NASA Television will carry the prelaunch news conference starting at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 15. On launch day, countdown coverage will begin at 2:30 p.m. and continue through spacecraft separation. NASA Television is available on Spacenet 2, transponder 5, channel 9 located at 69 degrees west longitude.

Audio only of all NEAR activities will also be available on the "V" circuits, which may be dialed directly at 407/867-1220, 1240 or 1260.

Status reports are available at:


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