Kennedy News

Dwayne Brown
NASA Headquarters

George Diller
Kennedy Space Center

Susan Hendrix
Goddard Space Flight Center

Nov. 26, 2002
RELEASE : 114-02
Note to Editors/News Directors:
Launch Of NASA's TDRS-J Satellite Scheduled For December 4
The launch of NASA's Tracking and Data Relay Satellite-J (TDRS-J) is scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2002 at the opening of a launch window that extends from 9:42 - 10:22 p.m. EST, a duration of 40 minutes. Liftoff will occur from Pad A at Space Launch Complex 36 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The launch will be aboard a Lockheed Martin Atlas IIA rocket (AC-144) furnished under a NASA contract with International Launch Services.

TDRS-J, built by Boeing Satellite Systems, is the third and last in a series of three advanced Tracking and Data Relay Satellites designed to replenish the existing on-orbit fleet of six spacecraft, the first of which was launched in 1983. The Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System is the primary source of air-to-ground voice, data and telemetry for the Space Shuttle, the International Space Station, and nearly a dozen scientific spacecraft including the Hubble Space Telescope, Terra, Aqua, and the Transitional Region and Coronal Explorer (TRACE). The TDRS System also provides tracking services for expendable launch vehicles. The completion of the current series will extend the availability of TDRS communications services until approximately 2013.

TDRS-J Pre-launch Press Conference
The pre-launch press conference will be held at the NASA-KSC News Center on Tuesday, Dec. 3 at 3:30 p.m. EST. Participating in the briefing will be:

- Chuck Dovale, NASA Launch Director, Kennedy Space Center
- Adrian Laffitte, Director, Atlas Launch Programs, Lockheed Martin
- Robert Jenkens, NASA TDRS Project Manager, Goddard Space Flight Center
- Alexis Livanos, Boeing Satellite Systems, Executive Vice President
- James Sardonia, Launch Weather Officer, 45th Weather Squadron, USAF

Media who need an access badge for this event should fax a letter of request on news organization letterhead that should include full name, Social Security number and birth date. Letters should be faxed to 321/867-2692.


For the launch of TDRS-J, all media are required to submit an advance request for accreditation to receive a badge at Gate 1 on launch day. Freelance writers or photographers must also have a letter of assignment. All requests for accreditation should be faxed to NASA/KSC Public Affairs at 321/867-2692 by the close of business on Tuesday, Dec. 3.

On launch day, Wednesday, Dec. 4 press will be issued access badges at the Gate 1 Pass and Identification Building of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on SR 401 beginning at 8 p.m. The departure for Press Site 1 will be at 8:30 p.m. Media credentials must be presented to NASA and U.S. Air Force representatives to validate accreditation requests and sign-in will be required before an access badge can be issued.

Remote Camera Placement
On launch day, Dec. 4, a van will depart from the NASA-KSC News Center at 9 a.m. for media photographers to establish remote cameras at Pad 36-A. There will be no access or transportation from Gate 1 for remote camera set-ups. Media needing accreditation for this activity should contact the NASA-KSC News Center at 321/867-2468 before the close of business on Dec. 3.

Tower Rollback Photo Opportunity
At the time of tower rollback, there will be an opportunity for media to photograph the Lockheed Martin AC-144 launch vehicle carrying TDRS-J. An RSVP is necessary for this event. Contact the NASA News Center at 321/867-2468 by the close of business on Tuesday, Dec. 3. Media should meet at the Gate 1 Pass & Identification Building at 6:15 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 4. Transportation to Space Launch Complex 36 will be by government van only. Media will be returned to the Gate 1 Pass & Identification Building in time to convoy to Press Site 1 for launch.

NASA-KSC News Center Hours for Launch Day
The NASA-KSC News Center will open on launch day from 8 a.m. and close at midnight. Spokespersons will be available until after the state of health of TDRS-J in orbit can be confirmed. A news release confirming a successful launch and a properly functioning spacecraft will be available from the NASA News Center at L+65 minutes.

NASA Television Coverage and Webcast
NASA Television will carry the TDRS-J/AC-144 pre-launch press conference on Tuesday, Dec. 3 at 3:30 p.m. A two-way question and answer capability will be available from other NASA field centers.

A complete TDRS-J video package will be broadcast during the NASA TV Video File on Tuesday, Dec. 3 at Noon EST and re-broadcast immediately following the TDRS-J pre-launch press conference.

On launch day, Dec. 4, launch coverage will be carried live on NASA Television and simulcast on the web the NASA-KSC Home Page. Launch commentary will begin at 8 p.m. EST and continue through spacecraft separation at L+30 minutes. No post-launch press conference is planned.

Audio of the pre-launch press conference and launch coverage will be carried on the NASA "V" circuits which may be accessed by dialing 321/867-1220, 1240, 1260, 7135.

NASA Television is available on the GE-2 satellite, transponder 9C, located at 85 degrees West. The webcast will be on the NASA-KSC home page at

Status Reports
Recorded status reports on the launch of TDRS-J/AC-144 will be available on the KSC news media code-a-phone starting on Monday, Dec. 2. The telephone number is 321/867-2525.


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