Kennedy News

Dennis Armstrong
Kennedy Space Center
(321) 867-2468

June 20, 2003
RELEASE : 47-03
Note to Editors/News Directors:
KSC Web To Provide Live Coverage Of MER-B Launch
On Tuesday, June 24, the Kennedy Space Center Web site will begin its coverage of the launch of Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Opportunity, currently scheduled for June 26. The KSC Web Studio will present two NASA Direct! webcast events in addition to live coverage of the launch countdown.

The first program, “Preparing for Launch,” on June 24, will be hosted by Jon Cowart and will feature Launch Weather Officer Joel Tumbiolo, NASA Launch Manager Omar Baez, and MER Principal Investigator Steve Squyres. The “MER Mission Overview” program, on June 26, will feature MER spacecraft mission director Peter Theisinger with host Tiffany Nail.

During both programs, guests will answer questions submitted to the NASA Direct! Question Boards from space enthusiasts around the world. Anyone with questions regarding the MER mission or MER-B launch is encouraged to submit their questions to the appropriate NASA Direct! Question Board for a possible answer during the webcast. The NASA Direct! home page and Question Boards can be viewed online at

In addition to NASA Direct!, the KSC Web will provide live countdown coverage from the Virtual Launch Control Center, located at Coverage will feature real-time updating as milestones occur during the countdown, as well as downloadable and streaming video clips of countdown events. All videos will be provided in RealMedia format, with downloadable clips available in two sizes for users with 56K modems or cable/broadband connections.

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MER-B WEB COVERAGE SCHEDULE (all times are EDT and subject to change)

L-2 Days - Tuesday, June 24
2:15 p.m. NASA Direct! program: Preparing for Launch

L-1 Day - Wednesday, June 25
11:00 p.m. Live countdown coverage begins

L-0 Days - Launch Day, Thursday, June 26
3:00 p.m. NASA Direct! program: MER Mission Overview

Although coverage events for this mission do not begin until two days prior to launch, the MER-B coverage site at was activated approximately one month before the anticipated launch date. KSC's Expendable Launch Vehicles site at will always serve as a starting point for coverage of other NASA ELV missions.

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