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George Diller
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

RELEASE : 40-06
NASA Offers Tour of Weather Forecast Facility for STS-121
News media covering the launch of Space Shuttle Discovery on STS-121 will have an opportunity to tour the weather forecast facility on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, June 28, for an insight into the techniques used by the team of weather forecasters to create the forecast for launch day.

At the facility, which is operated by the U.S. Air Force 45th Weather Squadron, media will see the tools used by the weather team to create the forecast for launch day. They will also receive a briefing on how the launch weather forecast is developed by Shuttle Weather Officer Kathy Winters and meet the forecasters for the space shuttle and the expendable launch vehicles. Also participating will be members of the Applied Meteorology Unit who provide special expertise to the forecasters by analyzing and interpreting unusual or inconsistent weather data.

In addition, media will have an opportunity to see the release of a GPS-tracked Rawinsonde weather balloon carrying instruments aloft to be used as part of developing the forecast. The weather balloon facility is operated by Computer Sciences Raytheon, which also is responsible for the instrumentation used by the forecasters.

Media will depart from the KSC News Center by bus at 10:30 a.m. or immediately following the conclusion of the L-3 day countdown status briefing which begins at 10 a.m. This opportunity is limited to the first 15 news media making reservations.

A sign-up sheet is available at the tour and interview desk in the KSC News Center or contact George Diller at 321-867-2468 for a reservation. Because the locations for this tour are on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, foreign news media will not be able to participate.

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