Kennedy News

George H. Diller
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

DC Agle
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

Aug. 4, 2011
NASA Offers Media Access To Lunar-Bound Spacecraft
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- NASA's GRAIL spacecraft, scheduled to launch to the moon in September, will be the focus of a media opportunity on Thursday, Aug. 11, at 9:30 a.m. EDT at the Astrotech Space Operations facility in Titusville, Fla. The event is an opportunity to photograph the two GRAIL spacecraft and interview project and launch program officials.

GRAIL, short for the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory, will be seen just prior to being transported to NASA's Pad 17-B at nearby Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and attached to the United Launch Alliance Delta II 7920-H expendable launch vehicle rocket.

The spacecraft's primary science objectives are to determine the structure of the lunar interior, from crust to core, and to advance understanding of the thermal evolution of the moon.

For the event, U.S. news media representatives may proceed directly to Astrotech located in the Spaceport Florida Industrial Park, 1515 Chaffee Drive, Titusville. Access through the gate will start at 9:30 a.m. The event begins at 9:45 a.m.

Media identification and government photo identification, such as a driver's license or passport, will be required for access to Astrotech. Journalists who are foreign nationals may attend only if they possess a permanently issued NASA media accreditation picture badge from the Kennedy Space Center, or a Kennedy issued white badge with an affixed green dot.

Media should call Kennedy's update phone line at 321-867-2525 on Wednesday evening to assure the status of the event has not changed.

For the media event, procedures for optically sensitive spacecraft must be followed by individuals entering the cleanroom where the spacecraft is being prepared for launch. Full cleanroom attire (bunny suits) must be worn and will be furnished. Please do not wear perfume, cologne or makeup. Long pants and closed-toe shoes must be worn, no shorts or skirts.

Photographers will need to clean camera equipment under the supervision of contamination-control specialists. All camera equipment must be self-contained; no portable lights can be allowed. Non-essential equipment such as suede, leather or vinyl camera bags or other carrying cases must be left outside the cleanroom. No notebook paper, pencils or conventional pens are permitted; special pens and cleanroom paper will be provided. No food, tobacco, chewing gum, lighters, matches or pocketknives will be allowed.

Flash photography cannot be permitted. There is adequate metal halide lighting in the facility for photography (white with slight green cast; suggested exposure for ISO-ASA 400 is 1/30 sec. at f/5.6). Use of wireless microphones and cellular telephones are not allowed inside the cleanroom.

Project management for GRAIL is the responsibility of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. The mission is led by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, Mass. The launch is managed by NASA's Launch Services Program at the Kennedy Space Center. Spokespersons from JPL, spacecraft builder Lockheed Martin, and the Launch Services Program will be available for questions and interviews.

For more information about the GRAIL mission, visit:


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