Kennedy News

George H. Diller
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

Trent Perrotto
Headquarters, Washington

Josh Byerly
Johnson Space Center, Houston

May 16, 2012
Updated Coverage for NASA/SpaceX Launch May 19
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- The second SpaceX demonstration launch for NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) has been rescheduled for a liftoff on Saturday, May 19. Liftoff of the Falcon 9 rocket carrying a Dragon capsule will occur from Space Launch Complex-40 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. There is a single instantaneous launch opportunity at 4:55 a.m. EDT.

NASA Television launch commentary from Cape Canaveral begins at 3:30 a.m. EDT.

During the flight, SpaceX's Dragon capsule will conduct a series of check-out procedures that will test and prove its systems, including the capability to rendezvous and berth with the International Space Station. The primary objectives for the flight include a fly-by of the space station at a distance of approximately 1.5 miles to validate the operation of sensors and flight systems necessary for a safe rendezvous and approach.

The spacecraft also will demonstrate the ability to abort the rendezvous, if required. Once these capabilities are successfully proven, the Dragon will be cleared to berth with the space station.


Friday, May 18 (L-1 day): A photo opportunity of the Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule on the launch pad will be available for the news media. NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver and SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell will be available for interviews. Media will depart from NASA Kennedy Space Center's Press Site by government bus at 10 a.m. for Space Launch Complex-40. Media will be returned to the press site at noon. SpaceX security regulations require that news media representatives attending this event be U.S. citizens.


Friday, May 18 (L-1 day): Media will be able to establish sound-activated remote cameras at the launch pad. The location is within Space Launch Complex-40 on the east side of the pad inside the perimeter fence. Media who want to participate in remote camera setup will depart from Kennedy's Press Site by government bus at 9 a.m., one hour prior to the departure for the launch pad photo opportunity. The return to the press site will be at noon after the launch pad photo opportunity is complete. SpaceX security regulations require that news media representatives participating in this activity be U.S. citizens.


Friday, May 18 (L-1 day): The prelaunch news conference for the NASA/SpaceX launch will be held at Kennedy's Press Site at 1 p.m. NASA Television will provide live coverage, as well as streaming Internet coverage.

Participating in the prelaunch news conference will be:

- Phil McAlister
Acting Director, NASA Commercial Spaceflight Development

- Alan Lindenmoyer
Manager, NASA Commercial Crew and Cargo Program

- Gwynne Shotwell
President, SpaceX

- Joel Tumbiolo, Launch Weather Officer
45th Weather Squadron, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station

Media can participate in the news conference in person at Kennedy or via a phone bridge by calling the newsroom at NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, at 12:45 p.m. EDT at 281-483-5111. Audio of the prelaunch briefing will be carried on the NASA "V" circuits which may be accessed directly by dialing 321-867-1220, 1240, 1260 or 7135.


Saturday, May 19 (Launch day): News media may view the launch from Kennedy's Press Site. A sign-up sheet will be available in the newsroom for those who desire to cover the launch from the NASA Causeway or from the roof of Complex 39's Launch Control Center. However, these are primarily photo locations since there are no facilities available. Busses will depart from the Press Site parking lot for the NASA Causeway at 3:30 a.m.

Saturday, May 19 (Launch day): A delegation from the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) will be at the Kennedy Press Site and available for interviews and experiment demonstrations between 3 and 4:30 a.m. The students represent three of the experiments that will launch aboard the SpaceX Dragon. A sign-up sheet will be available in the newsroom for those media representatives wanting to talk to the students.


Saturday, May 19 (Launch day): NASA TV live coverage will begin at 3:30 a.m. EDT and will conclude at approximately 5:30 a.m. A post-launch news conference is planned to be held at Kennedy's Press Site at approximately 8:30 a.m. For NASA TV downlink information, schedules and links to streaming video, visit:

Prelaunch and launch day coverage of the SpaceX demonstration flight will be available on the NASA website at:

Coverage will include live streaming and text updates beginning at 3:30 a.m. On-demand streaming video, podcast and photos of the launch will be available shortly after liftoff. To access these features, go to:

Audio only of the launch coverage and post-launch news conference will be carried on the NASA "V" circuits which may be accessed by dialing 321-867-1220, -1240, -1260 or -7135. On launch day, "mission audio," the launch conductor's countdown activities without NASA TV launch commentary, will be carried on 321-867-7135 starting at 3:30 a.m. Launch will also be available on local amateur VHF radio frequency 146.940 MHz heard within Brevard County.


Journalists who have been approved for accreditation need not reapply. Those media who have not yet applied and would like to attend the prelaunch events including the launch pad photo opportunity, prelaunch news conference and launch, may request accreditation online at:

The deadline for U.S. media to apply for accreditation is May 18. The deadline for international media to apply has passed.


The Pass and Identification Building on State Road 3, Merritt Island, will be open to pick up media credentials on the following schedule:

Thursday, May 17: noon - 4 p.m.
Friday, May 18: 7:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Saturday, May 19: 1 a.m. - 4 a.m.

For further information about media accreditation, contact Jennifer Horner at 321-867-6598 or 321-867-2468.

Media credentials will be valid for mission activities from launch through splashdown at both the Kennedy Space Center and Johnson Space Center.


Thursday, May 17: 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Friday, May 18: 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 19: 1 a.m. - 10 a.m.

Media badges will be valid for access to Kennedy's Press Site through Gate 2 on State Road 3, Merritt Island, and Gate 3 on State Road 405, located east of the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. On launch day, only Gate 3 will be open but can also be accessed from State Road 3 via Space Commerce Way.

Johnson Space Center is responsible for the Commercial Crew and Cargo Program Office for the COTS program as part of the agency's Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate.

For further information on NASA's COTS program, go to:

For further information about the NASA/SpaceX launch, contact Kennedy's Press Site at 321-867-2468 or visit:


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