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Media Briefing For NASA'S Space Infrared Telescope Facility

Donald Savage
Headquarters, Washington
(Phone: 202/358-1727)

Jane Platt
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
(Phone: 818/354-0880)

March 20, 2003


artistic rendering of the Space Infrared Telescope Facility Artistic rendering of NASA's Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF).

NASA has scheduled a media briefing to discuss the upcoming launch and mission of the Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF).

The briefing is at 11 a.m. EST, Tuesday, March 25 in the James Webb Auditorium, NASA Headquarters, 300 E Street SW, Washington. The pre-launch briefing will consist of two panels; the first will present a mission overview and the second a science overview.

The briefing will be carried live on NASA Television, with two-way question-and-answer capability for reporters at participating NASA centers.

The Space Infrared Telescope Facility is scheduled for launch Friday, April 18, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., for a minimum two-and-one-half-year mission. It is the final of NASA's Great Observatories, which also include the Hubble Space Telescope, the Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory.

Participants in the mission briefing:
  • Lia La Piana, Space Infrared Telescope Facility program executive, NASA Headquarters, Washington
  • David Gallagher, Space Infrared Telescope Facility project manager, Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena, Calif.
  • Robert Wilson, Space Infrared Telescope Facility mission operations manager, JPL
  • Mark Garcia, Space Infrared Telescope Facility mission engineer, JPL
  • Suzanne Dodd, manager, Space Infrared Telescope Facility Science Center, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif.

    Participants in the science briefing:
  • Dr. Anne Kinney, director, astronomy/physics division, NASA Headquarters
  • Dr. Michael Werner, Space Infrared Telescope Facility project scientist, JPL
  • Dr. Alyssa Goodman, professor, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, Mass.
  • Dr. Belinda Wilkes, professor, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
  • Dr. Garth Illingworth, professor, University of California, Santa Cruz, Calif.
  • Dr. George Rieke, professor and principal investigator for the multiband-imaging photometer science instrument, University of Arizona, Tucson, Ariz.

    The telescope's unprecedented infrared sensitivity will allow astronomers to investigate what they affectionately call "the old, the cold and the dirty," referring to the coldest, oldest and most dust-obscured objects and processes in the universe.

    The observatory's capability for observing low-temperature objects will also aid in the search for planetary systems in formation, some of which may nurture Earth-like planets.

    NASA TV is broadcast on satellite AMC-2, transponder 9C, C band, and 85 degrees west longitude. The frequency is 3880.0 MHz. Polarization is vertical and audio is monaural at 6.8 MHz.

    The briefing will also be web cast live at:

    For more information about the Space Infrared Telescope Facility on the Internet, visit:

    - end -

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