DART SATELLITE TO LAUNCH ON PEGASUS XL ROCKET OCT. 26 FROM VAFB

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Title: DART SATELLITE TO LAUNCH ON PEGASUS XL ROCKET OCT. 26 FROM VAFB

NASA News
National Aeronautics and
Space Administration

John F. Kennedy Space Center
Kennedy Space Center, Florida 32899
AC 321-867-2468
____________________________________________________________________________________________________
For Release: Oct. 20, 2004             

Michael Braukus                                                                                
NASA Headquarters
(Phone: 202/358-1979)                                                                                                                                  

                                                                                                                                

George Diller
Kennedy Space Center
(Phone: 321/867-2468)

Kim Newton
Marshall Space Flight Center
(Phone: 256/544-0034)

Barry Beneski
Orbital Sciences Corporation
(Phone: 703/406-5528)

KSC Release No.  82-04

DART SATELLITE TO LAUNCH ON PEGASUS XL ROCKET OCT. 26

NASA's DART satellite is scheduled to be launched aboard an Orbital Sciences Pegasus XL vehicle on Tuesday, Oct. 26, during a 7-minute launch window which extends from 11:13:32 - 11:20:32 a.m. PDT.  The drop of the Pegasus from the L-1011 carrier aircraft is targeted to occur at a location over the Pacific Ocean approximately 100 miles offshore from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.  The DART satellite is about 6 feet long and 3 feet in diameter, weighing approximately 800 pounds.  It will be placed into a 475-mile-high circular polar orbit at an inclination of 97.7 degrees.

DART will demonstrate key technologies required for spacecraft to rendezvous with other craft, such as satellites, without human intervention.  DART will combine key autonomous technologies to actually rendezvous with a target satellite during the mission.  It is the first demonstration program selected by NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate to develop technologies for the Vision for Space Exploration.

NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center is responsible for countdown and launch management; NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center is responsible for the overall DART mission and associated technology development; and Orbital Sciences Corporation is responsible for providing the Pegasus launch service and the DART satellite.

      
PRELAUNCH PRESS CONFERENCE AND MISSION BRIEFING

The prelaunch press conference, to be carried live on NASA Television, is scheduled to occur on Monday, Oct. 25, at 11 a.m. PDT (2 p.m. EDT) in the conference room of the NASA-KSC Resident Office at Vandenberg Air Force Base. Two-way question and answer capability will be available from NASA Headquarters, Kennedy Space Center and Marshall Space Flight Center.

                                      
Participating in the prelaunch news conference will be:

-   Neil Woodward, Deputy Director, Constellation Systems
    Johnson Space Center

-   Omar Baez, NASA Launch Director
    Kennedy Space Center

-   Bryan Baldwin, Pegasus Launch Vehicle Program Director
    Orbital Sciences Corporation
 
-   Jim Snoddy, DART Project Manager
    Marshall Space Flight Center

-   Lt. Lee Barnhill, Launch Weather Officer
    USAF 30th Weather Squadron, Vandenberg Air Force Base

After the prelaunch press conference, Jim Snoddy, the DART Project Manager for NASA, will brief the media on the details for the DART mission.  Media will then be escorted to the DART Mission Operations Center for a tour of the facility to be used to monitor the DART rendezvous activities.                            

       
Media desiring to cover the prelaunch press conference, mission briefing and tour of the DART Mission Operations Center should meet at the south gate of Vandenberg Air Force Base on California State Road 246 at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 25, for escort to the NASA Vandenberg Resident Office.


ACCREDITATION

News media desiring accreditation to cover the launch of Pegasus/DART should fax their request on news organization letterhead to:

30th Space Wing Public Affairs Office
Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.
Attention: Staff Sgt. Rebecca Danet

FAX: 805/606-8303
(Telephone: 805/606-3595)                             


LAUNCH DAY PRESS COVERAGE

On launch day, media representatives should meet at the Vandenberg main gate at 9:30 a.m. to be escorted to the flight line to view the take-off of the L-1011.  After departure, media will be taken to the viewing room of the NASA Mission Director’s Center located at Building 840 on South Vandenberg Air Force Base.  >From there, media may follow the release and launch of Pegasus/DART.

 
Assuming a successful flight of the Pegasus, a post-launch news conference will not be held.  However, launch vehicle and spacecraft representatives will be available afterward to informally answer questions from the media.


NASA TELEVISION LAUNCH COVERAGE OF PEGASUS/DART

Live coverage on NASA Television of the Pegasus/DART launch will begin at 10 a.m. PDT and continue through spacecraft separation from the Pegasus vehicle.  Live launch commentary and audio of the Pegasus/DART briefings will be available on the “V” audio circuits that may be dialed at 321/867-1220, 1240, 1260 or 7135.

                               
NASA TV is available on the Web and via satellite in the continental U.S. on AMC-6, Transponder 9C, C-Band, at 72 degrees west longitude. The frequency is 3880.0 MHz. Polarization is vertical, and audio is monaural at 6.80 MHz. In Alaska and Hawaii, NASA TV is available on AMC-7, Transponder 18C, C-Band, at 137 degrees west longitude. The frequency is 4060.0 MHz. Polarization is vertical, and audio is monaural at 6.80 MHz.

For NASA TV information and schedules on the Internet, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/ntv


WEB COVERAGE OF PEGASUS/DART

A special live prelaunch webcast is scheduled on Oct. 23 at 4 p.m. PDT (7 p.m. EDT).  For more information, go to the NASA Direct Web site at:

http://www.ksc.nasa.gov/nasadirect/index.htm

NASA Television launch coverage will be webcast at:
http://www.nasa.gov/ntv

Live information updates will be available through Kennedy Space Center's Virtual Launch Control center at:
http://www.ksc.nasa.gov/elvnew/mission/vlcc.htm


PEGASUS/DART NEWS CENTER

The Pegasus/DART News Center at the NASA Vandenberg Resident Office will be staffed starting on Friday, Oct. 22, and may be reached between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. PDT at 805/605-3051.  A recorded status report will also be available starting at that time and may be reached by dialing 805/734-2693.  The U.S. Air Force Public Affairs office may be reached at 805/606-3595.


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