23 May 2008

Announcements from NASA

First, this one:
NASA Thursday adjusted the target launch dates for two space shuttle missions in 2008. Shuttle Atlantis' STS-125 mission to the Hubble Space Telescope is now targeted for Oct. 8, and Endeavour's STS-126 supply mission to the International Space Station has moved from Oct. 16 to Nov. 10.

The final servicing mission to Hubble was moved from Aug. 28 due to a delay in deliveries of components, including the external fuel tanks, and the need to prepare Endeavour for a possible rescue mission approximately two weeks after STS-125 launches.


The Shuttle Program also has decided that Atlantis will be assigned two additional flights after the Hubble mission in order to more efficiently fly the remaining shuttle flights using the three orbiters in sequence.

(STS-126, of course, is the mission which is to carry my fellow bubblehead Captain Stephen G Bowen, USN, into space. )

Next, this one:
News conferences, events and operating hours for the news center at NASA's Kennedy Space Center are set for the upcoming launch of space shuttle Discovery. Shuttle Discovery's STS-124 mission to the International Space Station is scheduled to lift off at 5:02 p.m. EDT on Saturday, May 31.

On Wednesday, May 28, Discovery's seven crew members are scheduled to arrive at Kennedy at 11:30 a.m. NASA Television will provide live coverage as Commander Mark Kelly makes a brief statement to media. Badged journalists planning to cover the event must be at Kennedy's news center by 10 a.m. for transportation to the Shuttle Landing Facility.


On launch day, a blog will update the countdown beginning at noon. Originating from NASA's Kennedy Space Center, the blog is the definitive Internet source for information leading up to launch. During the mission, visitors to NASA's shuttle Web site can read about the crew's progress and watch the spacewalks live. As Discovery's flight wraps up, NASA will offer a blog detailing the spacecraft's return to Earth.

And finally, this one:
Launch of NASA's Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope, or GLAST, is targeted for Tuesday, June 3, from Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. The launch window extends from 11:45 a.m. to 1:40 p.m. EDT and remains unchanged through Aug. 7. The June 3 launch date is dependent on space shuttle Discovery's May 31 liftoff, and will move if the shuttle launch is delayed.

NASA's new gamma-ray observatory will open a wide window on the universe through the study of Gamma rays, the highest-energy form of light. GLAST data will enable scientists to answer persistent questions across a broad range of topics, including supermassive black-hole systems, pulsars, the origin of cosmic rays, and searches for signals of new physics.

NASA will hold a pre-launch news conference at NASA's Kennedy Space Center news center at 1 p.m. on Sunday, June 1. The briefing will be carried live on NASA Television.

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