NASA News: NASA's Aquarius/Sac-D Launch Rescheduled

WASHINGTON -- The launch of the international Aquarius/SAC-D mission
is postponed 24 hours until Friday, June 10, from NASA's Space Launch
Complex-2 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The 5-minute launch
window opens at 10:20 a.m. EDT (7:20 a.m. PDT).

The new launch date will allow the launch team to complete additional
review of an inconsistency found in the Delta II launch vehicle
flight profile for wind conditions on the day of launch. These data
are used to steer the Delta II through upper level winds. The weather
forecast for June 10 shows a 100 percent chance of favorable weather
conditions for the launch.

The Aquarius/SAC-D (Satelite de Aplicaciones Cientificas) observatory
is a collaboration between NASA and Argentina's space agency,
Comision Nacional de Actividades Espaciales (CONAE).

Media are invited to see and photograph the Delta II with
Aquarius/SAC-D at the launch pad on Thursday, June 9. Media will
depart for the pad at 9:30 p.m. PDT from the Vandenberg Main Gate on
California State Road 1.

Media covering the launch on Friday, June 10, will be escorted to the
press viewing site from the Vandenberg Main Gate. Media should meet
at 6 a.m. PDT at the pass and identification building.

Aquarius was built by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena,
Calif., and the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. NASA's
Launch Services Program at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida
manages the launch. JPL will manage Aquarius through its
commissioning phase and archive mission data. Goddard will manage
Aquarius mission operations and process science data. CONAE is
providing the SAC-D spacecraft, optical camera, thermal camera with
Canada, microwave radiometer, sensors from various Argentine
institutions and the mission operations center. France and Italy also
are contributing instruments.

On launch day, June 10, NASA TV commentary coverage of the countdown
will begin at 8:30 a.m. EDT (5:30 a.m. PDT). Launch coverage will be
streamed live at:


For more information about Aquarius/SAC-D, visit:



NASA Announces Televised Black Hole Press Conference

WASHINGTON -- NASA will hold a press conference at 1:00 p.m. EDT on
Wednesday, June 15, to discuss new discoveries about giant black
holes in the early universe.

The event will be in the NASA Headquarters Webb auditorium located at
300 E Street SW in Washington. NASA Television and the agency's
website will broadcast the event live.

The panelists for the announcement are:
-- Wilt Sanders, Chandra program scientist, NASA Headquarters,
-- Ezequiel Treister, astrophysicist, University of Hawaii, Hilo
-- Kevin Schawinski, astrophysicist, Yale University, New Haven
-- Priya Natarajan, professor, Yale University
-- Mitchell Begelman, professor, University of Colorado, Boulder

Reporters may attend the event, join by phone, or ask questions from
participating NASA locations. To RSVP or obtain dial-in information,
journalists must contact Trent Perrotto at trent.j.perrotto@nasa.gov
with their name, media affiliation and work telephone number by 9:00
a.m. on Wednesday, June 15.

For NASA TV streaming video, downlink and schedule information, visit:


For more information about NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, visit:





NASA Offers Grants For 2012 University Competitions

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- The NASA Minority Innovation Challenges
Institute (MICI) is offering opportunities for minority serving
institutions to apply for a $5,000 grant to enter the 2012 University
Student Launch Initiative (USLI) or Lunabotics Mining Competition.
Applications for both competitions are due June 30.

USLI challenges students to design, build and launch to an altitude of
one mile a reusable rocket with a scientific or engineering payload.
The project engages students in scientific research and real-world
engineering processes with NASA engineers. The competition will take
place at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., in
April 2012.

The Lunabotics competition challenges students to design and build
remote controlled robots that can excavate simulated lunar dirt.
During the event, the teams' designs, known as lunabots, will go
head-to-head to determine which one can collect and deposit the most
dirt within 15 minutes. This competition will take place at NASA's
Kennedy Space Center in Florida in May 2012.

MICI is designed to inspire minority undergraduate students to pursue
advanced degrees and careers in science, technology, engineering and
math disciplines critical to NASA's future missions.

For more information about the grant and how to apply, visit:


For more information on NASA's education programs, visit:



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