NASA News - Coverage Set for NASA/SpaceX Launch and Mission to Space Station

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Following the completion of NASA's flight
readiness review, the second SpaceX demonstration launch for NASA's
Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program is
scheduled for Monday, April 30. A Falcon 9 rocket carrying a Dragon
capsule will liftoff from Space Launch Complex 40 at the Cape
Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. There is a single
instantaneous launch opportunity at 12:22 p.m. EDT.

NASA Television launch commentary from Cape Canaveral will begin at 11 a.m.

During the flight, SpaceX's Dragon capsule will conduct a series of
check-out procedures to test and prove its systems, including
rendezvous and berthing with the International Space Station (ISS).
The primary objectives for the flight include a flyby of the ISS 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. After these capabilities are successfully proven, the
Dragon will be cleared to berth with the ISS.


Saturday, April 28 (L-2 days): A photo opportunity of the Falcon 9
rocket and Dragon capsule on the launch pad will be available for the
news media. Spokespeople from SpaceX will be available to answer questions.

Media will depart NASA's Kennedy Space Center press site by government
bus at 9:30 a.m. for Space Launch Complex 40. Media will be returned
at approximately 11 a.m. SpaceX security regulations require that
media representatives attending this event be U.S. citizens.


Sunday, April 29 (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 outside
the perimeter fence. Media wanting to participate in remote camera
setup will depart from the Kennedy press site by government bus at
10:30 a.m. Only photographers establishing remote cameras can
participate in this activity. SpaceX security regulations require
that media representatives participating in this activity be U.S. citizens.


Sunday, April 29 (L-1 day): The prelaunch news conference for the
NASA/SpaceX Falcon 9 launch will be held at the Kennedy Press Site at
1 p.m. NASA Television will provide live and streaming Internet coverage.

Monday, April 30 (L-0 day): A postlaunch news conference will be held
at Kennedy at approximately 2 p.m.

Media representatives can participate in the news conferences
in-person at Kennedy or via phone bridge by calling NASA's Johnson
Space Center newsroom 15 minutes prior to the start of each briefing
at 281-483-5111. For the postlaunch news conference, reporters also
can ask questions directly from other NASA field centers.

Audio of the prelaunch and postlaunch news conferences also will be
carried on the NASA "V" circuits, directly accessible by dialing
321-867-1220, 1240, 1260 or 7135. The briefings will be streamed live
on the agency's website.


Monday, April 30 (L-0 day): NASA TV live coverage begins at 11 a.m.
and concludes at approximately 1 p.m.


Tuesday, May 1 (Flight Day 2): An update on the Dragon's flight during
the daily "ISS Update" program from NASA's Johnson Space Center airs
at 11 a.m.

Wednesday, May 2 (Flight Day 3): Live coverage from NASA's Johnson
Space Center mission control in Houston as the Dragon spacecraft
performs its fly-under of ISS to test its systems begins at 2:30 a.m.
and will continue until the Dragon passes out of the vicinity of the
station. A news briefing will be held following the activities.

Thursday, May 3 (Flight Day 4): Live coverage of the rendezvous and
berthing of the Dragon spacecraft to the station begins at 2 a.m. and
will continue through the capture and berthing of the Dragon to the
station's Harmony node. A news briefing will be held once Dragon is
secured to the ISS.

Friday, May 4: Live coverage of the hatch opening and entry of the
Dragon spacecraft includes a ceremony during which the ISS crew will
mark the occasion.

Sunday, May 20: A news briefing at Johnson will preview the following
day's unberthing and splashdown of the Dragon spacecraft.

Monday, May 21: Live coverage of the unberthing, re-entry and
splashdown of the Dragon spacecraft in the Pacific Ocean. Specific
times of coverage will be provided at a later date.


Media representatives wanting to attend the prelaunch events,
including the prelaunch news conference and launch, may request
accreditation by registering online at:


The Gate 2 Pass and Identification Building for the news media on
State Road 3, Merritt Island, will be open to pick up press
credentials on the following schedule:

Friday, April 27: noon - 4 p.m.
Saturday, April 28: 7:30 - 9 a.m.
Sunday, April 29: 9 a.m. - noon
Monday, April 30: 8 - 11:30 a.m.

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

For information about media accreditation, contact Jennifer Horner at


Friday, April 27: 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 28: 8 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Sunday, April 29: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Monday, April 30: 8 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.

Media badges will be valid for access to the Kennedy Press Site using
Merritt Island's Gate 2 on State Road 3, and Gate 3 on State Road 405
located east of the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.

For launch information, contact the Kennedy press site at 321-867-2468
or visit:



Media who are credentialed with badges at Kennedy for launch
activities will have their badges honored at Johnson for the duration
of the SpaceX mission. Please contact the Johnson newsroom for work
space information. International media wanting access only to Johnson
must submit the required documentation for badging by Friday, April
20. U.S. media wanting access only to Johnson must submit a request
for badging by Friday, April 27.

For mission information, contact the Johnson newsroom at 281-483-5111
or visit:


For NASA TV downlink information, schedules and links to streaming
video, visit:


For up-to-date SpaceX mission information and a schedule of NASA TV
coverage, visit:


For information on NASA's COTS program, visit:



Shuttle Enterprise to Fly Over New York City Metro Area April 23

WASHINGTON -- NASA's 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) with space
shuttle Enterprise mounted atop will fly at a relatively low altitude
over various parts of the New York City metropolitan area on Monday,
April 23.

The Federal Aviation Administration is coordinating the flight, which
is scheduled to occur between 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. EDT.

The exact route and timing of the flight depend on weather and
operational constraints, including the on-time delivery of space
shuttle Discovery to the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum
Stephen F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va., this week. If all
goes as planned, the aircraft is expected to fly near a variety of
landmarks in the metropolitan area, including the Statue of Liberty
and the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. When the flyover is
complete, the SCA will land at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

During the weeks following the arrival, Enterprise will be "demated"
from the 747 and placed on a barge that will be moved by tugboat up
the Hudson River to the Intrepid museum in June. The shuttle will be
lifted by crane and placed on the flight deck of the Intrepid, where
it will be on exhibit to the public starting this summer in a
temporary climate-controlled pavilion. The Intrepid continues to work
on a permanent exhibit facility to showcase Enterprise that will
enhance the museum's space-related exhibits and education curriculum.

If the flight is postponed for any reason, an additional notice will
be released.

For more information about NASA's transfer of space shuttles to
museums, visit:


For information about NASA and agency programs, visit:



NASA'S Top Scientist and Technologist Discuss What's Next for NASA

WASHINGTON -- NASA Chief Scientist Waleed Abdalati and Chief
Technologist Mason Peck will hold a teleconference on Wednesday,
April 18, at 4 p.m. EDT to brief media representatives on
developments for NASA's future.

The agency is moving forward with an ambitious plan to develop
cutting-edge space technologies to advance human and robotic
exploration, reach new destinations, and launch revolutionary science
missions. NASA expects to reach several milestones this year in its
ongoing support of industry's innovative work to transport crew and
cargo to low Earth orbit and enhance our nation's use of the
International Space Station to improve life on Earth and prepare for
the missions of the future.

Journalists wishing to join the call should contact Lauren Worley at
202-358-1288 or e-mail lauren.b.worley@nasa.gov for dial-in

For more information about NASA programs, visit:



NASA Announces 16th Undersea Exploration Mission Dates and Crew

WASHINGTON -- An international team of aquanauts will travel again to
the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean to simulate a visit to an asteroid
in the 16th expedition of NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO).

This year's NEEMO mission will begin June 11. It will build on lessons
learned from 2011's NEEMO 15 mission and test innovative solutions to
engineering challenges allowing astronauts to eventually explore asteroids.

"We're trying to look out into the future and understand how we'd
operate on an asteroid," said Mike Gernhardt, NASA astronaut and
NEEMO principal investigator. "You don't want to make a bunch of
guesses about what you'll need and then get to the asteroid to find
out it won't work the way you thought it would. NEEMO helps give us
the information we need to make informed decisions now."

This NEEMO expedition will focus on three areas: communication delays,
restraint and translation techniques, and optimum crew size. The crew
of four will spend 12 days living 63 feet below the Atlantic Ocean's
surface on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's
Aquarius Reef Base undersea research habitat off the coast of Key
Largo, Fla.

NASA astronaut and former space shuttle crew member Dottie M.
Metcalf-Lindenburger will lead the crew. She will be joined by fellow
astronauts Kimiya Yui of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and
Timothy Peake of the European Space Agency and Cornell University
professor Steven Squyres, who was also a NEEMO 15 crew member.

To request interviews with the NEEMO 16 crew during the mission,
contact Brandi Dean of NASA at brandi.k.dean@nasa.gov, Rosita Suenson
of the European Space Agency at Rosita.Suenson@esa.int, Akiko Niizeki
of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency at niizeki.akiko@jaxa.jp or
Fred Gorell of NOAA at fred.gorell@noaa.gov.

The NEEMO mission is sponsored by NASA's Advanced Exploration Systems
Program. For more information about NEEMO and the crew and links to
follow the mission on Facebook and Twitter, visit:


For more information about NASA analog field tests, visit:



NASA, Library of Congress Select First Astrobiology Chair

WASHINGTON -- NASA and the Library of Congress have announced the
selection of David H. Grinspoon to be the first Baruch S. Blumberg
NASA-Library of Congress Chair in Astrobiology.

The chair, selected through an international competition, is named for
the late Nobel Laureate and founding director of the NASA
Astrobiology Institute, Baruch "Barry" Blumberg. Applications are
solicited by the Library of Congress and reviewed by a panel jointly
established by the Library and NASA. The prestigious position was
created in November 2011.

Grinspoon will be in residence for a year beginning November 2012 at
the library's scholarly research organization, the Kluge Center, in
Washington. He is the curator of astrobiology in the Department of
Space Sciences at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Grinspoon
is a well-known researcher in planetary science and the author of the
award-winning book "Lonely Planets: The Natural Philosophy of Alien Life."

"Grinspoon's background as an astrobiology researcher, writer and
communicator of science makes him an ideal choice," said Carl
Pilcher, director of the Astrobiology Institute at NASA's Ames
Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif. "This is certainly the start
of what will become a great tradition of astrobiology chairs at the library."

Astrobiology is the study of the origins, evolution, distribution and
future of life in the universe. It addresses three fundamental
questions: How did life begin and evolve? Is there life elsewhere?
What is the future of life on Earth and beyond? The institute's
mission is to promote interdisciplinary research in astrobiology,
train the next generation of astrobiologists and provide scientific
and technical leadership for NASA space missions.

"Grinspoon is uniquely positioned to introduce the Library's unique
multidisciplinary collections on the emerging subject to a wide and
diverse public," said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington.

At the library, Blumberg was a founding member of the Scholar's
Council, a 12-member group of distinguished scholars who advise the
Librarian of Congress on matters of scholarship.

Blumberg was awarded the 1976 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine
for discovery of the Hepatitis B virus and development of a vaccine
to prevent Hepatitis B infection. He was the founding director of the
NASA Astrobiology Institute, serving from 1999 to 2002.

Grinspoon will examine choices facing humanity as we enter the
Anthropocene Era, the epoch when human activities are becoming a
defining characteristic of the physical nature and functioning of
Earth. His research will include studies of the role of planetary
exploration in fostering scientific and public understanding of
climate change and the power of astrobiology as a model of
interdisciplinary research and communication.

For more information about NASA's Astrobiology Program, visit:


For more information about the Kluge Center of the Library of
Congress, visit:



NASA Television to Air Movements of Space Station Cargo Ships

HOUSTON -- NASA Television will broadcast the departure of one Russian
Progress cargo ship from the International Space Station (ISS) and
the arrival of another beginning on Thursday, April 19.

ISS Progress 46, which arrived at the station in January and has been
filled with trash for disposal, will undock from the Pirs docking
compartment at 6:03 a.m. CDT April 19. Russian flight controllers
will command the resupply ship to leave the station for several days
of tests, then send it to burn up in the Earth's atmosphere over the
Pacific Ocean. NASA TV coverage of undocking will begin at 5:45 a.m.

At 7:50 a.m. on April 20, the ISS Progress 47 cargo craft will launch
from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, loaded with 2.5 tons of
food, fuel and supplies for the six crew members aboard the orbiting
laboratory. NASA TV coverage of launch will begin at 7:30 a.m.

Expedition 30 Commander Dan Burbank of NASA and his five crewmates
will monitor events as the Progress 47 automatically docks to the
Pirs docking compartment at 9:40 a.m. Sunday, April 22. NASA TV
coverage of the Progress's arrival at the station will begin at 9 a.m.

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


For more information about the International Space Station and its
crew, visit:



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