NASA News -

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- The second SpaceX demonstration launch for
NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) has been
rescheduled for a liftoff on Saturday, May 19. The launch of the
Falcon 9 rocket carrying a Dragon capsule will occur from Space
Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
There is a single instantaneous launch opportunity at 4:55 a.m. EDT.

NASA Television launch commentary from Cape Canaveral begins at 3:30 a.m.

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


Friday, May 18 (L-1 day): 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 from NASA's Kennedy Space Center Press Site by
government bus at 9 a.m. for Space Launch Complex 40. Media will be
returned at approximately 11 a.m. SpaceX security regulations require
that media attending this event be U.S. citizens.


Friday, May 18 (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 inside the
perimeter fence. Media who want to participate in remote camera setup
will depart from Kennedy's Press Site by government bus at 9 a.m. in
association with the launch pad photo opportunity and will be
returned to the press site separately after remote camera set-up is
complete. SpaceX security regulations require that media
participating in this activity be U.S. citizens.


Friday, May 18 (L-1 day): The prelaunch news conference for the
NASA/SpaceX launch will be held at the Kennedy Press Site at 1 p.m.
NASA Television will provide live and streaming Internet coverage.

Participants in the prelaunch news conference will be:

- Phil McAlister, Acting Director, NASA Commercial Spaceflight
- Alan Lindenmoyer, Manager, NASA Commercial Crew and Cargo Program
- Gwynne Shotwell, President, SpaceX
- Joel Tumbiolo, Launch Weather Officer, 45th Weather Squadron, Cape
Canaveral Air Force Station

Media representatives can participate in the news conference in-person
at Kennedy or via a phone bridge by calling NASA's Johnson Space
Center newsroom at 12:45 p.m. at 281-483-5111.

Saturday, May 19 (Launch day):A postlaunch news conference will be
held at Kennedy's Press Site at approximately 8:30 a.m.

Audio of the launch and 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.

Saturday, May 19 (Launch day): A delegation from the Student
Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) will be at the Kennedy Press
Site and available for interviews and experiment demonstrations
between 3 and 4:30 a.m. The students represent three of the
experiments that will launch aboard the SpaceX Dragon as part of the
International Space Station NanoRacks 9 platform. A sign-up sheet
will be available in the newsroom for those media representatives
wanting to talk to the students.

For information on the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program:



Saturday, May 19 (Launch day): NASA TV live coverage begins at 3:30
a.m. and concludes at approximately 5:30 a.m.

On launch day, "mission audio," the launch conductor's countdown
activities without NASA TV launch commentary, will be carried on
321-867-7135 starting at 8 a.m. Launch information also will be
available on local amateur VHF radio frequency 146.940 MHz, heard
within Brevard County.


Monday, May 21 (Flight Day 3): Live coverage from NASA's Johnson Space
Center mission control in Houston as the Dragon spacecraft performs
its flyby 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.

Tuesday, May 22 (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.

Wednesday, May 23: Live coverage of the hatch opening and entry of the
Dragon spacecraft begins at 6 a.m. and will include a ceremony during
which the ISS crew will mark the occasion.

Johnson also will provide live coverage of the departure and reentry
of the Dragon spacecraft once a date is determined.


Saturday, May 19 (Launch day): News media may view the launch from the
Kennedy Press Site. A sign-up sheet will be available in the newsroom
for those media representatives wanting to cover the launch from the
NASA Causeway or from the roof of the Complex 39 Launch Control
Center. These are primarily photo locations as there are no
facilities available. Buses will depart from the Press Site parking
lot at 3:30 a.m.


Media who want to attend the prelaunch events, including the prelaunch
news conference and launch, may request accreditation online at:


The deadline for U.S. media to apply for launch accreditation is
May16. The deadline for international media to apply has passed.
Journalists who have already been approved for accreditation do not
need to reapply.

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

Thursday, May 17: noon - 4 p.m.
Friday, May 18: 7 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Saturday, May 19: 1:30 - 4 a.m.

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


Thursday, May 17: 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Friday, May 18: 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 19: 1 - 10:30 a.m.

Media badges will be valid for access to the Kennedy Press Site
through Gate 2 on State Road 3 on Merritt Island and Gate 3 on State
Road 405, located east of the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.
On launch day, only Gate 3 will be open, which also can be accessed
from State Road 3 via Space Commerce Way.

For further information about media accreditation, contact Jennifer
Horner at 321-867-6598.

For more information about the NASA/SpaceX launch, 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 Monday, May 14. U.S. media
wanting access only to Johnson must submit a request for badging by
Friday, May 18. Media who have already been approved for
accreditation do not need to reapply.

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:



NASA $1.5 Million Robot Competition Rolls Onto WPI Campus June 14-17

WASHINGTON -- Autonomous robots created by 11 teams of engineers from
across the country will compete for a NASA prize purse of $1.5
million on the campus of Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), in
Worcester, Mass., June 14 -17. The challenge: design and develop the
next generation of robots to explore the landscapes of other worlds.

The NASA-WPI Sample Return Robot Challenge requires the competing
teams to design and build an autonomous robotic system that will
locate and collect a set of specific objects from a large area and
return the "planetary samples" to the starting zone.

The innovative technologies the teams bring forward can help NASA in
future exploration of distant planets while also potentially
benefiting life here on Earth. Earthly benefits could include areas
such as disaster recovery and mitigation and remote exploration and
mapping of hazardous terrains.

The NASA-WPI Sample Return Robot goals are to discover innovative new
technologies to advance robot navigation and sample collection
without human control, and demonstrate robotic transportation over
varied terrain without the aid of GPS or other Earth-based systems.
The competition also will empower educators and people of all ages by
introducing robotics and how they work, where they work, and
real-world applications of how robots will be used the future.

The competition's roving area includes open rolling terrain, soft
soils, a variety of rocks and immovable obstacles such as trees,
large rocks and water hazards. Teams will be given maps with
appropriate orbital resolution, including the location of the
starting position and a pre-cached sample, but will have no control
of the robots during the competition.

Robots will have to identify and collect samples and return them to
their starting point. Samples will have different point values.
Prizes will be determined based on the scores for the number and
point value of samples collected and returned to the starting location.

During the first phase of the competition, a robot must autonomously
navigate and retrieve a pre-cached sample within 15minutes. Teams
will compete for portions of a $50,000 total prize purse, with a
maximum winning value of $5,000 per team.

In the second phase, a robot must autonomously navigate and retrieve
pre-cached samples as well as other, more difficult samples
distributed over the roving area within two hours. Teams will compete
for up to $1.5 million during this phase, with awards depending on
the amount of points scored and number of successful competing finalists.

WPI is the first university selected as host and manager for one of
NASA's Centennial Challenges Programs, which promotes technical
innovation through novel prize competitions. NASA chose WPI to run
this Centennial Challenge because of its proven experience managing
robotics competitions, its academic expertise in robotics
engineering, and its leadership in science, technology, engineering
and mathematic education.

NASA uses prize competitions to establish important technical
challenges without having to specify the approach that is most likely
to succeed, while only paying for successful results. These
competitions increase the number and diversity of individuals,
organizations and teams that are addressing a particular problem or
challenge of national or international significance. These challenges
stimulate private sector investment many times greater than the cash
value of the prize.

Media wanting to attend the NASA-WPI Sample Robot Return Challenge
should contact Tom Bradley of WPI at 860-967-5357 or at
tbradleypr@yahoo.com for press credentials.

The Centennial Challenges are part of NASA's Space Technology Program.
For more information, visit:


For more information about WPI, visit:

and http://touchtomorrow.wpi.edu


◄ Share this news!

Bookmark and Share


The Manhattan Reporter

Recently Added

Recently Commented