From: Kennedy Space Center
Posted: Friday, January 15, 2010
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-P, or GOES-P, which will be launched into orbit in early March aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket, is the focus of a media opportunity on Monday, Jan. 18. The event will start at 9:30 a.m. EST at the Astrotech Space Operations facility in Titusville, Fla., near NASA's Kennedy Space Center.
The event will include an opportunity to photograph GOES-P and interview project officials from NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, and Boeing Space & Intelligence Systems.
GOES-P, which becomes GOES-15 when it reaches orbit, is the last of three geostationary weather and environmental satellites in the current series built for NASA by Boeing. GOES-N was launched in 2006, GOES-O was launched in 2009, and GOES-P is now being prepared for its upcoming launch in early March. The launch is currently scheduled for no earlier than March 1 at the opening of a one hour launch window that occurs between 6:19 - 7:19 p.m. EST.
On Monday at 9:15 a.m., U.S. media may proceed directly to Astrotech located in the Spaceport Florida Industrial Park, 1515 Chaffee Drive, Titusville. Due to the amount of time needed to process credentials, international media will not be able to attend this event. Procedures for optically sensitive spacecraft must be followed for individuals entering the cleanroom where the spacecraft is being processed. Guidelines for controlled access to the cleanroom have been developed by quality control personnel and will be monitored prior to entering the facility. Cleanroom attire will be furnished. Photographers may be requested to clean cameras or accessories using alcohol wipes which will be provided.
Electronic flash and wireless microphones will be permitted. However, cell phones may not be taken into the cleanroom.
Long pants and closed-toe shoes must be worn -- no shorts or skirts. Non-essential equipment, such as camera bags or other carrying cases, should be left outside the cleanroom. No pencils or felt-tipped pens can be permitted inside the cleanroom; only ball-point pens may be used.
The Delta IV rocket will be launched by United Launch Alliance for Boeing Launch Services under an FAA commercial license. It now is being prepared for liftoff at Launch Complex 37 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The rocket is being hoisted into the launcher on the launch pad this week.
GOES-P will feature a highly stable pointing platform, which will improve the performance of the Imager and Sounder that are important instruments for creating daily weather-prediction models and for hurricane forecasting. For NOAA's National Ocean Service, data from GOES-P will be valuable for oceanographic circulation models and forecasts for U.S. coastal communities.
GOES-P will also provide expanded capability for the space and solar environment-monitoring instruments. Forecasts and warnings for solar disturbances will be enhanced. This will protect investments of billions of dollars by the private sector and the government in assets on the ground and in space. As with all of NOAA's geostationary and polar-orbiting weather satellites, GOES-P also will be able to relay distress signals detected from emergency locator beacons on the ground and at sea.
Boeing's GOES-P contract with NASA calls for a "delivery on orbit." The satellite will be turned over to NASA after a successful on-orbit checkout has been completed by Boeing. Approximately six months after completion of post-launch testing, the spacecraft will be turned over to NOAA. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center is responsible for designing and developing the spacecraft and its instruments.
For additional information on the GOES-P satellite and mission, visit: http://goespoes.gsfc.nasa.gov/goes/spacecraft/n_p_spacecraft.html
For information about NASA's Kennedy Space Center and the programs and missions it supports, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/kennedy
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