Press Release

Delta II Defense Department Launch Rescheduled for Sept. 23

By SpaceRef Editor
September 21, 2009
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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – To accommodate spacecraft readiness, launch of the Missile Defense Agency’s Space Tracking and Surveillance System Demonstration mission, or STSS Demo, has been rescheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 23, from Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. The launch window opens at 8 a.m. EDT and is one hour long.

STSS Demo is an element of the STSS Program, a space-based sensor component of a layered Ballistic Missile Defense System designed for the overall mission of detection, tracking and discrimination of ballistic missiles.

NASA’s Launch Services Program at the Kennedy Space Center, Fla., is responsible for the launch of STSS Demo aboard a Delta II 7920-10c rocket. United Launch Alliance is conducting the launch service for NASA. The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) is in charge of the STSS Demo mission. The STSS Demo satellites were built for MDA by Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems.

News Conferences

No prelaunch news conference is planned. However, a post-launch news conference will be held. It is targeted to begin at launch plus two-and-a-half hours at Kennedy’s NASA News Center. Participating in the briefing will be:

Omar Baez
NASA Launch Director

Lt. Gen. Patrick O’Reilly
Director, Missile Defense Agency

A post-launch news release will also be issued at that time on the state of health of the two STSS Demo spacecraft. Official spokespersons from the Missile Defense Agency will be available at the NASA News Center for comments.

Media Accreditation and Access Badges for Kennedy and CCAFS

Tuesday, Sept. 22: Media without permanent credentials who have been accredited for the STSS Demo launch may pick up NASA access badges at the Kennedy Space Center badging office between 6 a.m. and 4 p.m. This facility is located on State Road 405 just east of the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Two forms of government-issued identification are required, including at least one with a picture. For further information about press accreditation, contact Laurel Lichtenberger in the news media accreditation office at 321-867-4036.

Remote Camera Placements

Tuesday, Sept. 22: Photographers who wish to set up remote cameras at Pad 17-B will be escorted by NASA and United Launch Alliance representatives to the launch complex. Departure by vehicle convoy will be at 1 p.m. from the Space Florida parking lot located on Poseidon Avenue, adjacent to Gate 1 of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Launch Day Press Site Access to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station

Wednesday, Sept. 23: Verification of pre-issued press credentials and sign-in will begin at 6:30 a.m. at the Space Florida parking lot. Media covering the launch will be required to show their permanent KSC credentials or temporary Kennedy machine badge before being allowed to participate in the caravan traveling to the media viewing site at Press Site 1. Following the launch, media will be escorted via caravan back to Gate 1. Those media requiring access to the Kennedy Press Site after launch must proceed through Gate 2 on State Road 3 or Gate 3 on State Road 405. Media requiring remote camera retrieval will remain at Press Site 1 until escorted to the launch pad. Following camera retrieval, participating media will be escorted back to Gate 1.

To reach the Space Florida parking lot, after passing the Pass and Identification Building outside Gate 1 of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, turn right at the traffic light at the intersection of State Road 401 and Poseidon Avenue. Make an immediate left turn at the Navaho display.

News Center Hours for Launch

The NASA News Center at Kennedy will be open for STSS Demo news operations on Tuesday, Sept. 22, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Status reports on the launch of the Delta II and any updates to this media advisory will be recorded on the Kennedy news media launch update phone line: 321-867-2525. On launch day, Wednesday, Sept. 23, the NASA News Center will open at 6:30 a.m. and close at 4:30 p.m.

NASA Television Coverage

On launch day, Wednesday, Sept. 23, NASA Television coverage of the launch will begin at 6 a.m. EDT and conclude after final spacecraft separation from the Delta II rocket at 55 minutes after launch. Launch coverage will be carried live on the NASA TV Public Channel (Channel 101).

“Mission Audio” countdown activities without NASA launch commentary, will be carried on 321-867-7135 beginning at 5:15 a.m. Audio of the NASA launch commentary will begin at 6 a.m. EDT and will be available on 321-867-1220, 1240, 1260. It will also be available on amateur radio frequency 146.940 MHz (VHF), heard within Brevard County.

NASA Television coverage of the STSS Demo post-launch news conference at KSC is targeted to begin at approximately two-and-a-half-hours after launch and will be carried live on the NASA TV Public Channel (Channel 101). Two-way question-and-answer capability will be available from other participating NASA field centers. Audio of the post-launch press conference will also be carried on the NASA “V” circuits.

For information on receiving NASA Television, go to:

NASA Web Prelaunch and Launch Coverage

NASA’s home on the Internet,, will provide countdown and liftoff coverage of the STSS Demo launch.

Live coverage through NASA’s Launch Blog begins at 6 a.m., Wednesday, Sept. 23. The coverage features real-time updates as countdown milestones occur, as well as streaming video clips highlighting launch preparations and liftoff.

To view the launch blog, go to:

For Web questions, contact Jeanne Ryba at 321-867-7824.

SpaceRef staff editor.