Press Release

KSC’S Expendable Vehicle Web Coverage Debuts with MER-A Launch

By SpaceRef Editor
June 5, 2003
Filed under , , ,
KSC’S Expendable Vehicle Web Coverage Debuts with MER-A Launch

With the launch of the first rover beginning the Mars Exploration Rover
(MER) mission, the Kennedy Space Center Web site is celebrating its
first-time online coverage of an expendable vehicle mission.

On Saturday, June 7, NASA Direct!’s MER-A programming will kick off with
“Preparing for Launch,” hosted by Jon Cowart and featuring Launch Weather
Officer Joel Tumbiolo, NASA Launch Manager Omar Baez, and MER Manager Matt
Wallace. The launch day program, “MER Mission Overview,” will be hosted by
Tiffany Nail and will include MER Flight Systems Manager Richard Cook and
Deputy Project Manager Richard Brace.

Viewers will see informative programming highlighting the objectives of the
MER-A launch and the twin rovers’ upcoming mission. During both programs,
featured guests will answer questions submitted to the NASA Direct! Question
Boards from space enthusiasts around the world. The NASA Direct! home page
and Question Boards can be viewed online at

In addition to NASA Direct!, the KSC Web will provide live countdown
coverage from the Virtual Launch Control Center, located at Coverage will feature
real-time updating as milestones occur during the countdown, as well as
downloadable and streaming video clips of countdown events. All videos will
be provided in RealMedia format, with downloadable clips available in two
sizes for users with 56K modems or cable/broadband connections.

MER-A WEB COVERAGE SCHEDULE (all times are EDT and subject to change)

L-1 Day – Saturday, June 7
Approx. 2:15 p.m. NASA Direct! program: Preparing for Launch

L-0 Days – Launch Day, Sunday, June 8
Approx. 12:15 p.m. Live countdown coverage begins

Approx. 5:15 p.m. NASA Direct! program: MER Mission Overview

For the exact time of the start of NASA Direct! programming, please check
the NASA Direct! site each program day.

Although coverage events for this mission do not begin until one day prior
to launch, the MER-A coverage site at was activated approximately
one month before the anticipated launch date. KSC’s Expendable Launch
Vehicles site at will always serve
as a starting point for coverage of other NASA ELV missions.

SpaceRef staff editor.