Press Release

LDCM Satellite Ready for Launch

By SpaceRef Editor
January 25, 2013
Filed under , ,
LDCM Satellite Ready for Launch

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. — The launch of NASA’s Landsat Data Continuity Mission, or LDCM satellite, aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 401 rocket is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 11.

Liftoff from Space Launch Complex 3 at Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB), Calif., is targeted to occur at the opening of a 48-minute launch window that extends from 10:02 a.m. to 10:50 a.m. PST (1:02 to 1:50 p.m. EST). The spacecraft’s final circular polar orbit will be 438 miles (705 kilometers) at an inclination of 98.2 degrees.

LDCM is a joint NASA and U.S. Geological Survey mission. It is the eighth satellite in the Landsat series, which began in 1972, and will add to the longest continuous data record of Earth’s surface as viewed from space. The mission will extend the history of global land observations that are critical in many areas, such as energy and water management, forest monitoring, human and environmental health, urban planning, disaster recovery and agriculture.


News media desiring accreditation for the prelaunch and launch activities of LDCM should fax their requests on news organization letterhead to:

2nd Lt. Kaylee Ausbun
30th Space Wing Public Affairs Office
Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

Telephone: 805-606-3595
FAX: 805-606-4571

Information required for U.S. media is full legal name, date of birth and media affiliation. A legal photo identification will be required upon arrival at Vandenberg.


Friday, Feb. 8: The prelaunch news conference and mission science briefing will be held from noon to 2 p.m. PST (3 to 5 p.m. EST) in the second floor conference room of the NASA Vandenberg Resident Office, Building 840, at Vandenberg Air Force Base. The briefing will be carried live on NASA Television with question-and-answer capability available from other NASA field centers. Media can also post questions via Twitter by using the hashtag #askNASA during the briefings.

Media desiring to cover the event should meet at the south gate of VAFB on California State Road 246 at 11:30 a.m. to be escorted by 30th Space Wing Public Affairs to the news conference.

Participants in the prelaunch news conference will be:

David Jarrett, LDCM program executive
NASA Headquarters

Omar Baez, NASA launch director
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

Vernon Thorp, program manager, NASA missions
United Launch Alliance, Denver, Colo.

Ken Schwer, LDCM project manager
Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

1st Lt. Jennifer Kelley, launch weather officer, 30th Operations
Support Squadron
Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.


Immediately following the prelaunch news conference will be an LDCM Mission Science Briefing. Presenting the mission science objectives will be:

Dr. Jim Irons, LDCM project scientist
Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

Dr. Thomas Loveland, senior scientist; co-chair, Landsat Science Team
U.S. Geological Survey Earth Resources Observation and Science
(EROS) Center, Sioux Falls, S.D.

Dr. Mike Wulder, senior research scientist, Landsat Science Team
Canadian Forest Service, Natural Resources Canada
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Kass Green, Landsat scientist
President, Kass Green and Associates


Sunday, Feb. 10: Media desiring to establish sound-activated remote cameras at the launch pad should meet at the pass and identification building at the Vandenberg south gate on California State Road 246 and Arguello Boulevard at 9:30 a.m. to be escorted to Space Launch Complex 3.


Sunday, Feb. 10: There will be an opportunity for the media to see and photograph the Atlas V with LDCM within the gantry at the launch pad. Media should be at the pass and identification building at the Vandenberg main gate on California State Road 1 at 1:15 p.m. Those wishing to attend should confirm their participation with 2nd Lt. Kaylee Ausbun in the 30th Space Wing Public Affairs office at 805-606-3595.


Monday, Feb. 11: Media covering the LDCM launch aboard the Atlas V rocket should meet at 8:30 a.m. at the Vandenberg main gate on California State Road 1 to be escorted to the press viewing site. Press credentials and identification from a bona fide news organization will be required for access. A driver’s license alone will not be sufficient.

After launch, media will be escorted back to the main gate. Media interested in participating in a post-launch news conference with spacecraft officials discussing the LDCM observatory satellite’s state of health will be escorted to NASA Building 840 on south Vandenberg. This event will begin at noon PST (3 p.m. EST) and will be carried live on NASA Television.


NASA Television will carry the prelaunch news conference and mission science briefing starting at noon PST (3 p.m. EST) on Friday, Feb. 8. The prelaunch news conference also will be webcast at:

On launch day, Feb. 11, NASA TV launch commentary coverage of the countdown will begin at 7:15 a.m. PST (10:15 a.m. EST). Liftoff is targeted for 10:02 a.m. PST (1:02 p.m. EST). Spacecraft separation from the Atlas V occurs 1 hour, 17 minutes, 58 seconds after launch.

For information on receiving NASA TV, go to:

HD Broadcast video of LDCM spacecraft and videos are available for download at


Audio only of the press conference and the launch coverage will be carried on the NASA “V” circuits, which may be accessed by dialing 321-867-1220 or -1240 or -1260 or -7135. 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 6:30 a.m. PST (9:30 a.m. EST). Launch also will be available on local amateur VHF radio frequency 146.940 MHz heard within Brevard County.


Extensive prelaunch and launch day coverage of the liftoff of the LDCM spacecraft aboard the Atlas V rocket will be available on NASA’s home page on the Internet at:

A prelaunch webcast for the LDCM mission will be streamed on NASA’s website at noon on Sunday, Feb. 10. Live countdown coverage through NASA’s Launch Blog begins at 7:15 a.m., Monday, Feb. 11. Coverage features live updates as countdown milestones occur, as well as streaming video clips highlighting launch preparations and liftoff. For questions about countdown coverage, contact Jeanne Ryba at 321-867-7824.

To view the webcast and the blog or to learn more about the LDCM mission, visit:


Join the conversation and follow the LDCM mission online by using hashtag #Landsat on Twitter and Facebook at:

Throughout the launch countdown, the NASAKennedy Twitter and Facebook accounts will be continuously updated throughout the launch countdown at:

Launch coverage of the Atlas V/LDCM countdown activities will be available on the NASA website by going to the home page at:

Live countdown coverage on NASA’s launch blog begins at 7:15 a.m. PST (10:15 a.m. EST). Coverage features real-time updates of countdown milestones, as well as streaming video clips highlighting launch preparations and liftoff.

A post-launch news conference will be held at noon PST (3 p.m. EST), or approximately two hours after launch.

To access these features, go to NASA’s LDCM mission website at:


The LDCM and Atlas V News Center at the NASA Vandenberg Resident Office will open Feb. 6. To speak with a NASA communications specialist beginning at that time, call 805-605-3051. A recorded launch status report also will be available by dialing 805-734-2693.

The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., is responsible for the project management of LDCM. Orbital Sciences Corp. built the LDCM satellite. NASA’s Launch Services Program at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida provides launch management. United Launch Alliance of Denver, Colo., is NASA’s launch service provider of the Atlas V 401 rocket. After launch and the initial checkout phase, the U. S. Geological Survey will take operational control of the satellite, and LDCM will be renamed Landsat 8.

SpaceRef staff editor.