Press Release

Media Invited for NASA GLAST Media Day to Explore Extreme Universe

By SpaceRef Editor
September 12, 2007
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GREENBELT, Md. – NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. invites reporters to participate in a special media day that will highlight NASA’s upcoming Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST) mission. GLAST Media Day will be held on Wed., Sept. 19, 2007 from 9:00 a.m. to 12 p.m. EDT.

GLAST, NASA’s new gamma-ray observatory, will open a wide new window on the universe. Gamma rays are the highest-energy form of light, and the gamma-ray sky is spectacularly different from what we perceive with our own eyes. With a huge leap in all key capabilities, GLAST data will enable scientists to answer persistent questions across a broad range of topics, including supermassive black hole systems, pulsars, the origin of cosmic rays, and searches for signals of new physics.

Media Day will provide reporters with an introduction on the mission and high-quality videos. Also included will be a Science Writer’s Workshop, highlighting the GLAST high-energy mission, and basics in the extreme events GLAST will study. Reporters will learn about gamma-ray bursts, blazars, quasars, black holes, neutron stars and probe some of science’s deepest questions.

Following will be a look at the instruments and a status on the mission, followed by a question-and-answer session with GLAST scientists. The day will conclude with a 20 minute video presentation of NASA’s Science on a Sphere highlighting NASA Earth and space science. Reporters will be given the option to obtain lunch at the Building 1 cafeteria, and can then take an optional tour of Goddard at 1 p.m. EDT.

Reporters interested in attending should contact Robert Naeye at 1-301-286-4453, or at [email protected] to reserve a space and provide names for security badges. Reporters should meet at the Goddard Visitor’s Center, located off Greenbelt Road (State Route 193) and ICESat Road at 9:00 a.m. EDT. A shuttle will take reporters to the site of the event.

The GLAST Media Day takes place the day after the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) conducts a Science Writers Workshop on dark energy. STScI is located in Baltimore, Md., less than an hour’s drive from Goddard. The events are running on consecutive days so reporters coming from distant areas can attend two workshops on just one trip. Journalists can register to attend the Sept. 18 STScI workshop by contacting Ray Villard ([email protected], 1-410-338-4514) or Cheryl Gundy ([email protected], 1-410-338-4707) in the STScI News Office.

NASA’s GLAST mission is an astrophysics and particle physics partnership, developed in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy, along with important contributions from academic institutions and partners in France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Sweden, and the U.S.

For more information about the GLAST mission, please visit: http://glast.gsfc.nasa.gov

For information about Science on a Sphere, please visit:  http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/visitor/exhibits/sphere.html

  GLAST MEDIA DAY AGENDA:

WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 19, 2007

ON-SITE COORDINATORS:

Rob Gutro, 1-301-286-4044, [email protected]
Liz Smith, 1-301-286-1540, [email protected]
Bob Naeye, 1-301-286-4453, [email protected]

TIMELINE:

9:00 AM: REPORTERS WILL MEET AT THE VISITOR’S CENTER

Sign-in and badging will take place in the Visitor’s Center. Reporters will also receive press kits, containing the science writer’s guide. Buses will transport reporters every 10 minutes to Building 28, Room N105, the new NASA-TV Studio, Bldg 28, Room N105, for the presentation.

9:15 and 9:25 AM: BUS TAKES REPORTERS TO BUILDING 28, ROOM N105

9:30 AM: BRIEF WELCOME INTRODUCTION TO REPORTERS AT THE NASA TV STUDIOS Dr. Lynn Cominsky, Sonoma State University will welcome reporters and will introduce GLAST, then animations and videos. It will be in Bldg 28, Room N105.

9:45 AM: SCIENCE WRITER’S WORKSHOP PRESENTERS:

This is a SCIENCE 101 type session on the GLAST Spacecraft and the science that it will investigate.

Steve Ritz, GLAST Project Scientist NASA Goddard

Lynn Cominsky, GLAST Press Officer, Education and Public Outreach, Sonoma State Univ. Calif.

Dave Thompson, Anti-Coincidence Detector Lead, NASA Goddard, also LAT Multiwavelength Coordinator

10:30 AM: PROJECT STATUS AND INTRODUCTION TO THE INSTRUMENTS

Kevin Grady, NASA Headquarters, GLAST Project manager – Project Status

Chip Meegan, Marshall Space Flight Center, GLAST Burst Monitor Principal Investigator  – Introduction to the GBM 

Peter  Michelson, Stanford University, Large Area Telescope Principal Investigator –   Introduction to the LAT

10:45 – 11:30 AM: Q&A SESSION:

This will immediately follow the Science Writer’s Workshop in the same room. Reporters will get to ask questions of scientists and engineers about the mission and the science. In addition, reporters can also interview scientists after the Q&A session ends. Additional support will include:

Kathy Turner, U.S. Dept. of Energy GLAST Program Manager, Washington, D.C.

11:30 – 11:45 AM: BUSES WILL RETURN REPORTERS TO THE VISITORS CENTER

12:00 PM: VISITOR’S CENTER PRESENTATION OF SCIENCE ON A SPHERE: There will be a special showing of the 20 minute NASA “Footprints” movie on the “Science on a Sphere” at the Visitor’s Center, hosted by John Leck. 

12:30 PM: BUS CAN TAKE REPORTERS TO BUILDING 1 CAFETERIA

12:30 PM: LUNCH “ON YOUR OWN” Reporters can obtain lunch on their own, off campus. They just need to meet back at the Visitor’s center for the tour.

1:30 PM BUS WILL TAKE REPORTERS FROM BUILDING 1 TO TOUR AT THE VISITOR’S CENTER Nina Harris will lead the Goddard Tour and will board the bus at the Visitor’s Center to begin their tour. This is a 90 minute tour, limited to 20 people.

3:00 PM BUS WILL DROP PEOPLE OFF AT THE VISITOR’S CENTER

SpaceRef staff editor.