Press Release

NASA To Show Kepler Spacecraft During Media Opportunity Jan. 30

By SpaceRef Editor
January 26, 2009
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NASA To Show Kepler Spacecraft During Media Opportunity Jan. 30

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — NASA’s Kepler spacecraft, that will be launched in March aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket, will be the focus of a media opportunity on Friday, Jan. 30. The event will be held at the Astrotech Space Operations facility in Titusville, Fla., and will start at 10 a.m. EST.

The event will include an opportunity to photograph the space telescope and to interview project officials from NASA and Ball Aerospace, builder of the spacecraft. Media may proceed directly to Astrotech located in the Spaceport Florida Industrial Park, 1515 Chaffee Drive, Titusville. Access begins at 9:45 a.m. The event will last approximately two hours.

Spokespeople available will be:

– Jim Fanson, Kepler project manager NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

– John Troeltzsch, program manager Ball Aerospace

– Armando Piloto, Kepler KSC mission manager NASA’s Kennedy Space Center

For the media event, procedures for optically sensitive spacecraft must be followed by individuals entering the clean room where the spacecraft is being processed. Guidelines for controlled access to the clean room have been developed by quality control personnel and will be monitored prior to entering the facility. Full clean room attire (bunny suits) must be worn and will be furnished. Photographers may be requested to clean cameras or accessories using alcohol wipes which will be provided.

Long pants, shirts with sleeves 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 clean room. No pencils or felt-tipped pens can be permitted inside the clean room; only ball-point pens may be used. No food, tobacco, chewing gum, lighters, matches or pocket knives will be allowed. Please do not wear perfume, cologne or makeup.

Wireless microphones and electronic flash photography are permitted in this facility. There is adequate metal halide lighting in the facility for photography (white with a slight green cast; suggested exposure for ISO-ASA 400 is 1/30 sec. at f/5.6).

Kepler is designed to survey more that 100,000 stars in our galaxy to determine the number of sun-like stars that have Earth-size and larger planets, including those that lie in a star’s “habitable zone,” a region where liquid water, and perhaps life, could exist. If these Earth-size worlds do exist around stars like our sun, Kepler is expected to be the first to find them and the first to measure how common they are.

The Delta II rocket is being prepared for flight by United Launch Alliance at Space Launch Complex 17 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The liftoff is currently planned for March 5 at 10:48 p.m. EST.

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. is responsible for designing and developing the spacecraft and its instruments. Ball Aerospace in Boulder, Colo., built the spacecraft for JPL. The NASA Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., is responsible for mission science. The NASA Launch Services Program at the Kennedy Space Center is responsible for the launch management and the countdown for the Delta II.

For more information about Kepler and its mission, visit:

SpaceRef staff editor.