Press Release

NASA’s Glast Media Opportunity Set For May 15

By SpaceRef Editor
May 13, 2008
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NASA’s Glast Media Opportunity Set For May 15

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – NASA’s Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope, or GLAST, soon to be launched aboard a Delta II rocket, will be the focus of a media opportunity on Thursday, May 15. The event will be held at the Astrotech Space Operations facility in Titusville, Fla., at 10 a.m. EDT.

The event will include an opportunity to photograph GLAST and to interview project officials from NASA and General Dynamics, 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:

– Albert Vernacchio, GLAST Deputy Project Manager Goddard Space Flight Center

– Dr. Steven Ritz, GLAST Project Scientist/Astrophysicist Goddard Space Flight Center

– Bruce Reid GLAST Kennedy Space Center Mission Manager

– Robb Pinkerton, Technical Program Manager General Dynamics

GLAST, NASA’s new gamma-ray observatory, will open a wide window on the universe. Gamma rays are the highest-energy form of light, and the gamma-ray sky is spectacularly different from the one 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.

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 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 pocketknives will be allowed. Please do not wear perfume, cologne or makeup.

Wireless microphones cannot be used. Electronic flash photography also cannot be 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).

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 Tuesday, June 3 at the opening of a 115 minute window that extends from 11:45 a.m. – 1:40 p.m.

The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center is responsible for designing and developing the spacecraft and its instruments. General Dynamics built the spacecraft for Goddard. The NASA Launch Services Program at the Kennedy Space Center is responsible for the countdown and launch management of the Delta II.

For more information about GLAST, visit:

SpaceRef staff editor.