Press Release

NASA’S GLAST Space Telescope to Launch Aboard Delta II on June 3

By SpaceRef Editor
May 23, 2008
Filed under , ,
NASA’S GLAST Space Telescope to Launch Aboard Delta II on June 3

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Launch of NASA’s Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope, or GLAST, is targeted for Tuesday, June 3, from Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. The launch window extends from 11:45 a.m. to 1:40 p.m. EDT and remains unchanged through Aug. 7. The June 3 launch date is dependent on space shuttle Discovery’s May 31 liftoff, and will move if the shuttle launch is delayed.

NASA’s new gamma-ray observatory will open a wide window on the universe through the study of Gamma rays, the highest-energy form of light. 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 will hold a pre-launch news conference at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center news center at 1 p.m. on Sunday, June 1. The briefing will be carried live on NASA Television.

Participating in the briefing will be:

– Dr. Jon Morse, director, Astrophysics Division, NASA Headquarters, Washington

– Omar Baez, NASA launch director/launch manager, Kennedy Space Center

– Kris Walsh, director of Delta NASA and Commercial Programs, United Launch Alliance, Cape Canaveral, Fla.

– Albert Vernacchio, GLAST deputy project manager, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

– Dr. Steven Ritz, GLAST Project scientist/astrophysicist, Goddard Space Flight Center

– Joel Tumbiolo, U.S. Air Force Delta II launch weather officer, 45th Weather Squadron, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station

A prelaunch webcast will take place on Monday, June 2 at noon on NASA Direct, Kennedy’s Internet broadcasting network. GLAST’s launch director will explain how the countdown will unfold on launch day, discuss how the spacecraft and Delta II launch vehicle were prepared for liftoff, and viewers will hear GLAST’s project scientist explain the mission’s goals. To view the webcast, and for more information about the GLAST mission, visit:

NASA TELEVISION COVERAGE On Sunday, June 1, NASA TV coverage of the GLAST pre-launch news conference at Kennedy will begin at 1 p.m. Two-way question and answer capability will be available from participating NASA locations. On Tuesday, June 3, NASA TV coverage of the launch will begin at 9:30 a.m. and conclude after spacecraft separation from the Delta II rocket, which occurs 75 minutes after launch. Coverage will be carried on the NASA TV Media Channel (Channel 103). The broadcast network HDNet also will carry the launch in high-definition television format from 11:30 a.m. until noon. For complete NASA TV downlink information, schedules and links to streaming video, visit:

Audio of the pre-launch news conference will be carried on Kennedy’s monitor-only phone lines and can be heard by dialing 321-867-1260 or 321-867-7135. On launch day, mission audio countdown activities without NASA launch commentary will be carried on 321-867-7135, beginning at 8:30 a.m. NASA launch commentary will begin at 9:30 a.m. and will be available at 321-867-1260. Launch commentary also will be available on amateur radio frequency 146.940 Mhz (VHF), heard within Brevard County, Fla.

ACCREDITATION AND MEDIA ACCESS BADGES FOR THE GLAST LAUNCH All reporters, including those who are permanently badged for Kennedy, must complete the accreditation process for the activities associated with the GLAST launch. The media accreditation process may be done via the Web by going to:

Accreditation requests for the GLAST pre-launch, launch and post-launch activities at Kennedy and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station must be received by the close of business Tuesday, May 27. On Friday, May 30, media without permanent credentials may obtain NASA access badges at the Pass and Identification building between 6 a.m. and 4 p.m. The building is located on State Road 405 south of Titusville, east of U.S. 1 after passing the Astronaut Hall of Fame. Two forms of government-issued identification are required, including one with photo. To arrange for badging over the weekend, contact Laurel Lichtenberger in the news media accreditation office at 321-867-4036.


On Monday, June 2, photographers who wish to set up remote cameras at the Delta launch complex will be escorted to Pad 17-B. Departure by vehicle convoy will be at 1 p.m. from the Space Florida parking lot located on Poseidon Avenue, adjacent to Gate 1 of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.


On Tuesday, June 3, sign-in of badged reporters will begin at 10:30 a.m. at the Space Florida parking lot. Media will be required to show their permanent KSC credentials or temporary KSC machine badge before being allowed access to the media viewing site. Following the launch, media will be escorted via caravan back to Gate 1. Media requiring access to the Kennedy Press Site after launch must proceed through Gate 2 on State Road 3. Media requiring remote camera retrieval should remain at the viewing site until escorted to the launch pad. After camera retrieval, photographers will be escorted back to Gate 1.

Because this launch is a Delta II Heavy configuration with larger solid rocket boosters, the media viewing site will be atop the Trident Bluff on south Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. There is no infrastructure at this location, so news media should plan on being fully self-contained. A wireless Internet capability will be available.


No post-launch news conference is planned. A post-launch news release will be issued once first contact has been made with GLAST and the state of health of the spacecraft can be determined. This should occur within one hour after spacecraft separation from the Delta II.


Kennedy’s News Center will be open for GLAST news operations beginning on Sunday, June 1, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., continuing through launch. Starting at that time, status reports on the launch of GLAST and any media updates will be recorded on the news center update line at 321-867-2525.

+ CALL FOR PAYLOAD STUDY CONSORTIA FOR COSMIC VISION M-CLASS MISSIONS Today ESA has issued a “Call for Declarations of Interest in Science Instrumentation” for the M-class Cosmic Vision mission, Euclid. Similar calls have already been issued for Cross-Scale, Marco Polo and Plato. For further details see:

SpaceRef staff editor.