Press Release

OSTM/Jason 2 Satellite Ready for June 20 Launch From California

By SpaceRef Editor
June 11, 2008
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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The launch of the Ocean Surface Topography Mission, or OSTM/Jason 2, aboard a Delta II rocket is scheduled for Friday, June 20, from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The launch window extends from 12:46 a.m. to 12:55 a.m. PDT. The satellite will be placed in an 830-mile-high orbit at an inclination of 66 degrees after separating from the Delta II 55 minutes after liftoff.

The five primary science instruments of the Ocean Surface Topography Mission aboard the Jason 2 spacecraft are dedicated to measuring ocean surface height. These measurements will be used to evaluate and forecast climate changes and improve weather forecasting. The results also are expected to help forecasters better predict hurricane intensity.

The mission is an international collaboration between NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the French space agency Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES), and the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT). NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., manages the mission for NASA. NASA’s Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Services Program is responsible for the agency’s launch management of the Delta II rocket.


Journalists seeking accreditation for the launch should fax their request on news organization letterhead to: 2nd Lt. Raymond Geoffroy, 30th Space Wing Public Affairs Office, Vandenberg Air Force Base, at 805/606-8303 or by e-mail to The Vandenberg public affairs office can be reached by phone at 805-606-3595.


A prelaunch news conference will be held at 1 p.m. PDT, Wednesday, June 18, in the main conference room of Building 12000 on North Vandenberg Air Force Base. Participants will be:

– Steve Neeck, OSTM/Jason 2 program executive, NASA Headquarters, Washington

– Omar Baez, NASA launch director, Kennedy Space Center

– Kris Walsh, director of NASA and commercial programs, United Launch Alliance

– Parag Vaze, OSTM/Jason 2 project manager, Jet Propulsion Laboratory

– Gary Davis, deputy launch weather officer, 30th Weather Squadron


Immediately following the prelaunch news conference, an OSTM/Jason 2 mission science briefing will be held. Participants will be:

– Eric Lindstrom, OSTM/Jason 2 program scientist, NASA Headquarters

– Lee-Lueng Fu, OSTM/Jason 2 project scientist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory

– Laury Miller, chief scientist, NOAA Laboratory for Satellite Altimetry

– Mikael Rattenborg, director of operations, EUMETSAT, Darmstadt, Germany

Media not attending the press conference may fax questions to be considered for inclusion in the briefing to 805-606-8303. Questions must be received prior to the start of the 1 p.m. PDT briefings.

Media desiring to attend the prelaunch news conference and mission science briefing should meet at the main gate of Vandenberg on California S.R. 1 at 12:30 p.m. PDT on Wednesday, June 18, to be escorted by 30th Space Wing public affairs representatives to the press conference.


Media wanting to place sound-activated remote cameras at the launch pad should meet at noon, June 19, at the pass and identification building, located at the main gate of Vandenberg Air Force Base on California S.R. 1.


On June 19, there will be an opportunity to photograph rollback of the mobile service tower from around the Delta II launch vehicle at NASA’s Space Launch Complex-2. Media will depart by Air Force van from the Vandenberg main gate on California S.R. 1 at 2 p.m. PDT. Television vans, or those media with a large amount of equipment, will be allowed direct escorted access. Press credentials and identification from a bona fide news organization will be required for access. A driver’s license alone is not sufficient.


Reporters attending the launch should meet at 11:30 p.m. PDT, June 19, at the Vandenberg main gate to be escorted to the press viewing on north Vandenberg. After launch, reporters will be escorted back to the gate. A post-launch news conference will not be held. However, reporters interested in speaking with launch officials will be escorted to the NASA Mission Director’s Center for an interview opportunity after spacecraft separation from the Delta II and solar array deployment have occurred, approximately 55 minutes after liftoff.


NASA Television will carry the prelaunch news conference and mission science briefing starting at 1 p.m. PDT, June 18. NASA TV coverage of launch countdown will begin at 10:45 p.m. PDT, June 19, and conclude after the spacecraft separates from the rocket and the solar arrays are deployed. Coverage will be webcast at:

TV coverage of the OSTM/Jason 2 launch also will be available on satellite AMC-6, transponder 12.

Audio of the prelaunch news conference and launch coverage may be accessed directly at 321/867-1220, 1240 or 1260. Launch mission audio of countdown activities without NASA launch commentary will be carried on 321-867-7135, beginning at 9:45 p.m. PDT.


Extensive prelaunch and launch day coverage of the OSTM/Jason 2 mission will be available on the NASA Web site at:

A prelaunch webcast is set for June 19 at 9 a.m. PDT. The webcast will give visitors a close-up look at the mission, including how the countdown will unfold, what goes into a launch and why the spacecraft will be sent into orbit from California. Launch and mission experts will talk about the mission and what similar spacecraft have told us about Earth’s oceans.

On June 19, live countdown coverage on NASA’s launch blog begins at 10:45 p.m. PDT. Coverage features real-time updates of countdown milestones, as well as streaming video clips highlighting launch preparations and liftoff.

To access these interactive features, go to NASA’s OSTM/Jason 2 mission Web site at:

OSTM/JASON 2 NEWS CENTER The OSTM/Jason 2 news center at NASA’s Vandenberg Resident Office will be staffed beginning Monday, June 16, and may be contacted at 805-605-3051. A recorded status report will be available starting at that time by dialing 805-734-2693.

SpaceRef staff editor.