NASA Schedules News Media Events for IRIS Launch

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June 11, 2013

George Diller
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

Susan Hendrix
Goddard Space Flight Center, Md.

Rachel Hoover
Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.



CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- NASA's Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph 
(IRIS) mission is scheduled to launch Wednesday, June 26, from 
Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on an Orbital Sciences Corp. 
Pegasus XL rocket. Launch is targeted for 7:27 p.m. PDT (10:27 p.m. 
EDT) in the middle of a five-minute launch window.

The drop of the Pegasus from Orbital's L-1011 carrier aircraft will 
occur over the Pacific Ocean at an altitude of 39,000 feet, 
approximately 100 miles northwest of Vandenberg off the central coast 
of California, south of Big Sur. The Pegasus will be deployed from 
the L-1011 on a southerly launch azimuth of 198.6 degrees. The rocket 
will place IRIS into a sun-synchronous polar orbit of 387.5 by 418.7 
miles (620 by 670 km) at an inclination of 97.89 degrees.

IRIS is a NASA Small Explorer Mission to observe how solar material 
moves, gathers energy and heats up as it travels through a 
little-understood region in the sun's lower atmosphere. This 
interface region between the sun's photosphere and corona powers its 
dynamic million-degree atmosphere and drives the solar wind. The 
interface region also is where most of the sun's ultraviolet emission 
is generated that impacts the near-Earth space environment and 
Earth's climate.


News media desiring accreditation for the prelaunch and launch 
activities for IRIS should fax their requests on news organization 
letterhead to:

2nd Lt. Kaylee Ausbun
30th Space Wing Public Affairs Office
Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.
Telephone: 805-606-3595
Fax: 805-606-4571

Information required for U.S. media includes full legal name, date of 
birth and media affiliation. A valid legal photo identification will 
be required upon arrival at Vandenberg.


Tuesday, June 25: NASA will host a prelaunch news conference and 
mission briefing scheduled to begin at noon PDT (3 p.m. EDT) in the 
second-floor conference room of the NASA Vandenberg Resident Office, 
Building 840, at Vandenberg Air Force Base. NASA Television will air 
the briefing live with question-and-answer capability available from 
other NASA field centers. Media also can ask questions via Twitter by 
using the hashtag #askNASA during the briefings.

Participating in the prelaunch news conference will be:

-Geoffrey Yoder, Deputy Associate Administrator for Programs, Science 
Mission Directorate
NASA Headquarters, Washington

-Tim Dunn, NASA Launch Director/NASA Launch Manager
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

-Bryan Baldwin, Pegasus Launch Vehicle Program Director
Orbital Sciences Corp., Dulles, Va.

-Gary Kushner, IRIS Project Manager
Lockheed Martin Solar and Astrophysics Laboratory, Palo Alto, Calif.

-Maj. Erin Willingham, Launch Weather Officer
U.S. Air Force 30th Weather Squadron, Vandenberg Air Force Base, 


The IRIS mission briefing will immediately follow the prelaunch news 
conference. Participants will include:

-Jeffrey Newmark, IRIS Program Scientist
NASA Headquarters, Washington

-Alan Title, IRIS Principal Investigator, Lockheed Martin
Advanced Technology Center Solar and Astrophysics Laboratory

Following the two briefings, news media will be taken to the 
Vandenberg Air Force Base runway to see the Orbital Sciences L-1011 
carrier aircraft with the Pegasus/IRIS rocket ready for launch. 
Spokespersons will be on hand to answer questions and for interviews. 
News media will be permitted to board the aircraft.


Tuesday, June 25: News media desiring to cover the IRIS prelaunch news 
conference and mission science briefing should meet at the south gate 
of Vandenberg Air Force Base on California State Road 246 west of 
Lompoc at 11:30 a.m. PDT for an escort to the NASA Vandenberg 
Resident Office in Building 840. After the briefings end at 
approximately 1:30 p.m., media who desire to see the Pegasus with 
IRIS and tour Orbital's L-1011 "Stargazer" carrier aircraft will be 
taken to the Vandenberg Air Force Base runway.

Wednesday, June 26: News media representatives should meet at the 
Vandenberg main gate at 5:45 p.m. PDT to be escorted to the 
Vandenberg Air Force Base runway to view the departure of the L-1011 
aircraft at 6:27 p.m. Media then will be taken to the second-floor 
conference room of the NASA Resident Office in Building 840 on South 
Vandenberg Air Force Base. From there, media may follow the flight 
and launch of Pegasus/IRIS.

A post-launch news conference will not be held.


Live coverage on NASA Television of the IRIS launch will begin at 6 
p.m. PDT (9 p.m. EDT) June 26. There will be live TV coverage of the 
L-1011 departure at 6:27 p.m., as well as the deployment of the 
Pegasus XL from the L-1011 carrier aircraft at approximately 7:27 
p.m. PDT (10:27 p.m. EDT). Spacecraft separation from the Pegasus 
vehicle occurs 13 minutes after launch. Live audio of the launch 
coverage and the Pegasus/IRIS briefings will be available on the "V" 
circuits at 321-867-1220, -1240, and -1260.

For NASA TV launch coverage information and schedules on the Internet, 

For information on receiving NASA TV, visit:


Audio only of the news conference and the launch coverage will be 
carried on the NASA "V" circuits, which may be accessed by dialing 
321-867-1220, -1240 or -1260. On launch day, "mission audio," the 
launch conductor's countdown activities and communication with the 
aircraft without NASA TV launch commentary, will be carried on 
321-867-7135 starting at 5:30 p.m. PDT (8:30 p.m. EDT).


Extensive prelaunch and launch day coverage of the IRIS spacecraft 
aboard a Pegasus XL rocket will be available on NASA's home page at: 

A prelaunch webcast for the IRIS mission will be streamed on NASA's 
website at 9 a.m. PDT (noon EDT) Tuesday, June 25. Live countdown 
coverage through NASA's Launch Blog begins at 6 p.m. PDT (9 p.m. EDT) 
on Wednesday, June 26. Coverage features live updates as countdown 
milestones occur, as well as streaming video clips highlighting 
launch preparations and the launch. A launch highlight podcast will 
be posted approximately 30 minutes after launch. For questions about 
countdown coverage, contact Jeanne Ryba at 321-867-7824.

To view the webcast and the blog or to learn more about the IRIS 
mission, visit: 


NASA also will host a Google+ Hangout at 1:30 p.m. EDT Tuesday, June 
25, on the IRIS mission. Social media followers may submit questions 
on Twitter and Google+ in advance and during the event using the 
hashtag #askNASA.

Before the hangout begins, NASA will open a thread on its Facebook 
page where questions may be posted. The hangout can be viewed live on 
NASA's Google+ page, the NASA Television YouTube channel or NASA TV. 
For more information and to join the hangout, visit:


The IRIS News Center at Kennedy's Vandenberg Resident Office will be 
staffed starting June 24 and may be reached between 8 a.m. and 4:30 
p.m. PDT at 805-605-3051. A recorded status report also will be 
available at that time at 805-734-2693. The U.S. Air Force 30th Space 
Wing Public Affairs Office may be reached at 805-606-3595.

NASA's Launch Services Program at Kennedy Space Center in Florida is 
responsible for launch vehicle/spacecraft integration and launch 
countdown management. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in 
Greenbelt, Md., is responsible for the Small Explorers Program. 
NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., is responsible 
for mission operations and ground data systems. Lockheed Martin's 
Advanced Technology Center Solar and Astrophysics Laboratory in Palo 
Alto, Calif., designed and built the IRIS spacecraft and instrument. 
Orbital Sciences Corp. of Dulles, Va., is responsible for providing 
the Pegasus XL launch service to NASA. 


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