Douglas Isbell Headquarters, Washington, DC (Phone: 202/358-1547


September 16, 1998

John Watson Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA (Phone: 818/354-5011) NOTE TO EDITORS: N98-57 DEEP SPACE 1 PRELAUNCH TECHNOLOGY BRIEFING SCHEDULED FOR SEPT. 22 Representatives from the team making final preparations to launch NASA's Deep Space 1 mission will conduct a televised media briefing on the mission and its goals on Tuesday, Sept. 22, at 2 p.m. EDT. The briefing will originate from NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC, and will be carried live on NASA TV. Deep Space 1 is now officially scheduled for liftoff at 6:59:50 a.m. EST on Oct. 25, 1998, aboard a Boeing Delta 7326 launch vehicle from Cape Canaveral Air Station, FL. However, mission managers continue to work toward a possible Oct. 15 launch. The recent change in the official launch date to Oct. 25 is due to the high demand for launch pad time at Cape Canaveral. Given that missions are allowed to make firm reservations for just two consecutive days, Deep Space 1 mission engineers chose to move their single two-day reservation from Oct. 15-16 to Oct. 25-26 to ensure that the spacecraft would be ready for launch before subsequent Delta launches. NASA officials will decide by the end of September whether to request a change back to Oct. 15-16 if final spacecraft processing remains on schedule and if the launch support system can accommodate the change at that time. Deep Space 1 is the first mission in NASA's New Millennium Program, designed to test and validate new technologies so that they can be used confidently on science missions of the 21st century. Although Deep Space 1 will test two science instruments, this mission is one of the first-ever deep space NASA launches to have technology, rather than science, as its key focus. Much of the key technology testing will be completed within eight weeks of launch. However, Deep Space 1 plans to attempt an encounter with asteroid 1992 KD in July 1999 to demonstrate its technologies by observing a scientifically interesting body.

Presenters at the Sept. 22 press briefing are scheduled to include: Dr. Wesley T. Huntress Jr., NASA Associate Administrator for Space Science David Lehman, Deep Space 1 project manager, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena, CA Dr. Marc Rayman, Deep Space 1 chief mission engineer and deputy mission manager at JPL Jack Stocky, manager, NASA Solar Electric Propulsion Technology Application Readiness (NSTAR) project at JPL Dr. Barbara Wilson, New Millennium Program technologist at JPL Extensive information on Deep Space 1 is available on the Internet at the following URL: NASA Television is located on GE-2, transponder 9C at 85 degrees west longitude, vertical polarization, with a frequency of 3880 MHz, and audio of 6.8 MHz. There will be two-way question and answer capability for media at participating NASA centers. -end-