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Dwayne Brown/Tabatha Thompson

NASA Headquarters, Washington

George Diller
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

Cynthia O'Carroll
Goddard Space Flight Center, Md.

Bob Sanders
University of California at Berkeley



CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Launch of NASA's THEMIS spacecraft is

scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 15 from Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air
Force Station, Fla. The launch window is 6:08 to 6:26 p.m. EST, a
duration of 18 minutes. NASA's Launch Services Program at the Kennedy
Space Center is responsible for the launch of THEMIS aboard a Delta
II rocket with the launch service being conducted by the United
Launch Alliance. Should the launch be postponed for 24 hours for any
reason, the launch window will extend from 6:05 to 6:23 p.m. EST. For
a 48-hour postponement, the launch window will be from 6:01 to 6:19

THEMIS is an acronym for Time History of Events and Macroscale

Interactions during Substorms. THEMIS consists of five identical
probes that will track violent, colorful eruptions near the North
Pole. This will be the largest number of scientific satellites NASA
ever launched into orbit aboard a single rocket. The THEMIS mission
aims to unravel the tantalizing mystery behind auroral substorms, an
avalanche of magnetic energy powered by the solar wind that
intensifies the northern and southern lights. The mission will
investigate what causes auroras in the Earth's atmosphere to
dramatically change from slowly shimmering waves of light to wildly
shifting streaks of bright color. THEMIS will help to provide another
piece of the puzzle that will help scientists further understand how
and why these space storms create havoc with satellites, power grids
and communications systems.

Prelaunch Press Conference

A prelaunch press conference will be held at the NASA News Center at

Kennedy Space Center at 1 p.m. EST on Wednesday, Feb. 14.
Participating in the briefing will be:

Dick Fisher, Director, Heliosphysics Division

NASA Headquarters, Washington

Chuck Dovale, NASA Launch Director/Launch Manager Kennedy Space

Center, Fla.

Kris Walsh, Director of Delta NASA and Commercial Programs

United Launch Alliance, Huntington Beach, Calif.

Frank Snow, THEMIS Mission Manager

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

Peter Harvey, THEMIS Project Manager

University of California at Berkeley

Joel Tumbiolo, U.S. Air Force Delta II Launch Weather Officer

45th Weather Squadron, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station

THEMIS Mission Science Briefing

A mission science briefing will immediately follow the prelaunch press

conference. Participating will be:

Vassilis Angelopoulos, THEMIS Principal Investigator

University of California at Berkeley

David Sibeck, THEMIS Project Scientist

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Mary Mellott, Discipline Scientist for Geospace

NASA Headquarters

No post-launch press conference will be held. A post-launch release

will be issued once details on the state of health of all five THEMIS
spacecraft can be confirmed. The release is expected to be issued
approximately two hours after launch.
Accreditation and Media Access Badges for KSC

Those who need press accreditation and access badges to the Kennedy
Space Center to cover the THEMIS prelaunch press conference and
mission science briefing should complete the accreditation process
via the Web by going to

All accreditation requests for the THEMIS prelaunch press conference

and mission science briefing must be received by the close of
business Monday, Feb. 12. Media may obtain their NASA access badge at
the Pass and Identification Building, the badging station located on
State Road 405 just east of U.S. 1. Contact the NASA News Center at
321-867-2468 for further information.

Remote Camera Placement at Complex 17

Wednesday, Feb. 14: Photographers who wish to set up remote cameras at

the Delta launch complex will be escorted by a United Launch Alliance
representative to Pad 17-B. Departure by vehicle convoy will be at 10
a.m. from the Space Florida parking lot located on Poseidon Avenue
adjacent to Gate 1 of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Tower Rollback Photo Opportunity at Complex 17

Thursday, Feb. 15: There will be an opportunity to observe rollback of

the mobile service tower from around the THEMIS/Delta II launch
vehicle at Pad 17-B. Media should report at 8:30 a.m. to the Space
Florida parking lot located on Poseidon Avenue adjacent to Gate 1 of
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Press credentials and
identification from a bona fide news organization will be required.
Transportation by government bus will be provided to Launch Complex
17. Media are requested to wear long pants and closed-toe shoes.

Launch Day Press Site Access to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station

Thursday, Feb. 15: Media covering the THEMIS launch will be able to
obtain press access badges beginning at 4:15 p.m. Press credentials
and identification from a bona fide news organization will be
required to obtain an access badge. A driver's license alone will not
be sufficient. However, additional identification will not be
required for those who present a pre-issued NASA accreditation badge
for THEMIS or a valid permanent NASA-KSC picture badge.

Departure in a vehicle caravan to Press Site 1 will be at 4:45 p.m.

Access badges cannot be issued after that time.

To reach the Space Florida parking lot, after passing the Pass and
Identification Building outside Gate 1 of Cape Canaveral Air Force
Station, turn right at the traffic light at the intersection of SR
401 and Poseidon Avenue. Make an immediate left turn at the Navaho

News Center Hours for Launch

The NASA News Center at KSC will open for THEMIS news operations
starting Monday, Feb. 12, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. On launch day,
Thursday, Feb. 15, the news center will reopen one hour after launch
to confirm the THEMIS state of health and to issue the post- launch
press release.

Starting Monday, Feb. 12, status reports on the launch of THEMIS and
updates to the Media Advisory will be recorded on the KSC news media
codaphone at 321-867-2525.

NASA Web Prelaunch and Launch Coverage

NASA's home on the Internet,, will provide

extensive prelaunch and launch day coverage of the THEMIS mission.

Live countdown coverage from NASA's Launch Blog begins at 4 p.m. EST
Thursday, Feb. 15. Coverage features real-time updates as countdown
milestones occur, as well as streaming video clips highlighting
launch preparations and liftoff.

Launch Services' Mission Manager has answered questions about NASA's

preparation for the THEMIS mission. Those responses are available

To access these features and more, go to NASA's THEMIS main page at and follow the "Countdown Coverage" and
"Ask the Mission Manager" links provided under the “Launch Coverageâ€​
column. For more information about THEMIS mission online events,
contact Jeanne Ryba at 321-867-7824.

Television Coverage

On Wednesday, Feb. 14, television coverage of the THEMIS prelaunch

press conference and mission science briefing at KSC will begin at 1
p.m. EST. Two-way question-and-answer capability will be available
from other NASA field centers. On Thursday, Feb. 15, television
coverage of the launch will begin at 4 p.m. EST and conclude after
spacecraft separation from the Delta II rocket approximately 1 hour
and 15 minutes after launch. The broadcast network HDNet will also
carry the launch in high-definition television format starting at 6
p.m. EST. For more information, visit

Audio of the prelaunch press conference and mission science briefing

will be carried on the NASA "V" circuits which may be accessed by
dialing 321-867-1260 or 321-867-7135 beginning at 1 p.m. EST
Wednesday, Feb. 14. On launch day, Feb. 15, "Mission Audio,"
countdown activities without NASA launch commentary, will be carried
on 321-867-7135 beginning at 3 p.m. EST. Audio of the NASA launch
commentary will begin at 4 p.m. EST and will be available on
321-867-1220, 1240, 1260. It will also be available on amateur radio
frequency 146.940 Mhz (VHF) or 442.6 Mhz (UHF), heard within Brevard

For information on receiving NASA Television, go to: