The status of NASA's Lunar Prospector mission, now in orbit around the Moon, will be the subject of a press briefing at 12 p.m. EST (9 a.m. PST) on Tuesday, Jan. 13, in the main auditorium of NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA.
Mission managers will discuss the results of the final major orbit adjustment maneuver, scheduled for earlier that morning, and preview the robotic mission's initial scientific observations, due to get underway later that day. A series of briefings previewing activities on the next Space Shuttle mission (STS-89) will be broadcast on NASA TV immediately before and after the Lunar Prospector briefing.
The briefing will last a maximum of one hour, and will be broadcast live on NASA Television.
Participants in the press briefing are scheduled to include:
* Scott Hubbard, Lunar Prospector Mission Manager, NASA Ames
Research Center, Moffett Field, CA
* Dr. Alan Binder, Lunar Prospector Principal Investigator, Lunar Research Institute, Gilroy, CA
* Tom Dougherty, Lunar Prospector Program Manager, Lockheed Martin Missiles and Space, Sunnyvale, CA
The third flight in NASA's Discovery Program of lower-cost, highly focused Solar System exploration missions, Lunar Prospector was successfully launched at 9:28 p.m. EST on Jan. 6, 1998, from Spaceport Florida's new Launch Complex 46 at Cape Canaveral. The small robotic mission is designed to provide the first global maps of the Moon's elemental surface composition and the lunar gravitational and magnetic fields.
On Sunday morning, Jan. 11, at 7:17 a.m. EST, it was confirmed that Lunar Prospector had successfully entered into the lunar orbit via a 32-minute engine firing. Earlier today, a second, 27-minute orbit adjustment engine burn was successfully conducted that placed Lunar Prospector into a temporary 3.5-hour orbit, on its way to a final two-hour science mapping orbit.
To reach Ames Research Center, take the Moffett Field exit (not Moffett Blvd.) off U.S. Highway 101. Turn right immediately before the main gate, and park in the lot to your right. Present media credentials and personal identification at the Pass & ID Office (to the right of the gate) to receive an entry badge, directions and a map to the press briefing site, Bldg. N-201 .
NASA Television is available on GE-2, transponder 9C at 85 degrees West longitude, with vertical polarization. Frequency is on 3880.0 megahertz, with audio on 6.8 megahertz. Reporters who wish to observe and participate remotely in the live broadcast of the press conference may do so at participating NASA field centers.
Extensive information on Lunar Prospector is available on the Internet at the following address:
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