NASA PRESS RELEASE: Mars Pathfinder Spacecraft Scheduled for

From: (NASA HQ Public Affairs Office) (by way of Jan Wee <>)
Subject: NASA PRESS RELEASE: Mars Pathfinder Spacecraft Scheduled for
Date: Mon, 25 Nov 1996 14:23:43 -0600

Douglas Isbell
Headquarters, Washington, DC               November 25, 1996
(Phone:  202/358-1753)

George H. Diller
Kennedy Space Center, FL
(Phone:  407/867-2468)

Diane Ainsworth
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA
(Phone:  818/354-5011)



     The launch of NASA's Mars Pathfinder spacecraft aboard a 
McDonnell Douglas Delta II rocket is scheduled for Monday, 
Dec. 2, at 2:09 a.m. EST.  This is a single instantaneous 
target launch time without a second opportunity on that day.  
Liftoff will occur from Pad B at Launch Complex 17 on Cape 
Canaveral Air Station, FL.  There is a 24-day launch 
opportunity that extends through Dec. 31.

     The Mars Pathfinder, built by the Jet Propulsion 
Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena, CA, will descend through the 
Martian atmosphere to land on the planet's surface on July 4, 
1997. It will deploy a small instrumented rover to 
investigate the terrain surrounding the spacecraft.  
Together, the Mars Pathfinder and rover will investigate the 
geology and elemental composition of the Martian rocks and 
soil, the Martian atmosphere and surface weather. 

     The Mars Pathfinder has completed final checkout and was 
mated to the Delta II rocket on Nov. 21. 


     A prelaunch news conference is scheduled for Saturday, 
Nov. 30, at 11 a.m. EST in the KSC News Center auditorium and 
will be carried live on NASA Television. Participating in the 
briefing will be: 

Norman Haynes, Director of the Mars Exploration Directorate, JPL
Floyd Curington, NASA Launch Manager, Kennedy Space Center (KSC), FL

David Mitchell, Launch Services Manager, Goddard Space Flight Center,
    Greenbelt, MD
Rich Murphy, Flight Director, McDonnell Douglas
Don Ketterer, Program Executive, NASA Headquarters
Tony Spear, Mission Director/Project Manager, JPL
Joel Tumbiolo, Launch Weather Officer, USAF

     A post-launch news conference will be held at the KSC 
News Center no earlier than two hours after launch to discuss 
the countdown, launch and current state of health of the Mars 
Pathfinder spacecraft. 


     Outside of the KSC News Center, following the prelaunch 
news conference, news media will be able to film and test 
drive a demonstration model of Mars Pathfinder's small rover.


    Those media without permanent accreditation who wish to 
cover the launch of Delta/Mars Pathfinder including the 
prelaunch news conference on L-1 day should send a letter of 
request to the KSC News Center on news organization 
letterhead. It should include name and Social Security number 
or passport number of those wishing accreditation. Letters 
should be faxed to 407/867-2692 or addressed to:

Mars Pathfinder Launch Accreditation
Kennedy Space Center, FL 32899

     Mars Pathfinder mission badges may be picked up at the 
KSC News Center on Saturday, Nov. 30.  On launch day, Mars 
Pathfinder mission badges will be available at Gate 1 on Cape 
Canaveral Air Station located on SR 401 prior to departure 
for Press Site 1. 

     STS-80 mission badges will be valid for the prelaunch 
news conference on L-1 day.  However, a Delta/Mars Pathfinder 
mission badge is required for all media covering the launch 
from Press Site 1 on launch day.  For further information on 
Mars Pathfinder launch accreditation, contact Selina Scorah 
at the KSC News Center at 407/867-2468. 


     Media wishing to establish remote cameras at the launch 
pad should meet at the KSC News Center at 11:30 a.m. EST on 
Sunday, Dec. 1, to be escorted to Launch Complex 17.


     The evening before launch, after the mobile service 
tower has been retracted from around the Delta II rocket at 
Complex 17, a photo opportunity will be available for the 
news media.  A convoy will depart Gate 1 on Cape Canaveral 
Air Station located on State Road 401 at 5:45 p.m. EST, 
Sunday, Dec. 1.

     Media covering the launch should assemble at the Gate 1 
Pass & Identification Building on Cape Canaveral Air Station.  
The convoy for Press Site 1 will depart at 12:30 a.m. EST.  
After launch, media may leave via Gate 1 or may convoy under 
escort to the KSC News Center for the post-launch press conference.

     The NASA News Center codaphone will carry Delta/Mars 
Pathfinder prelaunch status reports beginning at L-3 days, on 
Friday, Nov. 29, and may be dialed at 407/867-2525.


     NASA Television will carry the prelaunch news conference 
at 11 a.m. EST on Saturday, Nov. 30.  On launch day, Dec. 2, 
countdown coverage will begin at midnight.

     The post-launch news conference will not be carried live 
on NASA Television but will be replayed at 5:30 a.m. EST on Dec. 2. 

     NASA Television is available on Spacenet 2, transponder 
5, channel 9 located at 69 degrees West longitude.

     Audio coverage of Delta/Mars Pathfinder activities will 
be available on the "V3" circuit which may be dialed directly 
at 407/867-1260.  The "V1" and "V2" circuits 
(407/867-1220 and 1240) will carry live Space Shuttle 
Columbia mission audio.