CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., April 16, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Following the completion of NASA's flight readiness review, the second SpaceX demonstration launch for NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program is scheduled for Monday, April 30. A Falcon 9 rocket carrying a Dragon capsule will liftoff from Space Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. There is a single instantaneous launch opportunity at 12:22 p.m. EDT.
NASA Television launch commentary from Cape Canaveral will begin at 11 a.m.
During the flight, SpaceX's Dragon capsule will conduct a series of check-out procedures to test and prove its systems, including rendezvous and berthing with the International Space Station (ISS). The primary objectives for the flight include a flyby of the ISS at a distance of approximately 1.5 miles to validate the operation of sensors and flight systems necessary for a safe rendezvous and approach. The spacecraft also will demonstrate the ability to abort the rendezvous. After these capabilities are successfully proven, the Dragon will be cleared to berth with the ISS.
FALCON 9 LAUNCH PAD PHOTO OPPORTUNITY
Saturday, April 28 (L-2 days): A photo opportunity of the Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule on the launch pad will be available for the news media. Spokespeople from SpaceX will be available to answer questions.
Media will depart NASA's Kennedy Space Center press site by government bus at 9:30 a.m. for Space Launch Complex 40. Media will be returned at approximately 11 a.m. SpaceX security regulations require that media representatives attending this event be U.S. citizens.
REMOTE CAMERA SETUPS
Sunday, April 29 (L-1 day): Media will be able to establish sound-activated remote cameras at the launch pad. The location is within Space Launch Complex 40 on the east side of the pad outside the perimeter fence. Media wanting to participate in remote camera setup will depart from the Kennedy press site by government bus at 10:30 a.m. Only photographers establishing remote cameras can participate in this activity. SpaceX security regulations require that media representatives participating in this activity be U.S. citizens.
PRELAUNCH AND POSTLAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCES
Sunday, April 29 (L-1 day): The prelaunch news conference for the NASA/SpaceX Falcon 9 launch will be held at the Kennedy Press Site at 1 p.m. NASA Television will provide live and streaming Internet coverage.
Monday, April 30 (L-0 day): A postlaunch news conference will be held at Kennedy at approximately 2 p.m.
Media representatives can participate in the news conferences in-person at Kennedy or via phone bridge by calling NASA's Johnson Space Center newsroom 15 minutes prior to the start of each briefing at 281-483-5111. For the postlaunch news conference, reporters also can ask questions directly from other NASA field centers.
Audio of the prelaunch and postlaunch news conferences also will be carried on the NASA "V" circuits, directly accessible by dialing 321-867-1220, 1240, 1260 or 7135. The briefings will be streamed live on the agency's website.
NASA TV LAUNCH COVERAGE
Monday, April 30 (L-0 day): NASA TV live coverage begins at 11 a.m. and concludes at approximately 1 p.m.
NASA TV MISSION COVERAGE
Tuesday, May 1 (Flight Day 2): An update on the Dragon's flight during the daily "ISS Update" program from NASA's Johnson Space Center airs at 11 a.m.
Wednesday, May 2 (Flight Day 3): Live coverage from NASA's Johnson Space Center mission control in Houston as the Dragon spacecraft performs its fly-under of ISS to test its systems begins at 2:30 a.m. and will continue until the Dragon passes out of the vicinity of the station. A news briefing will be held following the activities.
Thursday, May 3 (Flight Day 4): Live coverage of the rendezvous and berthing of the Dragon spacecraft to the station begins at 2 a.m. and will continue through the capture and berthing of the Dragon to the station's Harmony node. A news briefing will be held once Dragon is secured to the ISS.
Friday, May 4: Live coverage of the hatch opening and entry of the Dragon spacecraft includes a ceremony during which the ISS crew will mark the occasion.
Sunday, May 20: A news briefing at Johnson will preview the following day's unberthing and splashdown of the Dragon spacecraft.
Monday, May 21: Live coverage of the unberthing, re-entry and splashdown of the Dragon spacecraft in the Pacific Ocean. Specific times of coverage will be provided at a later date.
KENNEDY MEDIA ACCREDITATION
Media representatives wanting to attend the prelaunch events, including the prelaunch news conference and launch, may request accreditation by registering online at: https://media.ksc.nasa.gov
The Gate 2 Pass and Identification Building for the news media on State Road 3, Merritt Island, will be open to pick up press credentials on the following schedule:
Friday, April 27: noon - 4 p.m. Saturday, April 28: 7:30 - 9 a.m. Sunday, April 29: 9 a.m. - noon Monday, April 30: 8 - 11:30 a.m.
News media credentials will be valid for mission activities from launch through splashdown at both the Kennedy Space Center and the Johnson Space Center.
For information about media accreditation, contact Jennifer Horner at 321-867-2468.
KENNEDY PRESS SITE - HOURS OF OPERATION
Friday, April 27: 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Saturday, April 28: 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. Sunday, April 29: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Monday, April 30: 8 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Media badges will be valid for access to the Kennedy Press Site using Merritt Island's Gate 2 on State Road 3, and Gate 3 on State Road 405 located east of the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.
For launch information, contact the Kennedy press site at 321-867-2468 or visit:
JOHNSON MEDIA ACCREDITATION Media who are credentialed with badges at Kennedy for launch activities will have their badges honored at Johnson for the duration of the SpaceX mission. Please contact the Johnson newsroom for work space information. International media wanting access only to Johnson must submit the required documentation for badging by Friday, April 20. U.S. media wanting access only to Johnson must submit a request for badging by Friday, April 27.
For mission information, contact the Johnson newsroom at 281-483-5111 or visit: