NASA Offers Media Access to Next Mars Mission Spacecraft on Sept. 27
WASHINGTON, Sept. 18, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — NASA’s next Mars-bound spacecraft, the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) will be the focus of a media opportunity on Friday, Sept. 27, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The event at the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility is an opportunity to photograph MAVEN and interview project and launch program officials. MAVEN will be seen with its solar arrays deployed. MAVEN is targeted to launch from nearby Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Complex 41 atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket on Nov. 18.
There will be two opportunities to photograph the spacecraft on Sept. 27. For the first opportunity, media will begin boarding buses at 8:15 a.m. EDT at the Kennedy Press Site for transportation to the facility. Return to the press site is expected by 11:45 a.m. For the second opportunity, media will begin boarding buses at 11:15 a.m. Return to the press site is expected by 2:45 p.m.
Because of the limited number of people permitted in the cleanroom, only two representatives from a media organization will be allowed to participate. No more than 20 participants will be allowed to sign up for each of the two opportunities, which are on a space-available basis.
All media must RSVP for this event no later than Sept. 24 and specify the preferred opportunity. Contact Jennifer Horner at 321-867-6598 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
U.S. news media requiring credentials also must apply for accreditation by Sept. 24. Two forms of government-issued identification are required to receive a badge, one with a photograph such as a driver’s license or passport. Badges will be available for pick up at the Kennedy Badging Office, located on State Road 405 east of the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Hours for the Kennedy Badging Office are 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Journalists needing accreditation should apply online at:
Individuals entering the cleanroom where the spacecraft is being prepared for launch must follow procedures for optically sensitive spacecraft. Full cleanroom attire (bunny suits) will be furnished and must be worn. Perfume, cologne and makeup are not allowed. Long pants and closed-toe shoes must be worn. No shorts or skirts will be permitted.
Photographers will need to clean camera equipment under the supervision of contamination-control specialists. All camera equipment must be self-contained, and no portable lights will be allowed. Non-essential equipment, such as suede, leather or vinyl camera bags or other carrying cases, must be left outside the cleanroom. No notebook paper, pencils, or click-type ball point pens are permitted. Cleanroom paper will be provided. No food, tobacco, chewing gum, lighters, matches or pocketknives will be allowed. Use of wireless microphones and cellular telephones is not allowed inside the cleanroom. Electronic flash will be permitted. The lighting in the facility is high-pressure sodium (orange).
MAVEN is the second mission for NASA’s Mars Scout Program and will obtain critical measurements of the Martian atmosphere to help understand climate change over the Red Planet’s history.
MAVEN is the first spacecraft devoted to exploring and understanding the Martian upper atmosphere. It will orbit the planet in an elliptical orbit that allows it to pass through and sample the entire upper atmosphere on every orbit. The spacecraft will investigate how the loss of Mars’ atmosphere to space determined the history of water on the surface.
MAVEN’s principal investigator is based at the University of Colorado Boulder’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics. The university will provide science operations, science instruments and lead education and public outreach. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., manages the project and provides two of the science instruments for the mission. Lockheed Martin of Littleton, Colo., built the spacecraft and is responsible for mission operations. The University of California at Berkeley Space Sciences Laboratory provides science instruments for the mission. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., provides navigation support, the Deep Space Network and the Electra telecommunications relay hardware and operations.
NASA’s Launch Services Program at Kennedy is responsible for launch management. United Launch Alliance of Centennial, Colo., is the provider of the Atlas V launch service.
For more information about the MAVEN mission, visit: