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Public Invited to Watch Launch of Next Moon Mission

June 16, 2009

GREENBELT, Md., June 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. invites the public to view the launch of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) mission at the Goddard Visitor Center on Thursday, June 18. Activities begin promptly at 4 p.m. EDT and include a speaker, hands-on activities for children, and light refreshments.

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LRO is one of the first steps in NASA’s planned returned to the moon. A brief mission overview at 4 p.m. EDT will be provided by Dr. Noah Petro, a lunar geologist.

At 4:25 p.m. a showing of the new “Return to the Moon” movie will be displayed on the Science On a Sphere. “Return to the Moon” takes massive data sets from the Apollo, Clementine, and other missions and projects them on a six-foot globe to give the startling impression that the moon is right there in the theatre, hovering in front of your eyes. During the five-minute presentation, viewers will witness NASA’s legacy of lunar exploration and come to understand the rationale for the Agency’s ambitious plans to return to the moon, beginning with a robotic scout called the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. Immediately following, LRO videos will play until the launch countdown begins. The Science on a Sphere presentation will be repeated throughout the duration of the event.

The launch is scheduled for 5:12 p.m. EDT, from Launch Complex 41, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. and will be simulcast at the Goddard Visitor’s Center.

The LRO mission is critical for creating a comprehensive atlas of the moon’s features and resources that will be needed as NASA designs systems for an extended human presence on the moon. LRO focuses on the selection of safe landing sites, identification of lunar resources, and studies of how the lunar radiation environment will affect humans. This mission will support future human exploration while providing a foundation for upcoming science missions. The spacecraft was built and is managed by Goddard for the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

More information about LRO can be found at:

www.nasa.gov/lro

For more information and directions to the Goddard Visitor’s Center, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/visitor/home/index.html

SOURCE NASA


Source: newswire



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