The NASA Direct! Web site is featuring a live webcast event and launch countdown coverage for the Aura spacecraft, NASA's upcoming mission to study Earth's atmosphere. Coverage begins July 8 and concludes after its launch, currently scheduled for July 10 from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.
The NASA Direct! webcast program, "Aura Mission Overview," begins at 5:30 p.m. EDT July 8 with a presentation by NASA's Associate Administrator for Earth Science, Dr. Ghassem Asrar. The Aura launch weather officer, Capt. Paul Lucyk, then presents the latest weather status at Vandenberg Air Force Base. After an introduction by Kennedy Space Center Deputy Director Dr. Woodrow Whitlow, Host Tiffany Nail interviews NASA Launch Manager Chuck Dovale concerning the readiness of the Boeing Delta II launch vehicle carrying the Aura spacecraft into orbit. Dr. Philip DeCola, Aura chief scientist, then addresses the science and technology of the mission, and Aura Chief Engineer Michael Tanner caps the program with a discussion on the spacecraft and mission profile.
In addition to NASA Direct!, the KSC Web site provides live countdown coverage from the Virtual Launch Control Center, located at http://www.ksc.nasa.gov/elvnew/mission/vlcc.htm. Coverage will feature real-time updating as milestones occur during the countdown, as well as streaming video clips of countdown events. All videos are provided in Real Video format.
AURA WEB COVERAGE SCHEDULE (all times are EDT and subject to change)
L-2 Days - Thursday, July 8, at 5:30 p.m. EDT NASA Direct! program: Aura Mission Overview http://www.ksc.nasa.gov/nasadirect/elv/aura/event1a.htm
L-0 Days - Launch Day, Saturday, July 10 at 4 a.m. EDT Live countdown coverage http://www.ksc.nasa.gov/elvnew/mission/vlcc.htm
Although coverage events for this mission do not begin until three days prior to launch, the Aura Web site at http://www.ksc.nasa.gov/elvnew/mission/index.htm was activated approximately one month before the anticipated launch date. KSCs Expendable Launch Vehicles site at http://www.ksc.nasa.gov/elvnew/elv.htm serves as a starting point for coverage of other NASA ELV missions.
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