HETE-2 Launch

From: Matthew.Fawcett@eastriding.gov.uk
Date: Tue Oct 03 2000 - 00:37:09 PDT

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         From KSC newsletter
         Matt Fawcett
         NASA News  <<...>> 
         National Aeronautics and
         Space Administration
         John F. Kennedy Space Center
         Kennedy Space Center, Florida 32899
         ______ ________________________________
         George H. Diller
         Oct. 2, 2000
         Kennedy Space Center
         Nancy Neal
         Goddard Space Flight Center
         KSC Release No:  83-00
                    The High-Energy Transient Explorer-2 (HETE-2) funded by 
         and built by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is scheduled 
         for launch at 1:45 a.m. EDT on Saturday, Oct. 7. Carrying the 
         spacecraft into orbit will be a Pegasus rocket built by Orbital 
         Sciences Corporation. It will be deployed from the Orbital Sciences 
         L-1011 aircraft at the Kwajalein Missile Range in the south Pacific. 
                     HETE-2 is an international collaborative mission involving
         the United States, France and Japan, each of which built one of the 
         spacecraft's three instruments. 
                    The mission objective is to detect gamma ray bursts that
         appear without warning from all corners of the universe. Scientists do 
         not know the cause of these great releases of energy that may last 
         only a few milliseconds or up to a minute. Gamma ray bursts occur once 
         or twice a day but seldom do they afford scientists a good look before 
         they fade away. HETE-2 will also be able to observe star systems that 
         suddenly flare up with little or no warning.
                      The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in
         Cambridge, Mass., developed the HETE-2 satellite. MIT is responsible 
         for mission and science operations. NASA Headquarters in Washington, 
         D.C. and the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., manage 
         the mission. NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center, Fla., is responsible 
         for management of the launch. 
                     The countdown will be managed not at Kwajalein, but from
         the NASA Mission Director's Center (MDC) at Cape Canaveral Air Force 
         Station. Communications and telemetry data from the L-1011 and the 
         Pegasus rocket will be relayed back to the MDC by satellite, making 
         this the first remotely conducted countdown by KSC launch management.
                    Live coverage of the launch of HETE-2 aboard the Pegasus
         Rocket from the Kwajalein Missile Range will be provided by a webcast. 
         No live NASA Television coverage is planned. The webcast location will 
         be highlighted on the NASA-KSC Home Page found at: www.ksc.nasa.gov 
         and www.kennedyspacecenter.com.
                    The webcast coverage will begin at 12:30 a.m. EDT on
         Saturday, Oct. 7. It will conclude after spacecraft separation from 
         the Pegasus rocket approximately 12 minutes after launch.
                    A complete HETE-2 video package will be broadcast during 
         NASA TV Video File on Friday Oct. 6, at noon EDT.  No news conferences 
         are planned.
         -- end --
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