WASHINGTON — NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar will attend the launch of the Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, Monday, Feb. 11. The launch is scheduled for 10:02 a.m. PST.
LDCM is a collaboration between NASA and the Department of the Interior’s U.S. Geological Survey. The mission will continue the Landsat program’s 40-year continuous data record by Earth’s landscapes by satellite from space. LDCM will expand and improve on that record with observations that advance a wide range of Earth sciences and contribute to the management of agriculture, water, and forest resources.
Administrator Bolden and Interior’s Assistant Secretary for Water and Science Anne Castle will meet with news media Sunday, Feb. 10, at Vandenberg’s Atlas V/LDCM launch pad for interviews and a photo opportunity. The Atlas V rocket carrying the satellite will be visible within the gantry. A media escort will depart Vandenberg’s South Base gate on Highway 246 and Arguello Boulevard for Space Launch Complex-3 at 2:45 p.m. Sunday.
After launch Monday, Bolden and Salazar will meet with reporters at 11:30 a.m. at the NASA complex on the southern area of Vandenberg. Journalists interested in participating in this post-launch event and the televised news conference to follow will be escorted to NASA Building 840. The news conference will begin at noon.
Following the post-launch news conference, Bolden will visit the SpaceX launch pad at 1:30 p.m. The launch pad, which is being built at Space Launch Complex-4, will support the SpaceX Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets. In 2015, a Falcon 9 rocket will launch the Jason-3 sea surface monitoring mission from Vandenberg.
Media interested in attending these events must contact Lt. Kaylee Ausbun at 805-606-6159 or Kaylee.Ausbun@us.af.mil by noon Friday, Feb. 8.
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center manages the LDCM Project. Orbital Sciences Corp. built, integrated, and tested the spacecraft. NASA’s Launch Services Program at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida is managing the launch. United Launch Alliance supplied the Atlas V rocket. After launch and the initial checkout phase, the U.S. Geological Survey will take operational control of the satellite, and LDCM will be renamed Landsat 8.
Extensive prelaunch and launch day coverage of the LDCM launch will be available at: http://www.nasa.gov/landsat