Science and Technology News

Thursday, November 18, 2010

NASA to Show Live Webcast of Nanosatellite Launch

Rachel Hoover
Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.

MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. -- News media and the public are invited to observe the live webcast of the launch of NASA's Organism/Organic Exposure to Orbital Stresses nanosatellite, known as O/OREOS, in the Exploration Center at NASA's Ames Research Center. O/OREOS is scheduled to launch at on Friday, Nov. 19 from the Alaska Aerospace Corporation’s Kodiak Launch Complex on Kodiak Island, Alaska.

O/OREOS is a secondary payload aboard a U.S. Air Force four-stage Minotaur IV rocket and weighs approximately 12 pounds. The goal of the O/OREOS mission is to demonstrate the capability to conduct low-cost astrobiology science experiments on autonomous nanosatellites in space. Scientists will apply the knowledge they gain from O/OREOS to plan future experiments in the space environment to study how exposure to space changes organic molecules and biology. These experiments will help answer astrobiology’s fundamental questions about the origin, evolution and distribution of life in the universe.

In addition to the webcast, Pascale Ehrenfreund, O/OREOS project scientist at the Space Policy Institute at George Washington University; Antonio Ricco, O/OREOS instrument technologist; and Elwood Agasid, manager of the Nanosatellite Missions Office at Ames, will discuss what scientists expect to learn from the mission and how small autonomous satellites can enable a new way of conducting science experiments in space. They also will talk about Ames' work with small satellites and why NASA is interested in using these spacecraft for future missions.

WHAT: An opportunity to watch a live webcast of the launch of NASA's O/OREOS nanosatellite and hear presentations to learn more about the mission.

WHEN: The pre-launch program will begin at , Friday, Nov. 19, 2010. The U.S. Air Force has announced that the rocket could launch at any time during a 90-minute launch window beginning at . The Exploration Center will close 30 minutes after launch.

WHERE: NASA Ames' Exploration Center, located at the main gate, Moffett Field. To reach NASA Ames, take U.S. Highway 101 to the Moffett Field,
NASA Parkway
exit and drive east on
Moffett Boulevard
towards the main gate and bear right into the parking lot. The Exploration Center is located in the large white dome.

For more information about O/OREOS, visit http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/smallsats/ooreos/main.

To view the launch via webcast, visit http://www.spaceflightnow.com/minotaur/stps26/status.html.

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