Douglas Isbell Headquarters, Washington, DC September 20, 1999 (Phone: 202/358-1753) Mary Hardin Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA (Phone: 818/354-5011) NOTE TO EDITORS: N99-51
MARS CLIMATE ORBITER TO ARRIVE AT MARS THIS WEEKNASA's Mars Climate Orbiter, the first interplanetary weather satellite, arrives at Mars at 5:01 a.m. EDT (2:01 a.m. PDT) on Thursday, Sept. 23.
In addition to observing the seasonal climate and daily weather of Mars, the orbiter will serve as a communications relay for the Mars Polar Lander, due to set down on layered terrain near the south pole of the red planet on Dec. 3, 1999.
NASA TV will carry a live feed from orbiter mission control facilities at both the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena, CA, and Lockheed Martin Astronautics, Denver, CO. The feed will begin at 4:30 a.m. EDT and run through 5:45 a.m. (1:30 a.m. to 2:45 a.m. PDT). Animation and video footage related to the mission will run on the NASA TV Video File beginning on Tuesday, September 21.
Los Angeles-area reporters are invited to JPL to watch the event in the von Karman Auditorium. Media relations staff will be on hand to arrange interviews.
At 11 a.m. EDT (8 a.m. PDT) on Thursday, Sept. 23, there will be a mission status briefing from JPL that will summarize the results of the Mars orbit insertion activities and provide a preview of mission operations.
A text press kit with graphics and full details on the mission is available on the Internet:
NASA Television is broadcast on the satellite GE-2, transponder 9C, C band, 85 degrees west longitude, frequency 3880.0 MHz, vertical polarization, audio monaural at 6.8 MHz.
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