LAUNCH OF JASON-3 SCHEDULED FOR SUN JAN 17th

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Liftoff aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 4 East is targeted for January 17, 10:42 a.m. PST (1:42 p.m. EST), at the opening of a 30-second launch window. If needed, a backup launch opportunity is available at 10:41 a.m. PST (1:31 p.m. EST) on Jan. 18.

A Jason-3 prelaunch news conference and science briefing will be held at Vandenberg at 4 p.m. EST on Jan. 15. The briefing will be carried live on NASA Television and streamed on the agency’s website. Media also can ask questions via phone by calling 321-867-2468, or on Twitter by using the hashtag #askNASA.

On Jan. 16, media will have an opportunity to photograph the Falcon 9 and Jason-3 spacecraft at the launch pad. Those wishing to attend the launch pad photo opportunity should confirm their participation with Capt. Selena Rodts of the 30th Space Wing Public Affairs office at 805-606-3595 no later than Jan. 11.

On Jan. 17, NASA TV launch commentary coverage of the countdown will begin at 11 a.m. EST. Coverage will feature updates of countdown milestones and streaming video clips that highlight launch preparations and liftoff. Spacecraft separation from the rocket will occur 55 minutes after launch.

Jason-3 will continue the ability to monitor and precisely measure global sea surface heights, monitor the intensification of tropical cyclones and support seasonal and coastal forecasts. Jason-3 data also will benefit fisheries management, marine industries and research into human impacts on the world’s oceans. The mission is planned to last at least three years, with a goal of five years.

Jason-3 is a four-agency international partnership consisting of NOAA, NASA, Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales, France’s space agency, and the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites. Thales Alenia of France built the spacecraft.

NASA TV will live stream launch coverage and prelaunch briefings at:

http://www.nasa.gov/nasatv

For prelaunch, countdown and launch day coverage of the liftoff, including the prelaunch webcast of Jason-3 aboard the Falcon 9 rocket, go to:

http://blogs.nasa.gov/Jason-3

The Jason-3 News Center at the NASA Vandenberg Resident Office will open Jan. 11. To speak with a NASA communications specialist, call 805-605-3051. A recorded launch status report also will be available by dialing 805-734-2693.

NOAA, in collaboration with international European partners, is responsible for the Jason-3 mission. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, is responsible for NASA Jason-3 project management. NASA’s Launch Services Program at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida provides launch management. SpaceX of Hawthorne, California, is NASA’s launch service provider of the Falcon 9 rocket.

For more information about the Jason-3 mission, visit:

http://nesdis.noaa.gov/jason-3/

-end-

Steve Cole
Headquarters, Washington
202-358-0918
stephen.e.cole@nasa.gov

John Leslie
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Silver Spring, Md.
301-713-0214
john.leslie@noaa.gov

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