NASA will be hosting live coverage of the Stardust-NExT mission's encounter with Comet Tempel 1 on Valentine's Day, Feb. 14.
Live coverage of the Tempel 1 encounter will begin at 8:30 p.m. PST on Feb. 14 on NASA Television and the agency's website. The coverage will include live commentary from mission control at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., and video from Lockheed Martin Space System's mission support area in Denver.
Scheduled participants in the coverage include Ed Weiler (NASA associate administrator, Science Mission Directorate) Joe Veverka (Stardust-NExT principal investigator, Cornell University), Tim Larson (Stardust-NExT project manager) and Don Brownlee (Stardust-NExT co-investigator, University of Washington).
Viewers are encouraged to participate, among others by submitting questions for the research team.
For NASA TV streaming video, scheduling and downlink information, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/ntv .
Mission coverage schedule (all times PST and subject to change):
-- 8:30 to 10 p.m., Feb. 14: Live NASA TV commentary begins from mission control; includes coverage of closest approach and the re-establishment of contact with the spacecraft following the encounter.
-- Midnight to 1:30 a.m., Feb. 15: NASA TV commentary will chronicle the arrival and processing of the first five of 72 close-approach images the team expects to be downlinked after the encounter. The images are expected to include a close-up view of the comet's surface.
-- 10 a.m., Feb. 15: News briefing
During events, viewers can engage in a real-time chat and submit questions to the Stardust-NExT team at: http://www.ustream.tv/user/NASAJPL2.
An animation of the Stardust-NExT comet flyby using NASA's new "Eyes on the Solar System" Web tool is available at: http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/eyes.
This flyby of Tempel 1 will give scientists an opportunity to look for changes on the comet's surface since it was visited by NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft in July 2005. Since then, Tempel 1 has completed one orbit of the sun, and scientists are looking forward to monitoring any differences in the comet.
Detailed information about Stardust-NExT is available at: http://stardustnext.jpl.nasa.gov.
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