The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-M (GOES-M) weather
satellite, to be lofted into orbit for NASA by International Launch Services
on an Atlas II rocket next month, will be the subject of a news media photo
opportunity on Wednesday, May 23. The event will be held at the Astrotech
Space Operations facility in Titusville starting at 10 a.m.

GOES-M is the last in the current series of advanced geostationary weather
satellites in service. Once in orbit it will become GOES-12, joining GOES-8,
GOES-9, GOES-10 and GOES-11 in space. GOES-M has a new instrument not on the
other spacecraft, a Solar X-ray Imager that can be used in forecasting space
weather, the effects of solar storms that create electromagnetic
disturbances on earth that affect other satellites, communications and power
grids. For its other systems, GOES-M will provide a redundant capability for
the geostationary weather satellite network ready to be activated when one
of the currently operational spacecraft must be retired.

For the media event, procedures for optically sensitive spacecraft must be
followed for individuals entering the cleanroom where the spacecraft is
being processed. Guidelines for controlled access to the cleanroom have been
developed by quality control personnel and will be monitored prior to
entering the facility. Cleanroom attire will be furnished. Photographers may
be requested to clean cameras or accessories using alcohol wipes, which will
be provided.

Long pants and closed toe shoes must be worn — no shorts or skirts.
Non-essential equipment such as camera bags or other carrying cases should
be left outside the cleanroom. No pencils or felt-tipped pens can be
permitted inside the cleanroom; only ballpoint pens may be used. Due to the
sensitivity of the spacecraft’s solar arrays, flash photography will not
allowed. There is adequate metal halide lighting in the facility for
photography (white with slight green cast).

On Wednesday, media may proceed directly to Astrotech located in the
Spaceport Florida Industrial Park, 1515 Chaffee Drive, Titusville.
Spokespeople available will be:

Marty Davis, GOES Project Manager, NASA

Goddard Space Flight Center

Steve Kirkner, GOES Acquisition Manager

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

The Atlas II rocket, built by Lockheed Martin, is tentatively scheduled to
arrive at Cape Canaveral on May 31. The vehicle erection activities at Pad
36-A are currently scheduled to begin June 4. Launch is scheduled for
Sunday, July 15 at the opening of a launch window that extends from 2:59 –
4:24 a.m. EDT.