On Tuesday, June 24, the Kennedy Space Center Web site will begin its
coverage of the launch of Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Opportunity,
currently scheduled for June 26. The KSC Web Studio will present two NASA
Direct! webcast events in addition to live coverage of the launch countdown.

The first program, “Preparing for Launch,” on June 24, will be hosted by Jon
Cowart and will feature Launch Weather Officer Joel Tumbiolo, NASA Launch
Manager Omar Baez, and MER Principal Investigator Steve Squyres. The “MER
Mission Overview” program, on June 26, will feature MER spacecraft mission
director Peter Theisinger with host Tiffany Nail.

During both programs, guests will answer questions submitted to the NASA
Direct! Question Boards from space enthusiasts around the world. Anyone with
questions regarding the MER mission or MER-B launch is encouraged to submit
their questions to the appropriate NASA Direct! Question Board for a
possible answer during the webcast. The NASA Direct! home page and Question
Boards can be viewed online at http://www.ksc.nasa.gov/nasadirect/index.htm.

In addition to NASA Direct!, the KSC Web will provide live countdown
coverage from the Virtual Launch Control Center, located at
http://www.ksc.nasa.gov/elvnew/merb/vlcc.htm. Coverage will feature
real-time updating as milestones occur during the countdown, as well as
downloadable and streaming video clips of countdown events. All videos will
be provided in RealMedia format, with downloadable clips available in two
sizes for users with 56K modems or cable/broadband connections.

MER-B WEB COVERAGE SCHEDULE (all times are EDT and subject to change)

L-2 Days – Tuesday, June 24

2:15 p.m. NASA Direct! program: Preparing for Launch

L-1 Day – Wednesday, June 25

11:00 p.m. Live countdown coverage begins http://www.ksc.nasa.gov/elvnew/merb/vlcc.htm

L-0 Days – Launch Day, Thursday, June 26

3:00 p.m. NASA Direct! program: MER Mission Overview


Although coverage events for this mission do not begin until two days prior
to launch, the MER-B coverage site at
http://www.ksc.nasa.gov/elvnew/mera/index.htm was activated approximately
one month before the anticipated launch date. KSC’s Expendable Launch
Vehicles site at http://www.ksc.nasa.gov/elvnew/elv.htm will always serve as
a starting point for coverage of other NASA ELV missions.