Sandia National Laboratories

VAFB Public Affairs:

(805) 606-3595 (launch event attendance, pre-launch updates, etc.)

Sandia media contact:

John German,, (505) 844-5199 (work, checking

messages frequently), (505) 839-1583 (home, beginning Sunday)

Vandenberg media contact:

Master Sgt. Tyler Foster,, (805) 606-3595

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Monday morning (Feb. 28) launch of a Department of Energy (DOE)
research satellite from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., was postponed by base officials pending
the resolution of a down-range issue related to the planned trajectory of the rocket.

The launch will be rescheduled for a date no earlier than Saturday, March 4.

The Multispectral Thermal Imager (MTI) satellite, designed and built in New Mexico by a government
and industry team led by Sandia National Laboratories, includes a sophisticated telescope that
collects day and night images of the Earth in 15 spectral bands ranging from the visible to
long-wave infrared. The unique Sandia imager, calibrated at Los Alamos National Laboratory, gives
the satellite the ability to “see” reflected and thermally radiated electromagnetic waves that are not
visible to the human eye, with performance previously achievable only in a laboratory setting.

The satellite also carries a High-energy X-ray Spectrometer (HXRS) sponsored by the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). This instrument will collect data needed to better
understand a rare species of solar flare associated with high-energy particle storms that can
endanger astronauts and damage space equipment.

More information about MTI, as well as downloadable color images, are available at .
(Also available on the web is Vandenberg’s site at

The Air Force Space and Missile Test and Evaluation Directorate was to launch the satellite into polar
orbit early on Feb. 28, using an Orbital Sciences Corporation Taurus rocket.

Sandia is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a Lockheed Martin Company,
for the United States Department of Energy under contract DE-AC04-94AL85000. With main facilities
in Albuquerque, N.M., and Livermore, Calif., Sandia has major research and development
responsibilities in national security, energy and environmental technologies, and economic