NASA’s 2001 Mars Odyssey, to be launched on a Boeing Delta II launch
vehicle early next month, is the subject of a news media opportunity on
Sunday, March 25. Media representatives will be taken inside the clean room
at the Spacecraft and Encapsulation Facility-2 (SAEF-2) located in the KSC
Industrial Area to see and photograph the spacecraft. Team members from
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and Lockheed Martin Astronautics,
builders of the spacecraft, will discuss Mars Odyssey and will be available
for questions and interviews.

Mars Odyssey completes three months of pre-launch processing on Saturday
with mating to the upper stage booster. The combination will be transported
to Space Launch Complex 17 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Tuesday,
March 27 to be mated to the Boeing Delta II. Mars Odyssey will be closed out
for flight when the launch vehicle nose fairing is installed around the
spacecraft on April 2. The launch is scheduled for Saturday, April 7, at
11:02 a.m. EDT.

The orbiter will map the Martian surface in search of geological
features that could indicate the presence of water, now or in the past, and
may contribute significantly toward understanding what will be necessary for
a more sophisticated exploration of Mars.

For this event, standard clean room protocol will be observed. Those
planning to attend are requested to wear long pants and closed-toe shoes.
Clean room attire (bunny suits) will be furnished. Quality control personnel
may request cleaning of photographic equipment with alcohol wipes that will
be provided. No suede, leather or vinyl attire or accessories are permitted.
Please do not wear perfume, cologne or makeup. No graphite pencils, food,
tobacco, lighters, matches, or pocketknives will be permitted inside the
clean room. Electronic flash photography is permitted. The lighting in the
facility is mercury vapor.

KSC annual badges will be in effect for this event. Those needing
accreditation should contact the NASA News Center at 321/867-2468 by the
close of business Friday, March 23. The KSC News Center will open at 12:30
p.m. on Sunday, March 25, with departure for SAEF-2 at 1 p.m.