NASA is scheduled to brief the news media on the launch of two Earth observation satellites, including one with the unusual ability to track migrating whales.

The briefing is set for 11 a.m. EST, Nov. 3, in the James E. Webb Memorial Auditorium at NASA Headquarters, located at 300 E St., SW, Washington, DC.

The satellites — Earth Observing 1 (EO-1) and the SAC-C, an international cooperative mission between NASA and the Argentine Commission on Space Activities (CONAE) — are scheduled for launch Nov. 18, at 1:24 p.m. EST, on a Delta rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA.

The first of three New Millennium Program Earth-orbiting missions, EO-1 is an advanced land-imaging mission that will demonstrate new instruments and spacecraft systems. NASA started the New Millennium Program in 1996 to identify, develop and flight-validate key instrument and spacecraft technologies that can enable new or more cost-effective approaches to conducting science missions in the 21st century.

Joining EO-1 aboard the Delta rocket is the SAC-C spacecraft, designed to study the structure and dynamics of the Earth’s atmosphere, ionosphere and geomagnetic field. SAC-C will also seek to measure the space radiation in the environment and its influence on advanced electronic components, as well as determine the migration route of the Franca whale.

Another objective of the payload is to verify autonomous methods of attitude and orbit determination. The SAC-C mission is a collaboration between the United States, Argentina, Brazil, Denmark, France and Italy.

The Nov. 3 briefing will be carried live on NASA Television with two-way question-and-answer capability from the NASA centers. NASA Television is broadcast on the GE2 satellite located on transponder 9C, at 85 degrees West longitude, frequency 3880.0 MHz, audio 6.8 MHz.