NASA’s Space Technology 5 (ST5) spacecraft is scheduled for launch at 9:02 a.m., EST, Tuesday, March 14 from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. NASA TV coverage begins at 7:30 a.m. EST. The following events are also scheduled and subject to change:

– NASA TV airs live prelaunch news conference 4 p.m. EST, Sunday, March 12 from Vandenberg.

– NASA Direct, the Kennedy Space Center Internet broadcasting network, prelaunch webcast from Vandenberg at 7 p.m. EST, Sunday, March 12. It will include interviews with representatives from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Experts will also take part in a question-and-answer session discussing the goals, science and technology involved in the ST5 mission. The NASA Direct question board closes at 11 a.m. EST, Thursday, March 9.

– Kennedy’s Virtual Launch Control Center provides launch day coverage starting at 7:30 a.m. EST, Tuesday, March 14. Coverage features real-time countdown milestone updates, streaming video clips highlighting mission preparation and launch activities.

The ST5 mission is to study the Earth’s magnetic fields. It will be carried into low-Earth orbit aboard an Orbital Sciences Pegasus XL rocket. The rocket is air-launched from a modified L-1011 jumbo jet owned and operated by Orbital.

Once in orbit, ST5 will deploy three micro-satellites. ST5 will flight-validate innovative technology concepts to reduce risks to future science missions. It will demonstrate the ability of small satellites to perform research-quality science by taking measurements of Earth’s magnetic field using highly sensitive magnetometers.

To view ST5 launch and mission coverage on the Web, visit: