Author Topic: LIVE: Pegasus XL launch - AIM mission - April 25, 2007  (Read 35496 times)

Offline jacqmans

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Mar. 12, 2007

RELEASE: 07-62

SPACECRAFT TO STUDY CLOUDS AT EDGE OF SPACE ARRIVES AT VANDENBERG

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. - NASA's Aeronomy of Ice in the
Mesosphere (AIM) spacecraft arrived Saturday at Vandenberg Air Force
Base, Calif., for a targeted April 25 launch aboard a Pegasus XL
rocket.

The AIM spacecraft will fly three instruments designed to study polar
mesospheric clouds located at the edge of space, 50 miles above the
Earth's surface in the coldest part of the planet's atmosphere. The
mission's primary goal is to explain why these clouds form and what
has caused them to become brighter and more numerous and appear at
lower latitudes in recent years. AIM's results will provide the basis
for the study of long-term variability in the mesospheric climate and
its relationship to global climate change.

Mating of the three stages of the Orbital Sciences Pegasus XL has been
underway at Vandenberg. The AIM spacecraft now joins the Pegasus
rocket at the facility. AIM will undergo a series of readiness tests
to verify its state of health, and the instruments will be cleaned
and calibrated. Technicians also will partially deploy the craft's
solar arrays for illumination testing.

AIM is scheduled to be mated to the Pegasus XL during the second week
of April, after which final inspections will be conducted.
Approximately one week later, after the test team performs a launch
countdown rehearsal and flight simulation, the payload fairing will
be installed around the spacecraft.

Two days before launch, the Pegasus rocket with the AIM spacecraft
will be transported to the Vandenberg runway where it will be
attached beneath the Orbital Sciences L-1011 carrier aircraft.

NASA's Launch Services Program at Kennedy Space Center, Fla., is
managing the AIM launch, and Orbital Sciences Corporation is
conducting launch services.

AIM is the seventh Small Explorers mission under NASA's Explorer
Program. The program provides frequent flight opportunities for
world-class scientific investigations from space within heliophysics
and astrophysics. The Explorers Program Office at Goddard Space
Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., manages this NASA-funded mission. The
Center for Atmospheric Sciences at Hampton University, Hampton, Va.,
leads the mission. The Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics
at the University of Colorado, Boulder, built two of the spacecraft's
three instruments, manages the mission and will control the satellite
after launch. The Space Dynamics Laboratory of Utah State University,
Logan, built the third instrument. Orbital Sciences Corporation,
Dulles, Va., designed, manufactured and tested the AIM spacecraft.

For more information about NASA and the AIM program, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/aim


-end-

Offline jacqmans

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Re: Pegasus XL launch - AIM mission - April 25, 2007
« Reply #1 on: 03/23/2007 02:49 PM »
STATUS REPORT: ELV-032307

EXPENDABLE LAUNCH VEHICLE STATUS REPORT

Mission: AIM (Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere)
Launch Pad: Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.
Launch Vehicle: Pegasus XL (Orbital Sciences)
Launch Date: April 25, 2007
Launch Time: 1:26:49 p.m. PDT

Since NASA's AIM spacecraft arrived at Vandenberg Air Force Base,
Calif., on March 10, the prelaunch processing has gone well and is on
schedule. A critical milestone was achieved when technicians
performed a partial deployment of the solar array and successfully
conducted an illumination test. Instrument cleaning and calibration
is currently under way. The spacecraft separation system is scheduled
to be installed this weekend. Mating of the AIM spacecraft to the
Pegasus XL rocket is targeted for April 3.

The mating of the three stages of the Pegasus XL is complete. A flight
simulation successfully tested the launch vehicle, including testing
of the reaction control system pneumatic thrusters. Next week, prior
to mating the AIM spacecraft to the Pegasus XL, the spacecraft will
be electrically connected to the launch vehicle for a flight
simulation. Another flight simulation will be conducted during the
second week of April, after AIM is mechanically mated and
electrically integrated onto the Pegasus rocket.

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: Pegasus XL launch - AIM mission - April 25, 2007
« Reply #2 on: 03/23/2007 06:18 PM »
This will be a live coverage event. I'm assuming we'll have NASA TV coverage for this?

Online DaveS

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RE: Pegasus XL launch - AIM mission - April 25, 2007
« Reply #3 on: 03/23/2007 06:28 PM »
Quote
Chris Bergin - 23/3/2007  8:18 PM

This will be a live coverage event. I'm assuming we'll have NASA TV coverage for this?
Yep. If it is a NASA mission, you can count on NASA TV coverage. It's always good to check the NASA TV listing:

April 24, Tuesday
4 p.m. AIM Prelaunch News Conference Vandenberg (Public and Media Channels)
Immediately following - AIM Mission Science Briefing Vandenberg (Public and Media Channels)

April 25, Wednesday
3 5 p.m. AIM Launch Coverage Vandenberg (Public and Media Channels)
"For Sardines, space is no problem!"
-1996 Astronaut class slogan

"We're rolling in the wrong direction but for the right reasons"
-USA engineer about the rollback of Discovery prior to the STS-114 Return To Flight mission

Offline Jim

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RE: Pegasus XL launch - AIM mission - April 25, 2007
« Reply #4 on: 03/23/2007 06:28 PM »
Quote
Chris Bergin - 23/3/2007  3:18 PM

This will be a live coverage event. I'm assuming we'll have NASA TV coverage for this?

yeppers and  the website too

Offline eeergo

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Re: Pegasus XL launch - AIM mission - April 25, 2007
« Reply #5 on: 03/27/2007 03:27 PM »

There's a new gallery dedicated to AIM's processing in KSC Media Gallery: http://mediaarchive.ksc.nasa.gov/search.cfm?cat=117 Some good images of the Pegasus XL rocket to carry it... maybe some could even be useful for the newly created OSC Q&A thread :)

http://www-pao.ksc.nasa.gov/kscpao/images//medium/07pd0656-m.jpg" width="720" border="0" />

http://www-pao.ksc.nasa.gov/kscpao/images//medium/07pd0657-m.jpg" width="720" border="0" />

http://www-pao.ksc.nasa.gov/kscpao/images//medium/07pd0666-m.jpg" width="720" border="0" />

-DaviD-

Offline jacqmans

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Re: Pegasus XL launch - AIM mission - April 25, 2007
« Reply #6 on: 03/30/2007 04:33 PM »
EXPENDABLE LAUNCH VEHICLE STATUS REPORT

Mission: AIM (Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere)
Launch Pad: Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.
Launch Vehicle: Pegasus XL (Orbital Sciences)
Launch Date: April 25, 2007
Launch Time: 1:26:49 p.m. PDT

NASA's AIM spacecraft processing continues to go well and is on
schedule. Technicians have completed cleaning and calibrating the
instruments and installed the spacecraft separation system. AIM has
been electrically connected to the Pegasus for integrated testing and
a flight simulation. Actual mating of the spacecraft to the rocket is
planned to begin on or about April 3.

Flight simulation No. 3 is under way with the vehicle and spacecraft
electrically connected. Another flight simulation will be conducted
during the second week of April, after AIM is mechanically mated and
electrically integrated onto the Pegasus rocket. The fairing will
then be installed around the AIM spacecraft.

Offline jacqmans

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Re: Pegasus XL launch - AIM mission - April 25, 2007
« Reply #7 on: 04/05/2007 04:30 PM »
MEDIA ADVISORY: M07-36

NASA MEDIA BRIEFING ON MISSION TO STUDY EARTH'S HIGHEST CLOUDS

WASHINGTON - NASA will host a media teleconference on Wednesday, April
11 at 2 p.m. EDT to discuss science objectives of the Aeronomy of Ice
in the Mesosphere (AIM) mission.

AIM is scheduled to launch April 25 from Vandenberg Air Force Base,
Calif., aboard a Pegasus launch vehicle. It will measure high
altitude noctilucent ("night shining") clouds to determine why they
form and vary, which may be linked to climate change.

Briefing participants are:
-- Vicki Elsbernd, AIM Program Executive, NASA Headquarters,
Washington
-- Jim Russell, AIM Principal Investigator, Hampton University,
Hampton, Va.
-- Chris Savinell, AIM mission manager, Goddard Space Flight Center,
Greenbelt, Md.

Reporters should call 1-888-398-6118 and use the pass code "clouds" to
participate in the teleconference. International media should call
1-210-234-0007.

Audio of the teleconference will stream live at:

http://www.nasa.gov/newsaudio

Supporting images will be posted concurrent with the briefing at:

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/aim/AIM_L14_media.html

For more information about the AIM mission, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/aim


-end-

Offline jacqmans

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Re: Pegasus XL launch - AIM mission - April 25, 2007
« Reply #8 on: 04/06/2007 04:19 PM »
EXPENDABLE LAUNCH VEHICLE STATUS REPORT

Mission: AIM (Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere)
Launch Pad: Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.
Launch Vehicle: Pegasus XL (Orbital Sciences)
Launch Date: April 25, 2007
Launch Time: 1:26:49 p.m. PDT

NASA's AIM spacecraft was mated to the Pegasus XL rocket on Wednesday.
An integrated flight simulation is scheduled for early next week.
Later that week, operations will begin for installation of the
Pegasus fairing around the AIM spacecraft.

The Pegasus rocket with the AIM spacecraft is currently planned to be
installed onto the transporter April 16. The L-1011 carrier aircraft
is slated to arrive at Vandenberg Air Force Base the following day.
Transporting Pegasus/AIM to the runway for mating operations with the
carrier aircraft is scheduled for April 22.


Offline jacqmans

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Re: Pegasus XL launch - AIM mission - April 25, 2007
« Reply #9 on: 04/11/2007 03:48 PM »
RELEASE: 07-84

NASA AIMS TO CLEAR UP MYSTERY OF ELUSIVE CLOUDS AT EDGE OF SPACE

WASHINGTON - NASA is preparing to launch the Aeronomy of Ice in the
Mesosphere (AIM) spacecraft, the first mission dedicated to
exploration of mysterious ice clouds that dot the edge of space in
Earth's polar regions. These clouds have grown brighter and more
prevalent in recent years and some scientists suggest that changes in
these clouds may be the result of climate change.

The first opportunity for launch is on Wednesday, April 25 from
Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., aboard a Pegasus launch vehicle.

AIM will conduct the first detailed probe of this unusual phenomenon
typically observed approximately 50 miles above the Earth's surface
in the mesosphere. The mesosphere is the region just above the
stratosphere. Researchers know very little about how these polar
mesospheric clouds form, why they are being seen at lower latitudes
than ever before or why they have recently grown brighter and more
frequent.

"These clouds are indicators of conditions in the upper reaches of the
Earth's atmosphere, and are an important link in the chain of
processes that result in the deposition of solar energy into Earth's
atmosphere," said Mary Mellott, AIM program scientist, NASA
Headquarters, Washington. "AIM will provide an understanding of how
and why these clouds form, an important contribution toward the NASA
goals of understanding the fundamental physical processes of our
space environment and how the habitability of planets is affected by
the interaction of planetary magnetic fields and atmospheres with
solar variability."

The clouds are noctilucent, meaning they can be seen from the ground
only at night, when they are illuminated by sunlight no longer
visible from the Earth's surface. The brightest of these clouds are
now known to be primarily composed of water ice. Their seasonal
lifecycle is controlled by complex interactions between temperature,
water vapor, solar activity, atmospheric chemistry and small
particles on which the cloud crystals form. Human-induced factors
such as carbon dioxide cause a warming in the lower atmosphere but a
cooling in the mesosphere.

The clouds form in the coldest part of the Earth's atmosphere at the
summer season in the polar regions. In the northern hemisphere they
begin appearing in mid-May and last through mid-August, in the
southern hemisphere beginning mid-November and lasting through
mid-March.

"The occurrence of these clouds at the edge of space and what causes
them to vary is not understood," said AIM principal investigator
James Russell III, Hampton University, Hampton, Va. "One theory is
that the cloud particles grow on 'seeds' of meteoric dust or dust
lofted up from below. AIM will provide the comprehensive data needed
to test current theories for cloud formation or develop new ones, and
allow researchers to build tools to predict how they will change in
the future."

AIM will be comprised of three instruments: the Solar Occultation for
Ice Experiment; the Cloud Imaging and Particle Size Experiment; and
the Cosmic Dust Experiment. The satellite will simultaneously measure
air pressure and temperature, moisture content and cloud dimensions,
providing data needed to determine the role of polar mesospheric
clouds as an important indicator of the planet's changing climate.

The clouds appear to be a relatively recent phenomenon, first reported
in the late 19th century shortly after the volcanic eruption on the
Indonesian island of Krakatoa. The first daytime observations of the
clouds were made by satellite in 1969. Regular space-based
observations began in 1982 with NASA's Solar Mesosphere Explorer
using instruments primarily designed for other purposes.

"This Small Explorer mission is a good example of the huge science
returns we can get for a relatively small cost investment," said
Vicki Elsbernd, program executive for the AIM mission, NASA
Headquarters.

For more information about NASA and the AIM mission, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/aim

Offline jacqmans

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Re: Pegasus XL launch - AIM mission - April 25, 2007
« Reply #10 on: 04/14/2007 09:36 AM »
Mission: AIM (Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere)
Launch Pad: Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.
Launch Vehicle: Pegasus XL (Orbital Sciences)
Launch Date: April 25, 2007
Launch Time: 1:26:49 p.m. PDT (4:26:49 p.m. EDT)

NASA's AIM spacecraft was mated to the Pegasus XL rocket on April 4.
An integrated flight simulation was successfully completed earlier
this week. Technicians began operations to install the Pegasus
fairing around the AIM spacecraft, followed by black light inspection
of the fairing and spacecraft. The spacecraft umbilical was
disconnected and re-routed to allow the payload fairing to move into
the clean room.

The Pegasus rocket with the AIM spacecraft is currently planned to be
installed onto the transporter on April 16. The L-1011 carrier
aircraft is slated to arrive at Vandenberg Air Force Base the
following day. The transport of Pegasus/AIM to the runway for mating
operations with the L-1011 is scheduled for April 22.

Offline jacqmans

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Re: Pegasus XL launch - AIM mission - April 25, 2007
« Reply #11 on: 04/17/2007 07:11 PM »
MEDIA ADVISORY: 14-07

NASA SETS PRESS AND MEDIA EVENTS FOR AIM LAUNCH

NASA's Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere (AIM) spacecraft, is
scheduled to launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California by
an Orbital Sciences Pegasus XL vehicle at 1:26 p.m. PDT on April 25
within a launch window that extends from 1:23 to 1:30 p.m. PDT. The
drop point of the Pegasus from the L-1011 carrier aircraft is a
location over the Pacific Ocean approximately 100 miles offshore
west-southwest of Point Sur, Calif. AIM will be launched at an
azimuth of 192.5 degrees into a circular polar orbit of 375 miles
with an inclination of 97.77 degrees.

AIM is a two-year mission to study polar mesospheric clouds. These are
the Earth's highest clouds, which form an icy membrane 50 miles above
the surface at the edge of space. These clouds, which are visible
from the ground with the naked eye, form in the spring and summer at
high latitudes and have been seen for over a century, reflecting the
Sun's light in the twilight sky. The mission's primary goal for the
spacecraft's three instruments is to explain why these clouds form,
and discover what is causing them to appear more frequently and at
lower latitudes.

NASA Kennedy Space Center is responsible for launch vehicle/spacecraft
integration and launch countdown management. NASA Goddard Space
Flight Center is responsible for the overall AIM mission management.
Hampton University in Hampton, Va., is the prime contractor and is
leading the mission, assisted by the University of Colorado and
Virginia Tech. Orbital Sciences Corporation is responsible for
providing the Pegasus XL launch service to NASA.

Prelaunch Press Conference

A prelaunch press conference and mission briefing, to be carried live
on NASA Television, will begin at 1 p.m. PDT (4 p.m. EDT) on April 24
in the conference room of the NASA-KSC Resident Office at Vandenberg
Air Force Base.

Participating in the prelaunch press conference will be:

Vicki Elsbernd, AIM Program Executive
NASA Headquarters, Washington

Omar Baez, NASA Launch Director/NASA Launch Manager
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

Bryan Baldwin, Pegasus Launch Vehicle Program Director
Orbital Sciences Corporation, McClean, Va.

Mike McGrath, AIM Project Manager
Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics
University of Colorado, Boulder, Co.

Captain Damon Vorhees, Launch Weather Officer, U.S. Air Force
30th Weather Squadron, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

AIM Mission Science Briefing

An AIM mission briefing will immediately follow the prelaunch press
conference. Participating will be:

Mary Mellott, AIM Program Scientist
NASA Headquarters, Washington

James Russell III, AIM Principal Investigator
Hampton University, Hampton, Va.

Scott Bailey, AIM Deputy Principal Investigator
Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va.

AIM Press Accreditation and Launch Coverage

News media desiring accreditation to cover the prelaunch press
conference and launch of Pegasus/AIM should call the 30th Space Wing
Public Affairs Office at Vandenberg Air Force Base at 805-606-3595.

On April 24, local media desiring to cover the AIM prelaunch press
conference and mission science briefing should meet at the main gate
of Vandenberg Air Force Base on California State Road 1 at 12:20 p.m.
for escort to the NASA Vandenberg Resident Office in Building 840.

On launch day, April 25, media representatives should meet at the
Vandenberg main gate at noon to be escorted to the Vandenberg Air
Force Base runway to view the departure of the L-1011 aircraft. Media
will then be taken to the viewing room of the NASA Mission Director's
Center located at Building 840 on South Vandenberg Air Force Base.
From there, media may follow the flight and launch of Pegasus/AIM.

Assuming a successful flight of the Pegasus, a post-launch news
conference will not be held. However, launch vehicle and spacecraft
representatives will be available afterward to informally answer
questions from the media.

NASA Television Launch Coverage of Pegasus/AIM

Live coverage on NASA Television of the Pegasus/AIM launch will begin
at noon a.m. PDT (3 p.m. EDT) on April 25 and continue through
spacecraft separation from the Pegasus vehicle, which occurs
approximately 10 minutes after launch. Live audio of the launch
coverage and the Pegasus/AIM briefings will be available on the "V
circuits" that may be dialed at 321-867-1220, 1240, 1260, 7135.

In the continental United States, NASA TV is available via satellite
on AMC-6, Transponder 17, C-band, located at 72 degrees West
longitude. The frequency is 4040.0 MHz video, 6.8 MHz audio, MPEG-2
digital signal. In Alaska and Hawaii, NASA TV is available on AMC-7,
Transponder 18, C-band, at 137 degrees West longitude. The frequency
is 4060.0 MHz, also an MPEG-2 digital signal. Polarization is
vertical, and audio is monaural at 6.80 MHz. A digital integrated
receiver decoder is required; an analog signal is no longer
available.

For NASA TV launch coverage information and schedules on the Internet,
visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/ntv

Web Prelaunch, Launch and Mission Coverage of Pegasus/AIM

For live launch coverage and AIM mission information, go to the AIM
link on the NASA Portal at:

http://www.nasa.gov/aim

On launch day, the launch blog will be activated beginning at noon
PDT. Real-time updates will be featured as countdown milestones
occur. A launch highlight podcast will be posted at approximately
L+30 minutes.

Pegasus/AIM News Center

The Pegasus/AIM News Center at the NASA Vandenberg Resident Office
will be staffed starting on April 19 and may be reached between 8
a.m. and 4:30 p.m. PDT at 805-605-3051. A recorded status report will
also be available starting April 20 and may be reached by dialing
805-734-2693. The U.S. Air Force 30th Space Wing Public Affairs
office may be reached at 805-606-3595.


-end-

Online DaveS

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Re: LIVE: Pegasus XL launch - AIM mission - April 25, 2007
« Reply #12 on: 04/24/2007 07:27 PM »
*bump*
Today's two AIM press-conferences coming up in about 30 minutes. Then the launch tommorow.
"For Sardines, space is no problem!"
-1996 Astronaut class slogan

"We're rolling in the wrong direction but for the right reasons"
-USA engineer about the rollback of Discovery prior to the STS-114 Return To Flight mission

Offline eeergo

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Re: LIVE: Pegasus XL launch - AIM mission - April 25, 2007
« Reply #13 on: 04/24/2007 08:17 PM »
An interesting fact they mentioned during the conference is that AIM uses magnetic torque bars, instead of RCS thrusters, to control its attitude. These bars create magnetic fields that interact with Earth's, to create forces. They will be first used right after payload separation, to slow AIM's roll.
-DaviD-

Offline eeergo

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Re: LIVE: Pegasus XL launch - AIM mission - April 25, 2007
« Reply #14 on: 04/24/2007 08:23 PM »
Wow, 0% probability of weather prohibiting launch both tomorrow and the day after! I guess we could live with some more of these forecasts during Shuttle missions ;)
-DaviD-

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Pegasus AIM question
« Reply #15 on: 04/25/2007 03:39 AM »
With the AIM launch being scheduled for tomorrow (4/25/07), about what day did the L-1011 arrive at Vandenberg?  My first guess would be Friday sometime because I saw a large aircraft inbound to Vandenberg and I was too far away to ID it, but I could be wrong.  Also, what kind of chase plane will more than likely be used?  I believe it was a NASA F/A-18 last time.
TITAN...assured access to space.

Offline John44

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AIM Mission Briefings
« Reply #16 on: 04/25/2007 04:48 AM »
The Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere (AIM) mission will provide the first detailed exploration of Earth's unique and elusive noctilucent or night shining clouds that are found literally on the "edge of space." The satellite is scheduled to launch from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on April 25, 2007.

AIM Prelaunch News Conference
http://www.space-multimedia.nl.eu.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1875&Itemid=2

AIM Mission Science Briefing
http://www.space-multimedia.nl.eu.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1876&Itemid=2

anik note: "Pegasus AIM question" and "AIM Mission Briefings" threads are moved into "LIVE: Pegasus XL launch - AIM mission - April 25, 2007" thread

Offline Jim

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Re: LIVE: Pegasus XL launch - AIM mission - April 25, 2007
« Reply #17 on: 04/25/2007 05:42 PM »
Countdown started hours ago.  Now at T-2:35 hrs

Offline Chris Bergin

Historically Black University Leads NASA AIM Mission

NASA's Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere (AIM) is scheduled to launch on Wed., April 25 at 4:26 p.m. EDT from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., via a Pegasus XL launch vehicle. The mission is led by Hampton University, making it the first Historically Black College and University to have the principle investigator and total mission responsibility for a NASA satellite mission.


AIM will study why polar mesospheric clouds (PMCs) form and why they vary. These clouds are also called "noctilucent" or night-shining clouds. This is NASA's first mission dedicated to exploration of these unique and mysterious clouds. These clouds are being seen at lower latitudes than ever before, and have recently grown brighter and more frequent, suggesting a connection to global change.


  WHAT:    The launch of NASA's Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere (AIM)
           mission led by Hampton University will air live at HU.

  WHEN:    Wednesday, April 25, 2007, 4 p.m. EDT

  WHERE:   Phenix Hall Auditorium, 40 East Tyler Street, on the campus of
           Hampton University, Hampton, Va.


Offline Jim

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Re: LIVE: Pegasus XL launch - AIM mission - April 25, 2007
« Reply #19 on: 04/25/2007 06:31 PM »
Stargazer engines started

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