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Media Advisory

Briefing for Oct. 25 STEREO launch

23 October 2006

ATTENTION: Science editors, producers

Contact: Robert Sanders, Media Relations
(510) 643-6998 rsanders@berkeley.edu

NASA pre-launch press briefing and live video viewing of the launch of the Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory (STEREO) mission - an exploration by twin spacecraft of massive explosions on the sun that can disrupt communications on Earth and endanger the lives of astronauts.

One suite of instruments aboard STEREO was built at the University of California, Berkeley's Space Sciences Laboratory.

NASA will hold a pre-launch press conference and mission science briefing at Cape Canaveral in Florida tomorrow, Tuesday, Oct. 24, that is accessible to reporters by phone at 10 a.m. PDT (1 p.m. EDT). Dial (321) 867-1260 or (321) 867-7135.

On Wed., Oct. 25, starting at 5 p.m. PDT, media are invited to UC Berkeley's Space Sciences Laboratory to view a live NASA feed of the launch. STEREO's launch window is between 5:38 to 5:53 p.m. PDT.

Wednesday's viewing event is in the main conference room of the Space Sciences Laboratory. The lab is at 7 Gauss Way in the hills above the UC Berkeley campus. For directions, link to http://www.ssl.berkeley.edu/about/visiting.php.

STEREO co-principal investigator Janet Luhmann, a Space Sciences Laboratory research physicist, will participate in Tuesday's NASA mission science briefing from Florida.

Available on launch day (Wed.) at the Space Sciences Lab will be:

Robert Lin, lab director and UC Berkeley professor of physics
Davin Larson, research physicist and solar wind expert
Laura Peticolas, education specialist and aurora physicist
Bryan Mendez, education specialist and astronomer

STEREO consists of two separate satellites that will be launched into orbit around the sun to provide a stereoscopic view of solar activity, in particular the huge coronal mass ejections that fling particles at Earth and create storms in space.

Janet Luhmann of UC Berkeley's Space Sciences Laboratory led the team that designed and assembled a suite of instruments aboard STEREO - In-situ Measurements of Particles And CME Transients (IMPACT). It measures the energy of electrons and ions from the sun and the intensity of the sun's magnetic fields.

Reporters interested in viewing the live video of the launch and interviewing scientists about the mission objectives should R.S.V.P. to Robert Sanders, (510) 643-6998.