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NASA's WISE spacecraft launches Dec. 9

Posted: November 25, 2009 11:02 a.m.
Updated: November 25, 2009 2:45 p.m.
 
WASHINGTON -- The launch of NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, aboard a Delta II rocket is scheduled to occur between 9:09 a.m. and 9:23 a.m. EST on Wednesday, Dec. 9, from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

NASA will provide television and Internet coverage of pre-launch activities and launch.

After launch, WISE will scan the entire sky in infrared light with a sensitivity hundreds of times greater than ever before, picking up the glow of hundreds of millions of objects and producing millions of images. The mission will uncover objects never seen before, including the coolest stars, the universe's most luminous galaxies and some of the darkest near-Earth asteroids and comets.

A pre-launch news conference on NASA Television will be held on Dec. 7 at 4 p.m. at the NASA Vandenberg Resident Office. Reporters can ask questions from participating NASA centers. A WISE mission science briefing will immediately follow the pre-launch news conference. The briefings will be webcast at nasa.gov/ntv.

On Dec. 9, NASA TV coverage of the countdown and launch will begin at 7 a.m. A WISE webcast with launch and mission principals is scheduled for noon on Dec. 8. To access WISE features, visit NASA's WISE Web site at nasa.gov/wise.

Launch coverage of WISE/Delta II countdown activities also will be available on the NASA Web site at nasa.gov.

Live countdown coverage on NASA's launch blog begins at 7 a.m. Coverage features real-time updates of countdown milestones, as well as streaming video clips highlighting launch preparations and liftoff at nasa.gov.

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