[FPSPACE] Fwd: [Launch Alert] Vandenberg AFB Launch Schedule

LARRY KLAES ljk4 at msn.com
Sun Mar 17 00:17:50 EDT 2013

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From: Launch Alert
Sent: 3/16/2013 9:43:12 PM
To: Launch Alert
Subject: [Launch Alert] Vandenberg AFB Launch Schedule

                             LAUNCH ALERT

                              Brian Webb
                     Ventura County, California
                  launch-alert-editor at earthlink.net

                                2013 March 16 (Saturday) 14:31 PDT

                         As of 2013 March 16

  Date              (PST/PDT)               Vehicle          Pad/Silo
--------        -----------------        -------------       --------

Spring          To be announced          GBI                 ---
Missile defense test. A Ground-based Interceptor will be launched
from Vandenberg in an attempt to intercept a target launched from
Kwajalein in the central Pacific.

MAY 18?         Late afternoon?          Pegasus XL          Offshore
Payload is NASA's Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS)
satellite. Vehicle will be air dropped from an L-1011 jumbo jet
flying offshore. The aircraft will be staged from Vandenberg AFB.
Launch date is unclear. Prelaunch preparations will continue to
protect a May 18 launch date. Alternate launch date is JUN 26

JUN 18          To be announced          Falcon 9            SLC-4E
Vehicle will launch the Cassiope satellite for the Canadian Space

AUG             To be announced          Delta IV Heavy      SLC-6
Vehicle will launch the classified NROL-65 payload for the U.S.
National Reconnaissance Office

The above schedule is a composite of unclassified information
approved for public release from government, industry, and other
sources. It represents the Editor's best effort to produce a schedule,
but may disagree with other sources. Details on military launches are
withheld until they are approved for public release. For official
information regarding Vandenberg AFB activities, go to

All launch dates and times are given in Pacific Time using a 24-hour
format similar to military time (midnight = 00:00, 1:00 p.m. = 13:00,
11:00 p.m. = 23:00, etc.).

The dates and times in this schedule may not agree with those on other
online launch schedules, including the official Vandenberg AFB
schedule because different sources were used, the information was
interpreted differently, and the schedules were updated at different


               Jet Propulsion Laboratory News Release
                            2013 March 12

PASADENA, Calif. -- An analysis of a rock sample collected by NASA's
Curiosity rover shows ancient Mars could have supported living

Scientists identified sulfur, nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen, phosphorus
and carbon -- some of the key chemical ingredients for life -- in the
powder Curiosity drilled out of a sedimentary rock near an ancient
stream bed in Gale Crater on the Red Planet last month.

"A fundamental question for this mission is whether Mars could have
supported a habitable environment," said Michael Meyer, lead
scientist for NASA's Mars Exploration Program at the agency's
headquarters in Washington. "From what we know now, the answer is

Clues to this habitable environment come from data returned by the
rover's Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) and Chemistry and Mineralogy
(CheMin) instruments. The data indicate the Yellowknife Bay area the
rover is exploring was the end of an ancient river system or an
intermittently wet lake bed that could have provided chemical energy
and other favorable conditions for microbes. The rock is made up of a
fine-grained mudstone containing clay minerals, sulfate minerals and
other chemicals. This ancient wet environment, unlike some others on
Mars, was not harshly oxidizing, acidic or extremely salty.

The patch of bedrock where Curiosity drilled for its first sample
lies in an ancient network of stream channels descending from the rim
of Gale Crater. The bedrock also is fine-grained mudstone and shows
evidence of multiple periods of wet conditions, including nodules and

Curiosity's drill collected the sample at a site just a few hundred
yards away from where the rover earlier found an ancient streambed in
September 2012.

"Clay minerals make up at least 20 percent of the composition of this
sample," said David Blake, principal investigator for the CheMin
instrument at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif.

These clay minerals are a product of the reaction of relatively fresh
water with igneous minerals, such as olivine, also present in the
sediment. The reaction could have taken place within the sedimentary
deposit, during transport of the sediment, or in the source region of
the sediment. The presence of calcium sulfate along with the clay
suggests the soil is neutral or mildly alkaline.

Scientists were surprised to find a mixture of oxidized,
less-oxidized, and even non-oxidized chemicals, providing an energy
gradient of the sort many microbes on Earth exploit to live. This
partial oxidation was first hinted at when the drill cuttings were
revealed to be gray rather than red.

"The range of chemical ingredients we have identified in the sample is
impressive, and it suggests pairings such as sulfates and sulfides
that indicate a possible chemical energy source for micro-organisms,"
said Paul Mahaffy, principal investigator of the SAM suite of
instruments at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

An additional drilled sample will be used to help confirm these
results for several of the trace gases analyzed by the SAM instrument.

"We have characterized a very ancient, but strangely new 'gray Mars'
where conditions once were favorable for life," said John Grotzinger,
Mars Science Laboratory project scientist at the California Institute
of Technology in Pasadena, Calif. "Curiosity is on a mission of
discovery and exploration, and as a team we feel there are many more
exciting discoveries ahead of us in the months and years to come."

Scientists plan to work with Curiosity in the "Yellowknife Bay" area
for many more weeks before beginning a long drive to Gale Crater's
central mound, Mount Sharp. Investigating the stack of layers exposed
on Mount Sharp, where clay minerals and sulfate minerals have been
identified from orbit, may add information about the duration and
diversity of habitable conditions.

NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Project has been using Curiosity to
investigate whether an area within Mars' Gale Crater ever has offered
an environment favorable for microbial life. Curiosity, carrying 10
science instruments, landed seven months ago to begin its two-year
prime mission. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.,
manages the project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in

For more about the mission, visit: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/msl ,
http://www.nasa.gov/msl . You can follow the mission on Facebook and
Twitter at: http://www.facebook.com/marscuriosity and


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