Wednesday, November 18, 2009

WISE Star and Asteroid-Hunting Spacecraft Topic of NASA Briefing

NASA will hold a media briefing on Tuesday, Nov. 17, at noon EST, to discuss the upcoming launch of the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, mission. WISE is scheduled to launch Dec. 7, from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Once in Earth orbit, WISE will scan the entire sky at infrared wavelengths, unveiling hundreds of thousands of asteroids and hundreds of millions of stars and galaxies.

The briefing will take place in the James E. Webb Memorial Auditorium at NASA Headquarters, 300 E St. S.W., in Washington. NASA TV will broadcast the briefing on the NASA Education Channel.

Panelists will be:

-- Jon Morse, NASA's Astrophysics division director at NASA Headquarters
-- Edward (Ned) Wright, WISE principal investigator at UCLA
-- William Irace, WISE project manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.
-- Amy Mainzer, WISE deputy project scientist, JPL
-- Peter Eisenhardt, WISE project scientist, JPL

Reporters may ask questions from participating NASA locations or by phone. To reserve a phone line, journalists should send an e-mail listing name, media affiliation, and telephone number to:

For NASA TV streaming video, schedules and downlink information, visit:

For the latest information about the WISE mission, visit:

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