WASHINGTON, June 11, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NASA's Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) mission is scheduled to launch at 7:27 p.m. PDT (10:27 p.m. EDT) Wednesday, June 26, from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
Launch on an Orbital Sciences Corporation Pegasus XL rocket is targeted for the middle of a five-minute launch window. Live NASA Television coverage of the launch begins at 6 p.m. PDT (9 p.m. EDT). NASA TV also will air an IRIS prelaunch news conference and science briefing beginning at noon PDT (3 p.m. EDT) on Tuesday, June 25.
IRIS is a NASA Small Explorer Mission to observe how solar material moves, gathers energy and heats up as it travels through a little-understood region in the sun's lower atmosphere. This interface region between the sun's photosphere and corona powers its dynamic million-degree atmosphere and drives the solar wind.
The drop of the air-launched Pegasus from Orbital's L-1011 carrier aircraft will occur over the Pacific Ocean at an altitude of 39,000 feet, about 100 miles northwest of Vandenberg off the central coast of California, south of Big Sur.
The IRIS News Center at Kennedy's Vandenberg Resident Office will be staffed starting Monday, June 24 and may be reached between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. at 805-605-3051.
For complete details on media registration, media events, and live launch coverage on NASA Television, visit:
NASA also will host a Google+ Hangout at 1:30 p.m. EDT June 25, on the IRIS mission. Social media followers may submit questions on Twitter and Google+ in advance and during the event using the hashtag #askNASA.
Before the hangout begins, NASA will open a thread on its Facebook page where questions may be posted. The hangout can be viewed live on NASA's Google+ page, the NASA Television YouTube channel or NASA TV. For more information and to join the hangout, visit:
Extensive prelaunch and launch day coverage of the IRIS spacecraft will be available on NASA's home page at:
To view the IRIS webcast and launch blog, and learn more about the mission, visit: