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NASA IMAGING TEAM DEVELOPS CHASE PLANES



Submitted by Arthur N1ORC - Amsat A/C #31468

>Melissa Mathews
>Headquarters, Washington                                        April 13, 2005
>(Phone: 202/358-1272)
>
>Steve Roy
>Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.
>(Phone: 256/544-0034)
>
>
>
>NASA IMAGING TEAM DEVELOPS 'EYE IN SKY' FOR SHUTTLE CHASE PLANES
>
>     When the Space Shuttle Discovery (STS-114) returns to flight next month, it will have a special escort, but the pair of NASA WB-57 chase jets won't just be along for the ride.
>
>Thanks to an engineering team that includes NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala. and key industry partners, these high-flying chase planes will provide NASA with extra "eyes in the sky" to watch Discovery's flight and help safeguard its crew.
>
>The jets will carry innovative, on-board video imaging systems, dubbed the WB-57 Ascent Video Experiment (WAVE). The system will capture detailed images of how the Space Shuttle behaves, as it climbs toward orbit. During the launch, the jets will keep pace with Discovery, flying at a distance of 15 to 20 miles. The WAVE systems will track the Shuttle for approximately 150 seconds, from liftoff to separation of the Solid Rocket Boosters, the power systems that provide the main thrust to lift Discovery off the pad.
>
>  
>
>For more information about the Return to Flight of the Space Shuttle, visit:
>
>http://www.nasa.gov/returntoflight/
>
>-end-
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