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June 10, 2002
For Immediate Release

Media Contacts
Michael Buckley
Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab
Laurel, MD 20723
Phone: 240-228-7536 or 443-778-7536
Donald Savage
NASA Headquarters
Washington, DC 20546
Phone: 202-358-1547

CONTOUR Prelaunch Briefing Set for June 12 at NASA Headquarters

NASA's CONTOUR mission to two comets, set for launch July 1, will be the subject of a media briefing Wednesday, June 12, at 1 p.m. EDT at NASA Headquarters in Washington. During CONTOUR's four-year mission, the spacecraft will fly as close as 62 miles from the nucleus of each comet, closer than any previous mission, to obtain detailed data on these dynamic objects.

Panelists will be:

  • Dr. Colleen Hartman, Director, Solar System Exploration Division, NASA Headquarters
  • Dr. Joseph Veverka, CONTOUR Principal Investigator, Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y.
  • Dr. Donald K. Yeomans, CONTOUR co-investigator, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
  • Mary C. Chiu, CONTOUR Project Manager, The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Md.
  • Dr. Robert W. Farquhar, CONTOUR Mission Director, The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

The briefing will originate from the James E. Webb Auditorium at NASA Headquarters, 300 E St., S.W., Washington, and will be carried live on NASA TV with two-way question-and-answer capability for reporters covering the event from participating NASA centers.

NASA TV is broadcast on the GE2 satellite, Transponder 9C, at 85 degrees West longitude, frequency 3880.0 MHz, audio 6.8 MHz. Audio of the broadcast will be available on voice circuit at the NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla., on (321) 867-1220.

The briefing will be Webcast live on the Internet via links at

The $159 million CONTOUR is the sixth mission in NASA's Discovery Program of lower cost, scientifically focused exploration projects. The Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab manages the mission, built the spacecraft and its two cameras, and will operate CONTOUR during flight. Cornell's Veverka leads a science team of 18 co-investigators from universities, industry and government agencies in the U.S. and Europe. For more information, visit the CONTOUR Web site at

The Applied Physics Laboratory, a division of The Johns Hopkins University, meets critical national challenges through the innovative application of science and technology. For information, visit