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  1. jocose

    jocose TPF Noob!

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    12.21.06

    RELEASE: 74-06

    NASA'S KSC PROVIDING ASSISTANCE TO SANTA ON CHRISTMAS EVE

    The Debris Imaging Radar System, used during the night launch of
    NASA's space shuttle mission STS-116, is a new system at Kennedy Space Center in Florida that will now be made available to Santa
    Claus on Christmas Eve.

    Based on its success in identifying even the smallest amount of debris
    coming off the orbiter or the external tank, NASA has strong
    confidence the system will provide assistance in observing Santa's
    sleigh. Since the elves have the packages piled high, NASA can
    determine with great accuracy if any gifts planned for delivery fall
    off the sleigh. The radar system is capable of high-definition radar
    imagery, so the approximate shape, size and weight of the packages
    can be determined.

    This could greatly help Santa recover the packages so that no child is
    disappointed by not receiving the presents the jolly fellow promised
    while he made the rounds in shopping malls before Christmas. The
    radar has an auto-track mode so that it can be left unattended on
    Christmas Eve and still perform its intended function. The system
    will be automatically activated once NASA's air traffic control radar
    located on north KSC has made radar contact with Santa's sleigh.

    Also of assistance to Santa this year is the new Differential Global
    Positioning Satellite System ground station at the Shuttle Landing
    Facility. These new GPS antennas located near the control tower can
    help if there is an emergency. Since the sleigh is now GPS equipped,
    it can guide Santa to a landing within 10 feet of the runway's
    centerline, regardless of which end of the runway he needs to use.

    Though Shuttle Landing Facility personnel will be on holiday leave,
    officials at the NASA Tower have agreed to provide the customary
    support by turning the landing lights on before they depart for
    Christmas, as well as turning on the TACAN radio homing beacon and
    the visual alternating green and white lighted rotating beacon.

    NASA will use the orbiter Discovery to mimic Santa's sleigh during the
    STS-116 landing currently planned for Friday, in order to test the
    ability to operate these two new systems in auto-track mode. If the
    orbiter is waved off to land on the West Coast, the Shuttle Training
    Aircraft will be used to simulate Santa's sleigh.

    If Santa needs help, one of the primary radio frequencies normally
    used for communication in restricted airspace will still be monitored
    by the Air Force Eastern Range and also NASA security.


    -end-
     

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