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Emily LakdawallaJune 26, 2007

Dawn: Probably? launching July 7

Today's press conference for the Dawn launch was a little odd. It was originally announced as a standard televised pre-launch press conference, featuring the mission's science and engineering teams. Yesterday, it was hastily replaced by a phone conference, featuring only staff from NASA Headquarters, which filled me with a feeling of foreboding. Was Dawn going to be delayed? Or worse, had they discovered some horrible problem that might prevent a launch altogether? No; at today's press conference they announced their intentions to press forward to launch on July 7. But there are unresolved issues that could cause them to change their minds. It's all pretty complicated, involving questions of readiness and risk and just plain luck, and I'm glad I'm not involved in the decision-making for this one.

Anyway, my story on today's announcement about the impending launch of Dawn is now posted.

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Emily Lakdawalla

Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist for The Planetary Society
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