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Emily LakdawallaOctober 28, 2008

Schedule notes for tomorrow: Constellation and MESSENGER

Some sharp-eyed folks have noticed that there are two colliding press briefings being held by NASA tomorrow at 1:00 Eastern time (17:00 UTC). One is a long-planned, probably triumphant science update on early results from MESSENGER's second flyby of Mercury; the other is a more recently scheduled, probably much less happy update on the status of the Constellation program. According to NASA "scheduling conflicts" prevented them from having non-overlapping press briefings, which seems just a little ridiculous (how about the scheduling conflict you're causing me, huh??)

We inquired with NASA, and the MESSENGER briefing is still going to be carried as planned on NASA TV, so you can watch that live on the Internet if you want to; the Constellation briefing is for press only, by phone. I, personally, would not have phoned in for the Constellation briefing in any case, but I'm sure there are lots of science journalists out there who are being forced to choose between which one to cover live, and which one to get to when they can. Sad to say, bad news is more often better press, so this will likely steal attention from MESSENGER, which that team can't be at all happy about. I'll do my best to devote the attention to MESSENGER that that mission deserves. (I may not be as quick as usual though; my babysitter is sick, so I'll be doing double duty tomorrow.)

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Emily Lakdawalla

Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist for The Planetary Society
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Emily Lakdwalla
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