The daily launch window for the spacecraft goes from 11:45 a.m. to 1:40 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (1545 to 1740 GMT) from launch pad 17B at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
It is being launched into space with a Delta II rocket. The original May 16, 2008 launch date was cancelled due to equipment damage during the installation of the second stage of the Delta II.
The extra days were necessary in order to replace a flight termination system battery (FTSB) that indicated it was not working on Wednesday, June 4, 2008. The FTSB provides electrical power to the spacecraft.
The GLAST mission will target the study of exotic high-energy objects in the universe, such as supermassive black holes, dark matter, and pulsars, which emit enormous amounts of gamma-ray radiation.
Specifically, according to the Stanford University website “GLAST—The Mission,” the primary scientific objectives of the GLAST mission are:
• “To understand the mechanisms of particle acceleration in active galactic nuclei (AGN), pulsars, and supernova remnants (SNR).
• Resolve the gamma-ray sky: unidentified sources and diffuse emission.
• Determine the high-energy behavior of gamma-ray bursts and transients.
• Probe dark matter and early Universe.
• Search for evaporating primordial micro black holes [MBH] from their presumed gamma burst signatures [Hawking Radiation component].”
It is a joint venture of NASA and the U.S. Department of Energy, along with space agencies in France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and Sweden.
For additional information about the GLAST mission, go to the iTWire article “GLAST study of black holes set to launch June 3, 2008.”
To watch the launch of GLAST, go to NASA TV.
For more mission-specific information, visit NASA GLAST.