... and sooner than I thought. I've written about GLAST many times before: it's a telescope that will observe super-high-energy gamma rays, which are emitted by only the most energetic and powerful objects in the Universe: exploding stars, magnetic neutron stars, regions near black holes... y'know, just your average ultra-violence.
I'm on the Education and Public Outreach team, so I was really happy to get an email from Kevin Grady, the GLAST project manager:
The NASA Science Mission Directorate (SMD) Program Management Council approved the rebaseline of the GLAST mission today, to launch no later than November 2007. We are fortunate that the support of the GLAST mission by the Science Mission Directorate continues to remain so strong. This is a direct result of the outstanding effort that each of you continue to put forth on the various GLAST elements. The current Delta II manifested launch date for GLAST is October 7, 2007. That date will remain our official manifest launch date as we move the Program forward.
So we have a launch date! October 7, 2007. That's less than a year from now! We're already preparing for launch, planning what we'll write, what knickknacks we'll make as a commemoration, and all that. I suppose I'll go see the launch, too. I haven't watched one live in many years, not since the Shuttle carried a camera I worked on into orbit. I can't wait!