EDWARDS TURNING LIGHTS UP TONIGHT.Byline: Jim Skeen Staff Writer
EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE Edwards Air Force Base, U.S. military installation, 301,000 acres (121,805 hectares), S Calif., NE of Lancaster; est. 1933. It is one of the largest air force bases in the United States and has the world's longest runway. - Three powerful spotlights are scheduled to light up the sky tonight over Edwards Air Force Base to help NASA NASA: see National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
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Three 7-kilowatt xenon xenon (zē`nŏn) [Gr.,=strange], gaseous chemical element; symbol Xe; at. no. 54; at. wt. 131.29; m.p. −111.9°C;; b.p. −107.1°C;; density 5.86 grams per liter at STP; valence usually 0. spotlights on Rogers Dry Lake will be aimed skyward to assist in calibrating the cameras aboard Landsat-7. The light beams are expected to be visible for several miles and will resemble the spotlights seen for movie openings and other promotions.
``They will see the lights for about 30 minutes,'' base spokesman John Haire said.
The lights will be positioned about 1,420 meters apart - about nine- tenths of a mile - on the lake bed. The lights will come on at about 9 p.m.
Technicians on the ground will measure the intensity of the light and compare that with the images from the satellites, Haire said.
Edwards was chosen for the project because it has clear skies and fewer other lights to interfere with the test.
A second test is scheduled for Jan. 10 to calibrate cameras on a different satellite, the Earth Observing 1. That satellite has more sophisticated cameras. Fourteen spotlights will be used for that test.
The spotlights being used are similar to those used for missile launches at Vandenberg Air Force Base Vandenberg Air Force Base, U.S. military installation, 3,456 acres (1,399 hectares), SW Calif., near Lompoc; chief Pacific coast launch site for military satellites. and by Edwards for nighttime space shuttle landings.