Journalists covering the launch of the space shuttle Discovery, which is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon, will be using a new wireless network recently installed by BellSouth and Nortel.

The network covers the NASA Press Site of some six acres and can be used by the 2,500 journalists expected to be on hand for the launch, according to BellSouth.

“The world’s media will witness NASA’s return to flight of Space Shuttle Discovery and the STS-114 crew,” said Mike Rein, chief of media services at the Kennedy Space Center, Fla. “The press viewing area will have the full range of communications needed to bring the launch to the nearly 500 million people around the world expected to view this event.”

BellSouth deployed additional high-speed circuits to accommodate the media’s needs and Nortel created a mesh network to handle data as well as video and voice applications.