Expendable Launch Vehicle Status Report
May 19/Atlas 1
GOES-J WEATHER SATELLITE ARRIVES AT KSC FOR FINAL TESTS
The GOES-J weather satellite, to be launched aboard an Atlas I rocket in May, arrived today by C-5A air cargo plane at KSC's Shuttle Landing Facility from the manufacturing plant in California.
GOES-J is the second spacecraft to be launched in the new advanced series of geostationary weather satellites for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The spacecraft is a three-axis internally stabilized weather satellite which has the dual capability of providing pictures while performing atmospheric sounding at the same time. Once in orbit the spacecraft is to be designated GOES-9 and will become the GOES West satellite stationed over the Pacific Ocean.
The satellite is being transported today to Astrotech in Titusville where final testing of the imaging system, scientific instrumentation, communications and power systems will be performed. These tests will take approximately two months to complete. Then the spacecraft will be fueled with propellant for the attitude control system, enscapsulated in the Atlas nose fairing and prepared for transportation to Launch Complex 36.
The Atlas I rocket is currently scheduled to arrive at KSC on Apr. 4. The Atlas stage will then be erected on Pad 36-B on Apr. 6 with the Centaur to be erected on Apr. 7. A countdown dress rehearsal is planned for May 3 in which the vehicle will be fully fueled and the countdown activities conducted down to T- 31 seconds. On May 6 the spacecraft will be transported from Astrotech to Launch Complex 36 for mating to the Atlas I rocket.
The launch of AC-77/GOES-J is tentatively planned for May 19 at 1:42 a.m. EDT. The launch window lasts 73 minutes.
The GOES-J satellite is built for NASA and NOAA by Space Systems/LORAL of Palo Alto, Calif. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., is responsible for the project management of the GOES program including final testing in Florida and the initial on-orbit checkout.
The Kennedy Space Center is responsible for government oversight of the Atlas I processing activities for AC-77, integration of the GOES-J spacecraft with the launch vehicle and launch countdown activities.
NASA's Lewis Research Center in Cleveland, Oh., is responsible for the NASA launch services management role. Martin Marietta of Denver, Co., is under contract to Lewis Research Center to provide launch services.
Status reports are available at: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/launchingrockets/status/index.html
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