Expendable Launch Vehicle Status Report
X-ray Timing Explorer
Work to prepare the X-ray Timing Explorer for launch continues at NASA Spacecraft Hangar AO on Cape Canaveral Air Station. Current work includes final installation of the All Sky Monitor instrument. Upcoming is installation of the spacecraft onto the Delta payload attach fitting in preparation for going to the launch pad and mating with the second stage of the Delta launch vehicle. Major milestones achieved since the payload arrived at Hangar AO on May 31 include: changeout of one of the Proportional Counter Array detectors completed on June 12; completion of a 5-day spacecraft performance test on June 29; installation of the spacecraft batteries on July 1; a spacecraft launch simulation on July 16; completion of a mission simulation on July 19 covering the early hours of flight after separation from the Delta. This included deployment of antennas and the solar arrays.
At Pad A on Complex 17, erection of the Delta first stage occurred on Jul. 22. The nine strap-on solid rocket boosters were attached in sets of three between Jul. 24-26. The second stage was hoisted for erection atop the first stage on July 28. The tri-section fairing was hoisted into the whiteroom at the launch pad on August 8.
Processing of the vehicle is continuing at this time. Upcoming activities include a partial tanking of liquid oxygen on the first stage on Aug. 19 for cryogenic leak checks, a Simulated Flight Test of the vehicle on Aug. 21-22 which checks the in-flight functions of the Delta after T-0, and a pair of launch crew certifications, which includes a launch countdown and full tanking of the vehicle with liquid oxygen on Aug. 23 and Aug. 25.
The launch date for Delta/XTE is indefinite at this time pending completion of flight qualification of upgraded avionics for the vehicle and the investigation into the failure of a solid rocket booster to separate from the Delta first stage during the recent launch of Koreasat-1. NASA managers are assessing the earliest possible XTE launch date against what impact this may have on the desire to hold the planned Radarsat and Polar launch dates scheduled to occur from Vandenberg Air Force Base later this year.
Status reports are available at: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/launchingrockets/status/index.html
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