Kennedy News

George H. Diller
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
321-867-2468
george.h.diller@nasa.gov

Feb. 5, 2003
 
STATUS REPORT : ELV-020503
 
 
Expendable Launch Vehicle Status Report
 
 
Mission: Galaxy Evolution Explorer
Launch Vehicle: Pegasus XL
Launch Pad: Skid Strip, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
Launch Date: March 25, 2003 (Tentative)
Launch Window: 6:50 - 8:50 a.m. EST

At Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, the Orbital Sciences Pegasus launch vehicle completed the second scheduled flight simulation (2b) on Sunday, Feb. 2. All data from the test was nominal. The launch vehicle Combined Systems Test (CST) is scheduled for February 14. The Pegasus launch vehicle is currently planned for ferry to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on the L-1011 aircraft on Feb. 18.

GALEX, built for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory by the Orbital Sciences Space Systems Group, arrived at the Kennedy Space Center on Sunday, Feb. 2 and is preparing for prelaunch testing at the Multipurpose Payload Processing Facility (MPPF) located in the KSC Industrial Area. The spacecraft and test equipment is being unpacked, charging of batteries and test equipment will follow.

The GALEX program management is by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and is part of Goddard's Small Explorer (SMEX) program. Spacecraft project management is the responsibility of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and the California Institute of Technology is the lead for mission science.

Mission: Propulsive Small Expendable Deployer System
Launch Vehicle: Delta II
Launch Pad: Space Launch Complex 17, Pad A
Launch Date: March 29, 2003
Launch Time: To be determined

The Propulsive Small Expendable Deployer System - called ProSEDS - is a tether-based propulsion experiment that draws power from the space environment around Earth, allowing the transfer of energy from the Earth to the spacecraft.

Inexpensive and reusable, ProSeds technology has the potential to turn orbiting, in-space tethers into "space tugboats" - replacing heavy, costly, traditional chemical propulsion and enabling a variety of space-based missions, such as the fuel-free raising and lowering of satellite orbits.

The erection of the Boeing Delta II launch vehicle on Pad 17-A is currently scheduled to begin Feb. 13. Erection of the nine solid rocket boosters is scheduled for Feb. 14-18. The second stage is planned for hoisting atop the first stage on Feb. 19.

ProSEDS personnel are installing data and electrical harnesses on the Delta second stage this week. The flight hardware is planned to arrive at KSC Feb. 27.

ProSEDS is flying as a secondary payload beneath a U.S. Air Force Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite. Once the spacecraft arrives, it will be processed at the Vertical Processing Facility (VPF) located in the KSC Industrial Area. March 17, ProSeds will be attached to the Delta at the launch pad near the top of the second stage and will be followed by electrical connections and a spacecraft functional test.

Mission: Space Infrared Telescope Facility
Launch Vehicle: Delta II Heavy
Launch Pad: 17-B, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
Launch Date: April 15, 2003
Launch Time: 4:34:07 a.m. EDT

The Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF) will obtain images and spectra by detecting the infrared energy, or heat, radiated by objects in space between wavelengths of 3 and 180 microns (1 micron is one-millionth of a meter). Most of this infrared radiation is blocked by the Earth's atmosphere and cannot be observed from the ground.

Consisting of an 0.85-meter telescope and three cryogenically cooled science instruments, SIRTF is one of NASA's largest infrared telescopes to be launched. Its highly sensitive instruments will give us a unique view of the Universe and allow us to peer into regions of space that are hidden from optical telescopes on the ground or such as the Hubble Space Telescope. Many areas of space are filled with vast, dense clouds of gas and dust that block our view. Infrared light can penetrate these clouds, allowing us to peer into regions of star formation, the centers of galaxies, and into newly forming planetary systems. Infrared also brings us information about the cooler objects in space, such as smaller stars that are too dim to be detected by their visible light, extra solar planets, and giant molecular clouds. Also, many molecules in space, including organic molecules, have their unique signatures in the infrared.

The SIRTF spacecraft is scheduled to arrive at Kennedy Space Center March 6. The review to determine the readiness to erect the launch vehicle is scheduled to occur Feb. 13. The SIRTF spacecraft is scheduled to arrive at Kennedy Space Center March 6.

The erection of the Boeing Delta II launch vehicle on Pad 17-B is currently scheduled to begin on Feb. 24. Erection of the nine solid rocket boosters is scheduled for Feb. 25-27. The second stage is planned for hoisting atop the first stage on March 3.

Mission: Mars Exploration Rovers
Launch Vehicle: Delta II/Delta II Heavy
Launch Pad: 17-A/17-B
Launch Date: May 30/June 25
Launch Time: 2:28 p.m. / 12:34 p.m. EDT

The cruise stage, aeroshell and lander for the MER-2 mission arrived at the KSC Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility (PHSF) at 4 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 27. The lander was unpacked, cleaned and placed in the high bay on Tuesday. The aeroshell and cruise stage were removed from the shipping container today. The identical MER-1 flight hardware will arrive in mid-February. The first of the two Mars Exploration rovers will arrive at KSC in late February and early March.

Status reports are available at:

http://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/launchingrockets/status/index.html


 

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