Expendable Launch Vehicle Status Report
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 (Drop time 7:00 a.m.)
The Orbital Sciences L-1011 carrier aircraft with the Pegasus launch vehicle arrived at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., on Feb. 18. The following day, it was demated from the L-1011 and transported to the Multipurpose Payload Processing Facility at Kennedy Space Center, arriving there at 8 p.m.
The payload fairing was removed on Feb. 21. A flight simulation was performed the following day. An Interface Verification Test (IVT) involving the launch vehicle and the GALEX spacecraft was performed on Wednesday, Feb. 26. Another Flight Simulation is scheduled for tomorrow, Friday, Feb. 28.
GALEX will be mated to the Pegasus vehicle on March 5 and then transported to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on March 21 for mating to the Orbital Sciences L-1011 carrier aircraft.
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:
Pad 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Date:
March 29, 2003 (Under review) Launch Time:
5:00 p.m. EST Update: A decision has been made to remove ProSEDS from the current launch opportunity slated for March 29, 2003. An evaluation as to whether ProSEDS can be flown on a future opportunity is being explored. This will help assure full mission success of ProSEDS and the primary payload.
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 SIRTF spacecraft is scheduled to arrive at Kennedy Space Center March 6. It will be shipped from the Lockheed Martin plant at Sunnyvale, Calif.
The erection of the Boeing Delta II launch vehicle on Pad 17-B began on Monday, Feb. 24 with the erection of the first stage. Erection of the nine solid rocket boosters is now under way and will continue through March 3. The second stage is planned for hoisting atop the first stage on March 5.
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 orbiting telescopes 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.
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 first of two Mars Exploration Rovers, MER-2, arrived at the Kennedy Space Center on Monday from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. The cruise stage, aeroshell and lander for the Mars Exploration Rover-1 mission also arrived with it. This same flight hardware for the MER-2 rover arrived Jan. 27. However, this rover is scheduled to arrive at KSC around March 10.
The Boeing Delta II vehicle for the first of the two launches, scheduled on May 30, is planned for erection on the pad at Space Launch Complex 17 beginning April 18. The Delta for the second launch on June 25 will begin erection activities on May 1.
While at KSC, each of the two rovers, the aeroshells and the landers will undergo a full mission simulation. All of these flight elements will then be integrated together. After spin balance testing, each spacecraft will be mated to a solid propellant upper stage booster that will propel the spacecraft out of Earth orbit. Approximately ten days before launch, they will be transported to the launch pad for mating with their respective Boeing Delta II rockets.
The rovers will serve as robotic geologists to seek answers about the evolution of Mars, particularly for a history of water.
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