Kennedy News

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

April 25, 2003
 
STATUS REPORT : ELV-042503
 
 
Expendable Launch Vehicle Status Report
 
 
Mission: Galaxy Evolution Explorer
Launch Vehicle: Pegasus XL
Launch Location: Skid Strip, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
Launch Date: April 27, 2003
Launch Window: 7:50 - 9:50 a.m. EDT (Drop time 8:00 a.m.)

The launch of NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) spacecraft aboard an Orbital Sciences Corporation (OSC) air-launched Pegasus vehicle is on schedule for launch over the Atlantic Ocean from Orbital's L-1011 carrier aircraft on Monday, April 28 at 8 a.m. EDT. This time is contained within a launch window that opens at 7:50 a.m. and closes at 9:50 a.m. EDT.

GALEX was re-mated to the Pegasus on Monday, April 7, followed by a flight simulation on Wednesday, April 9. The GALEX/Pegasus was transported to the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station skid strip and mated to the L-1011 on Thursday, April 24. An integrated test, the Combined Systems Test (CST), is underway today. The Launch Readiness Review, the final review before launch, is scheduled for Saturday, April 26.

The launch begins with the drop of the Pegasus rocket from the L-1011 over the Atlantic Ocean at an altitude of 39,000 feet at a location approximately 100 nautical miles offshore east-northeast of Cape Canaveral. The launch is expected to be visible from the coast. Spacecraft separation from the Pegasus occurs 11 minutes later. At that time the satellite will be in a circular orbit of 431 statute miles (690 km) at a 29-degree inclination.

GALEX will observe a million galaxies across 10 billion years of cosmic history to help astronomers determine when the stars and galaxies we see today had their origins. The spacecraft will make the first ultraviolet scan of the whole sky beyond the Milky Way galaxy.

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.

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: Mars Exploration Rovers
Launch Vehicles: Delta II / Delta II Heavy
Launch Pad: Pads 17-A / 17-B, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
Launch Date: June 5 / June 25
Launch Times: 2:56:59 p.m. / 12:38:16 a.m. EDT

Good progress has been made in the circuit board rework and the reinstallation on the two Mars rovers. As a result, the launch of MER-A can be moved up by one day on the recovery schedule. Launch is now scheduled for Thursday, June 5.

The first reworked telecom support board (TSB) arrived and was installed on MER-2 on April 16. Rover equipment deck (RED) was reinstalled on April 17. MER-2 lander integration was completed on Thursday, April 24. Integration of MER-2 entry vehicle (back shell, heat shield, lander and rover assembly) scheduled to continue through next week.

On MER-1, the telecom support board (TSB) was installed on April 18. MER-1 rover and lander base petal final assembly was completed on Thursday, April 24. Rover installation on base petal is in work and scheduled to be completed by the end of next week. Lander air bag scheduled for installation by the end of next week.

The mission will have two launch opportunities each day during the launch period, which is scheduled to close on June 19. Arrival at Mars is set for Jan. 4, 2003, regardless of launch date within that period.

On Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, first stage and interstage were erected on Wednesday, April 23 for MER-A on Pad 17-A. Second stage erection is currently scheduled for Saturday, April 26 following with fairing installation on April 29. Simulated Flight and Engine Sequence is currently scheduled for May 9. The solid motor erection is scheduled for May 12-14.

Mission: Space Infrared Telescope Facility
Launch Vehicle: Delta II Heavy
Launch Pad: 17-B, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
Launch Date: No earlier than late August
Launch Time: TBD

At Pad 17-B, the Delta fairing will be taken from around the SIRTF spacecraft on Monday in preparation for removing the telescope from the rocket and taking it to NASA Spacecraft Hangar AE. Work will then begin to remove the Delta second stage and two of the nine solid rocket boosters from the vehicle. The remaining solid rocket boosters and the Delta first stage will be used for MER-B.

The launch of SIRTF is expected to occur in the second half of August.

Project management of SIRTF for NASA is by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The observatory is built by Lockheed Martin and Ball Aerospace.

Status reports are available at:

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


 

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