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December 16, 2005
Expendable Launch Vehicle Status Report

MISSION: New Horizons
LAUNCH VEHICLE: Lockheed Martin Atlas V 551 (AV-010)
LAUNCH PAD: Complex 41
LAUNCH SITE: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida
LAUNCH DATE: NET Jan. 17, 2006, 1:24 to 3:24 p.m. EST
LAUNCH WINDOW: Jan. 11 to Feb. 14, 2006



  • The launch of Pluto New Horizons is rescheduled for NET Jan. 17, 2006. This will enable an additional inspection of the Atlas launch vehicle. The launch services contractor, Lockheed Martin, experienced problems in September on an updated Atlas propellant tank similar to the one being flown on the Pluto New Horizons mission. We continue our work based on a 35-day launch window.

  • A mission rehearsal with all of the launch participants was held Thursday at the Atlas Space Operations Center.

  • The spacecraft was encapsulated into the Atlas V fairing on Tuesday at the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility. It is being installed onto the payload transporter today. New Horizons will be moved to Launch Complex 41 on Saturday.

  • The Integrated Systems Test, an integrated test of the launch vehicle and the spacecraft, is scheduled for Wednesday.


MISSION: Space Technology 5 (ST5)
LAUNCH VEHICLE: Orbital Sciences Pegasus XL
LAUNCH SITE: Vandenberg Air Force Base, California
LAUNCH DATE: Feb. 28, 2006
LAUNCH WINDOW: 5:57:21 a.m. - 7:19:21 a.m. PST






  • Space Technology 5, or ST5 spacecraft, arrived at Vandenberg Air Force Base on Dec. 5 and is in NASA Hangar 836 for prelaunch preparations. Spacecraft Comprehensive Performance Testing is complete on all three spacecraft that comprise the ST5 payload. ST5 has been covered for the Christmas holidays. Other testing and spacecraft processing activities will resume on Jan. 3, 2006.

  • Work on the Orbital Sciences Pegasus XL launch vehicle continues on schedule. Wing fit checks are under way and accelerometer installation will take place next week. Flight computer software installation is scheduled for Monday. Aft skirt installation is planned for Dec. 29-30, 2005. Flight Simulation No. 1 is scheduled for Jan. 5-6, 2006; Flight Simulation No. 2, for Jan. 25-26, 2006.


MISSION: Cloud-Aerosol Lidar & Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation/CloudSat (CALIPSO/CloudSat)
LAUNCH VEHICLE: Boeing Delta 7420 with Dual Payload Attach Fitting
LAUNCH PAD: Space Launch Complex 2
LAUNCH SITE: Vandenberg Air Force Base, California
LAUNCH DATE: No earlier than February 2006






  • CALIPSO and CloudSat are installed in the Dual Payload Attach Fitting at the Astrotech payload processing facilities on north Vandenberg. They will remain there until a new launch date is determined and then be prepared for transportation to NASA's Space Launch Complex 2.

  • Further Delta II preparations at the launch pad are on hold until the CALIPSO/CloudSat payloads arrive for installation atop the second stage.




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J.D. Harrington
Headquarters, Washington
Phone: (202) 358-5241

George H. Diller
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
Phone: (321) 867-2468

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