George H. Diller
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
Mission: STEREO (Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory)
Launch Pad: 17-B, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
Launch Vehicle: Boeing Delta II
Launch Date: No earlier than Aug. 31, 2006
Launch Time: 3:12:24 or 4:20:28 p.m. EDT
The launch of STEREO aboard a Boeing Delta II rocket has been postponed to no earlier than Aug. 31. At the Boeing plant in Decatur, Ala., a leak has been observed in the second-stage oxidizer tank for the Delta II that had been scheduled to launch NASA's THEMIS spacecraft in November. Therefore, all identical tanks scheduled for launch in the near future must be checked.
Boeing engineers and technicians found that the second stage for the Delta II that will launch STEREO cannot be effectively tested while atop the first stage at Pad 17-B. It will be de-stacked and taken to the High Pressure Test Facility located near Launch Complex 17 for further leak checks. De-stacking will begin on Tuesday, Aug. 2. The stage will be returned to the pad in about a week if no problems are found.
Due to the change in the launch date, a decision has been made not to stack the two STEREO observatories earlier than Aug. 9.
For previous expendable launch vehicle processing status reports, visit:
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