George H. Diller
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
Mission: THEMIS (Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions During Substorms)
Launch Pad: 17-B, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
Launch Vehicle: United Launch Alliance Delta II
Launch Date: Feb. 15, 2007
Launch Time: 6:08 - 6:27 p.m. EST
At the Astrotech payload processing facility near NASA Kennedy Space Center, engineers and technicians are preparing the THEMIS spacecraft for mating to the upper stage booster, planned for Monday. The spacecraft will then be installed into its transportation canister on Feb. 1 and moved to Launch Complex 17 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Feb. 2 for mating with the Delta II later that day.
At Launch Complex 17, the stacking of the Delta II launch vehicle is complete on Pad 17-B. Prelaunch checkout and testing is under way. Initial leak checks of the first stage propellant systems were conducted on Thursday. Technicians are now performing guidance and control system checks.
On Monday, a "LOX leak check" will be performed by loading liquid oxygen aboard the first stage during a simulated countdown. The next day, a Simulated Flight Test will be performed, activating the vehicle's post-liftoff flight systems without fuel aboard. The electrical and mechanical systems of the entire Delta II will be exercised during this test. Once the THEMIS payload is attached to the third stage of the launch vehicle, a final major test, the Flight Program Verification will be conducted on Feb. 6. This is an integrated test of the Delta II and THEMIS working together. This test will simulate all events as they will occur on launch day, but without propellants aboard the launch vehicle.
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