Expendable Launch Vehicle Status Report
Glory Launch Vehicle:
Taurus XL 3110 Launch Site:
Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. Launch Date:
Feb. 23, 2011 (tentative) Launch Time:
2:10 a.m. PST Altitude/Inclination:
440 miles/98.2 degrees
The launch of the Glory spacecraft aboard a Taurus XL rocket has been tentatively rescheduled from Nov. 22, 2010 to Feb. 23, 2011, subject to confirmation by the Western Range. The new launch date provides the necessary additional time required to complete preparations for the rocket and the spacecraft.
The Taurus rocket is in Orbital Sciences Hangar 1555 on north Vandenberg Air Force Base where integration and testing of the vehicle's flight hardware components continue. Flight Simulation No. 1 has recently been completed and was fully successful. Thermal blanket installation begins on Friday. The second half of the payload fairing is scheduled to arrive on Oct. 6 to begin processing. Avionics sub-system installation also is scheduled to begin at that time. Stages 1 and 2 are scheduled to be attached in mid-October.
Data from the Glory mission will allow scientists to better understand the Earth's energy budget. An accurate description of the Earth's energy budget is important in order to anticipate future changes to our climate. Shifts in the global climate and the associated weather patterns impact human life by altering landscapes and changing the availability of natural resources.
The Aerosol Polarimetry Sensor instrument will measure aerosols (human-caused and naturally occurring) to determine their relative influence on the global climate.
The Total Irradiance Monitor instrument will monitor the Sun to understand short-term solar mechanisms causing energy budget changes and will contribute to the vital long-term solar record.
Previous status reports are available at: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/launchingrockets/status/index.html
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