Expendable Launch Vehicle Status Report
Glory Launch Vehicle:
Taurus XL 3110 Launch Site:
Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. Launch Date:
Feb. 23, 2011 Launch Time:
2:09:43 a.m. PST Altitude/Inclination:
440 miles/98.2 degrees
The Taurus XL rocket is in Orbital Sciences Hangar 1555 on north Vandenberg Air Force Base where integration and testing of the vehicle's flight hardware components are in work. This week, the aft end cone was attached to the Stage 1 solid rocket motor and was followed by mating Stage 1 with Stage 2. Associated thermal blanket installation is now under way. Stage 0 electrical and mechanical closeouts are beginning, and the final thermal protection system insulation is being applied.
After the holidays, Pad 576-E on north Vandenberg will be opened to prepare it for the arrival of Stage 0 which will be transported from the Orbital Sciences processing hangar. It currently is planned to be hoisted into place at the pad on Jan. 18.
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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