Mission: Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations and CloudSat
Launch Vehicle: Boeing Delta 7420 with Dual Payload Attach Fitting
Launch Pad: Space Launch Complex 2, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.
Launch Date: No earlier than mid-February 2006
Launch Window: TBD
Due to the Boeing labor strike and other issues, the earliest possible launch date is in February, 2006. The spacecraft are being prepared for an extended period in the Astrotech payload processing facilities on North Vandenberg.
Starting December 19, the Western Range begins a planned two-month maintenance, upgrade and refurbishment period. Work will be performed on Range Safety tracking facilities, computers and launch support equipment.
While progress has been made on the problems encountered during testing of the Flight Termination System batteries, Boeing has not formally determined and documented a root cause for engineering review. Approximately 15 days are necessary to prepare for launch once all issues are resolved.
Mission: New Horizons
Launch Vehicle: Lockheed Martin Atlas V 551 (AV-010)
Launch Pad: Complex 41, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.
Launch Date: Jan. 11, 2006
Launch Window: 2:08 to 4:07 p.m. EST
The Applied Physics Lab team is testing the autonomy software system. The testing is to confirm it would take appropriate safety actions if an unplanned condition occurred after New Horizons is far away from Earth. The scope of the testing was expanded requiring additional days for ground processing.
Encapsulation is six days behind schedule, but the launch date has not changed. Encapsulation of New Horizons into the vehicle fairing is scheduled for Dec. 12; followed by transportation to Launch Complex 41 for mating to the Atlas V on Dec. 16. The fifth and final solid rocket booster was mated to the Atlas V at the Vehicle Integration Facility today.
Boeing's delivery of the third stage to the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility is on schedule for Dec. 1. Mating with the spacecraft is scheduled for Dec. 9. Hydrazine fuel for attitude control and course-correction maneuvers is scheduled for loading Dec. 4; followed by a "wet" spin balance test with fuel onboard Dec. 6-7. A tanking test of the Atlas V launch vehicle is scheduled for Dec. 5.
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