Chandra Status Report
March 16, 1999
 

George H. Diller
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
321-867-2468
george.h.diller@nasa.gov

In the Vertical Processing Facility (VPF) at KSC, work continues on schedule toward the launch on July 9 of the Chandra X-ray telescope aboard Space Shuttle Columbia on mission STS-93.

The reworked Command and Telemetry Unit (CTU) arrived at KSC on March 2 and was reinstalled on Chandra the following day. The Interface Unit (IU) was received and reinstalled on March 8. A three-day retest of both elements was completed on March 11. Both these elements are responsible for handling commands and telemetry to and from the ground.

This week, an overall Chandra state of health test is scheduled to be performed on March 17 and the attitude control thrusters will be helium flow-tested the following day.

The solar arrays arrived March 9 at the Skid Strip on Cape Canaveral Air Station by C-17 aircraft. The three day effort to install and test the arrays is scheduled to begin on March 23. One of the two solar arrays will be deployed for a mechanical check and some limited work on March 27.

On March 31, Chandra will be hoisted from its test stand onto a fueling stand. Loading of fuel into the spacecraft is currently planned to begin on April 5 and will take ten days to complete. These bi-propellant hydrazine and nitrogen tetroxide fuels will be used by the telescope to achieve its final orbit. Hydrazine will also be used by one of the telescope's subsystems associated with pointing of the telescope.

Finally, the spacecraft's batteries will be installed on April 17. Chandra will then be ready for the arrival at the VPF of the Inertial Upper Stage Booster on April 19.

Chandra arrived at KSC's Shuttle Landing Facility aboard an Air Force C-5 airplane on Feb. 4.



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