Chandra Status Report
June 1, 1999
George H. Diller
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
The Inertial Upper Stage (IUS) booster for the Chandra X-ray Observatory arrived at the Kennedy Space Center's Vertical Processing Facility (VPF) at 6 a.m., Tuesday, June 1. This evening it will be lifted from it's enclosed transporter and installed into the VPF west test cell. On Wednesday evening, June 2, the Chandra X-ray Observatory will be hoisted from its location in front of the east test cell and mated onto the two-stage IUS.
On Thursday, June 3, the electrical connections between Chandra and the IUS will be established and the Cargo Integrated Test Equipment (CITE), an orbiter avionics simulator, will be connected to the payload stack. On Friday, June 4, the two-day interface verification test (IVT) is to be performed which validates the IUS/Chandra connections and checks the orbiter avionics interfaces.
On Monday, June 7, the end-to-end test (ETE) is to be conducted. This will verify the communications path to Chandra, commanding it as if it were in space. Participating will be Chandra's operations control center located in Cambridge, MA; Mission Control at the Johnson Space Center in Houston; and the communications assets of both the Deep Space Network and the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) system. During Chandra's recent dwell period in the VPF, while awaiting the arrival of the IUS, the command paths to be used during these upcoming activities were able to be established and thoroughly tested.
Upon successfully completing these tests, the IUS/Chandra payload separation ordnance are to be installed and payload closeouts will be performed in preparation for making the transition to Launch Pad 39-B. The Chandra/IUS combination will be hoisted into the payload canister on June 18 and transported to the pad payload changeout room on June 21. Chandra is currently planned to be installed into Columbia's payload bay on June 25.
At this time, the STS-93 launch is targeted for July 22, however, this date is under review.
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