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The L-1011 "Stargazer" jet began its operational life as an Air Canada passenger plane.


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MISSION NEWS
DART Launch Vehicle Activities

04.07.05

7 April 2005
All Pegasus launch vehicle and DART spacecraft issues have been resolved. The Orbital Sciences L-1011 aircraft arrives at Vandenberg Air Force Base today. The Pegasus will be integrated with the Orbital Sciences L-1011 carrier aircraft late this week. A Combined Systems Test of the Pegasus/DART/L-1011 combination will be conducted over the weekend. A launch countdown and mission dress rehearsal is scheduled for early next week.

At this time, there are no issues or concerns and launch is on schedule for April 15.

16 February 2005
In the Orbital Sciences Corporation hangar at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, the upper stage has been re-integrated with the DART spacecraft. The Reaction Control System arrived on Feb. 8 and was reinstalled on the Pegasus. Preparations are under way for mating the DART spacecraft with the launch vehicle.

9 February 2005
In the Orbital Sciences Corporation hangar at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, work continues to prepare the Pegasus XL for the launch of the DART spacecraft. The gaseous nitrogen regulator has been repaired and the Reaction Control System is now being returned to Vandenberg for reinstallation on the Pegasus next week. Once that is complete, the DART spacecraft can be re-mated to the launch vehicle.

2 February 2005
In the Orbital Sciences Corporation hangar at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., the Reaction Control System (RCS) on the Pegasus launch vehicle has been depressurized and the leaking gaseous nitrogen regulator was removed. The regulator was shipped on Jan. 28 to Orbital's plant in Dulles, Va., for analysis.

The leak was observed last week during testing of the RCS. This regulator is used to maintain proper pressure in the RCS during flight and is located within the forward portion of the Pegasus third stage.

26 January 2005
In the Orbital Sciences Corporation hangar at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., a leak was observed last week during testing of the gaseous nitrogen regulator associated with the Pegasus launch vehicle's Reaction Control System (RCS). The regulator is used to maintain proper pressure in the RCS during flight. The regulator must be removed and replaced. It is located within the forward portion of the Pegasus third stage.

19 January 2005
The payload test team is finalizing its review of the Pegasus second-stage loads data, or G-force the DART payload may experience during launch. The additional analysis is being done to ensure mission success.

In the Orbital Sciences Pegasus hangar at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., launch vehicle processing activities have resumed. Launch is scheduled for no earlier than March 2, subject to availability of downrange tracking assets. Testing of the launch vehicle Reaction Control System (RCS) regulator is under way this week. This is being done after some minor leakage of gaseous nitrogen was detected and the regulator was repaired.

24 November 2004
The Pegasus rocket with DART has been returned to its hangar for the present time. A new launch date will be determined once the loads analysis concern has been resolved, the Western Range availability is determined, and support of the four worldwide tracking stations necessary for the mission are confirmed. The launch is currently targeted for no earlier than Mar. 2 based on work in progress and DART mission windows.

10 November 2004
The launch of NASA's DART spacecraft aboard an Orbital Sciences Pegasus XL, scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 9, has been postponed indefinitely.

A review of projected loads data, or the G-forces that the DART payload will experience upon ignition of the Pegasus second stage, are being re-evaluated to assure mission success.

21 October 2004
Mated to the Orbital Sciences Pegasus XL rocket at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, NASA's DART spacecraft is being transported to the runway today for mating to the underside of Orbital's L-1011 carrier aircraft. A Combined System Test involving Pegasus/DART and the L-1011 is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 22, and will be followed by a DART Flight Line Test, a spacecraft state of health check.

13 October 2004
The DART satellite and Pegasus XL launch vehicle were successfully re-mated on Oct. 1 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Analysis of the alternate method of monitoring the upper stage hydrazine fuel tank pressure is planned to be completed this week.

7 October 2004
The DART satellite and Pegasus XL launch vehicle were successfully re-mated on Oct. 1 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Verification testing is now under way to validate the alternate method of monitoring the upper stage hydrazine fuel tank pressure.

The DART Mission Readiness Review will occur on Oct. 15 at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. At the conclusion of a successful review, the Oct. 26 launch date should become firm.

30 September 2004
Due to a failed pressure transducer on the DART upper stage, launch aboard a Pegasus XL has been rescheduled to no earlier than Oct. 26. The upper stage is necessary to deliver DART to its rendezvous point and to conduct proximity operations with the Multiple Paths, Beyond-Line-of-Site Communications (MUBLCOM) satellite. Three strain gauges have been installed on the upper stage to derive hydrazine fuel tank pressure. Verification testing is now under way to validate this alternate method of monitoring. A final flight simulation is now scheduled to be conducted on Oct. 7.

22 September 2004
At Vandenberg Air Force Base, the Pegasus XL launch vehicle completed its buildup and testing is in progress. The first of three Pegasus Flight Simulations was completed Aug. 18 and the second on Sept. 9. The final simulation is scheduled to be conducted next week on Sept. 30.


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