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The Swift spacecraft "rode out" central Florida's encounter with Hurricane Frances tucked safely inside its shipping container.


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MISSION NEWS
Swift Spacecraft Processing Activities

11.24.04

24 November 2004
NASA successfully launched the Swift spacecraft on Saturday, Nov. 20 at 12:16:00.611 p.m. EST. About 80 minutes after launch, the spacecraft was successfully separated from the Delta II second stage and the solar arrays were properly deployed.

Currently in space, the observatory systems are being activated and on-orbit checkout is beginning.

18 November 2004
NASA has set the launch of the Swift spacecraft for no earlier than Saturday, Nov. 20. The one-hour launch window opens at 12:10 p.m. EST.

Mission managers met this afternoon to confirm the work necessary for a Saturday launch attempt is on schedule. Since the team was not able to repeat the anomalous condition that was seen earlier on the Command Receiver Decoder system, the suspect components are being replaced. The system will be retested Friday, Nov. 19.

10 November 2004
Swift, riding atop its spacecraft transporter, departed NASA's Hangar AE at Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 3:15 a.m. Monday, Nov. 8. It arrived at Pad 17-A on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 4:15 a.m. and was hoisted atop the Boeing Delta II rocket at 6:30 p.m. The Flight Program Verification, an integrated test of the spacecraft/launch vehicle combination and the last major test before launch, is under way today. Fairing installation is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 12. The Flight Readiness Review is set for Saturday, Nov. 13.

21 October 2004
Swift is in the clean room at NASA's Hangar AE on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Wednesday, the spacecraft was weighed and early this morning it was mated to the payload attach fitting, the interface between the spacecraft and the second stage of the Delta II rocket. Work to prepare Swift for transportation to Pad 17-A will begin next week. Because of rescheduling the launch of an Air Force Global Positioning Satellite from adjacent pad 17-B, the launch date for Swift is under review but is currently expected be known within a day or so.

13 October 2004
Swift is in the clean room at NASA's Hangar AE on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. A "first motion" solar array deployment test was completed on Tuesday, Oct. 12. An Aliveness Test, an overall state of health test for the spacecraft, is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 14 followed by a solar array illumination test on Friday, Oct. 15. Swift will be mated to the payload attach fitting on Oct. 19.

7 October 2004
Swift is in the clean room at NASA's Hangar AE on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Two Observatory Operational Simulations are underway this week. The final installation of the flight blankets to provide thermal stability during the mission was completed on Oct. 3. A "first motion" solar array deployment test is scheduled to occur on Oct. 11 and will be followed by an illumination test.

30 September 2004
Swift is in the clean room at NASA's Hangar AE on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The Observatory was covered in a protective double bag with a dry nitrogen purge during Hurricane Jeanne. The bag is being removed today in preparation for a resumption of testing.

The final installation flight blankets to provide thermal stability during the mission will occur on Sunday, Oct. 3. The two remaining Observatory Operational Simulations are scheduled Oct. 6 through 8.

22 September 2004
Swift is in the clean room at NASA's Hangar AE on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The Observatory Integrated Systems Tests is underway today. An Observatory Operational Simulation is scheduled for Sept. 23-24 with two others planned to occur next week.

17 September 2004
Swift is in the clean room at NASA's Hangar AE on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The spacecraft was removed from its shipping container on Thursday, where it had been reinstalled as a precaution for Hurricane Frances. The spacecraft is covered in a protective double bag and will remain so until the threat from Hurricane Jeanne can be determined. However, some electrical testing can still be performed in the interim.

1 September 2004
The Swift observatory is in the clean room at NASA's Hangar AE on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. In preparation for Hurricane Frances, the spacecraft is covered in a protective double bag and has also been installed in its shipping container for additional protection.

26 August 2004
Testing of the Burst Alert Telescope instrument is currently underway. Testing of the X-Ray Telescope and Ultraviolet Telescope is scheduled for next week with the Mission Operations Center at Penn State University. Solar array testing will occur the first week of September and installation of flight blankets is scheduled for mid-September. Observatory testing with the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System was completed earlier this week. The Observatory Integrated Systems Test was completed on Aug. 12. This was an unabridged performance evaluation of the spacecraft’s on-board systems.

18 August 2004
The Swift satellite, which will pinpoint the location of distant yet fleeting explosions that appear to signal the births of black holes, arrived at Kennedy Space Center on July 29 to begin preparations for launch.

The Observatory Integrated Systems Test was completed on Aug. 12. This was an unabridged performance evaluation of the spacecraft’s on-board systems.

The spacecraft was powered down, secured and temporarily covered as part of predetermined hurricane procedures based on the threat of tropical storm conditions on Friday. There were no issues with the spacecraft that occurred during Hurricane Charley. With severe thunderstorms forecasted to occur over the next several days during the afternoon, the spacecraft will remain covered for the present time. With a spacecraft cooling purge on the observatory, this will not prevent powered-up tests from continuing.

Fault protection system testing was completed on Aug. 10, followed by the software regression testing on Aug. 15. These tested the overall software programming to evaluate performance since they were updated previously. The installation of the flight blankets has been rescheduled for mid-September.

11 August 2004
The Observatory Integrated Systems Test is underway this week and will be completed tomorrow, Aug. 12. This is an unabridged performance evaluation of the spacecraft’s on-board systems. The Observatory Abbreviated Integrated System Test was successfully completed on Aug. 6. This was a “quick-look” state of health test of the spacecraft’s systems conducted after it was shipped to KSC.

The spacecraft is being powered down, secured and temporarily covered as part of pre-determined hurricane procedures based on the threat of tropical storm conditions on Friday.

Fault protection system testing is scheduled Aug. 13 followed by software regression testing on August 14. This tests the overall software programming to evaluate performance since were installed. The installation of the flight blankets is planned next week, Aug. 16-17.

6 August 2004
Today the Observatory Abbreviated Integrated System Test is being performed. This is a state-of-health test of the spacecraft’s systems. Upcoming activity next week includes software installation and testing and the Observatory Integrated Systems Test.

Gamma-ray bursts are the most powerful explosions known in the universe, emitting more than one hundred billion times the energy that the Sun does in a year. Yet they last only from a few milliseconds to a few minutes, never to appear in the same spot again.


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