NASA Podcasts

NASA, NOAA Ready GOES-P For Launch
03.03.10
 
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(Music intro)

Silvia Stoyanova/NASA Goddard TV (video host): Launching a spacecraft successfully takes time and it involves hundreds of people. A lot of work has been going on at Cape Canaveral, FL in preparation for launch of the GOES-P weather satellite. From receiving the satellite from El Segundo, CA and assembling the launch vehicle to finally hoisting the spacecraft on the rocket, the team works 24/7 to test and prepare the mission for launch. So join us as engineers and key mission players take us on a tour of some of the critical facilities in preparation for launch, which is only a few days away.

Si Song, United Launch Alliance, Spacecraft Integration Lead: We are standing outside of the DOC, which is Delta Operations Center, which has our engineers and management team sitting at the consoles during launch countdown and this is where we launch the rocket from. So let’s go and take a look.

Hello, my name is Si Song. I am with the spacecraft integration group here at the Cape. We are standing in the Launch Control Center for Delta IV. We are getting ready to launch the GOES-P satellite, which is a weather satellite. These gentleman are busy getting ready for launch, and during launch countdown day, we pressurize the launch vehicle and we prep for launch.

We are standing underneath the second stage of our next mission, which is GPS 2F-1. There is one exactly like this out of the pad for GOES-P mission.

Second stage provides additional propulsion to put the spacecraft out to the location that we are interested in.

Silvia Stoyanova/NASA Goddard TV: This facility here is called the Horizontal Integration Facility or HIF. This is where they actually assemble the rocket and Si is going to show us the different elements of the rocket. Actually, right there you can see the launch pad and as you can see it’s close to the HIF so when they assemble the rocket, they transport it over to the launch pad, then they mount the spacecraft on top of it in preparation for launch so let’s go and take a look inside.

Si Song, United Launch Alliance, Spacecraft Integration Lead: This inner stage that has the empty spot that you see; that actually holds the second stage that we just looked at in the DOC. The grey structure that you see out on the end of the launch vehicle is called the LMU; Launch Mount Unit. LMU holds the vehicle on the base and that’s how we use it to erect it out at the launch pad. And you can see the working end of the rocket , which is RS-68 engine. This is going to produce the thrust to lift the launch vehicle into space and then separate to the second stage and then separate the spacecraft once it goes out to the orbit.

Silvia Stoyanova/NASA Goddard TV: Our final stop is at the Mission Director’s Center here at Hanger AE. We are going to talk to some engineers and the NASA Launch Manager to get a feel of what happens here on the day of launch.

Tracy Evans, QinetiQ, ELVIS Mission Support Area Manager; This facility back here is where our power hitters sit. These are the power users; the engineers that look at the health of the vehicle; the health of the spacecraft.

Timothy Clinger, QinetiQ, ELVIS Lead Telemetry Engineer: Well launch can slip for several reasons. The main reason would be a mechanical or electrical anomaly of the vehicle. We have slips due to weather. If any of the vehicle engineering disciplines were not ready to go for a launch, then we would certainly not be in a posture to launch the vehicle at that time.

(Sound bytes from a countdown dress rehearsal)

Andre Dress, NASA Launch Manager: Ok, copy that. GOM, this is NLM, Goddard Internal one.

Kathleen McIntyre, GOES N-O-P Observatory Manager: This is GOM, go ahead.

Andre Dress, NASA Launch Manager: Yes, we just confirmed with the SLDD that tanking has started.

Kathleen McIntyre, GOES N-O-P Observatory Manager: Copy that, thank you NLM.

(End of sound bytes from a countdown dress rehearsal)

Andre Dress: Hey, welcome to the Mission Director’s Center. In this facility is where the management teams will reside and make decisions about the launch.

On the screens upfront, we actually are monitoring the launch vehicle activities.

On these consoles here what you see, I can communicate with different areas either in Suitland or the Delta Operation Center or at the Astrotech facility.

(Andre to Kathleen): Hundreds of people are really involved in this process. Every one of them has to say go, right?

Kathleen McIntyre, GOES N-O-P Observatory Manager: Absolutely, absolutely.

(Andre to Kathleen): At this point we are good to go, right?

Kathleen McIntyre, GOES N-O-P Observatory Manager: We are good to go!

Silvia Stoyanova/NASA Goddard TV: I hope you enjoyed this tour and let’s wish GOES-P a successful launch! Reporting from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, I am Silvia Stoyanova with NASA Goddard TV.

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