Expendable Launch Vehicle Status Report
GOES-J/ATLAS CENTAUR 77 REACH MILESTONES TOWARD LAUNCH
The GOES-J weather satellite to be launched later this month aboard an Atlas I rocket will reach a milestone overnight tonight when it will be moved from the Astrotech payload processing facility in Titusville, Fla., to Pad B at Launch Complex 36. Tomorrow morning at 8:30 a.m. the satellite is scheduled to be hoisted into the Pad 36-B gantry and mated to the AC-77 rocket.
The Atlas I launch vehicle itself passed a milestone on May 3 when a Wet Dress Rehearsal (WDR) was successfully run. The WDR verifies the launch readiness of the vehicle, the launch support equipment at the pad and in the blockhouse, the countdown procedure, and the launch countdown operations of the Eastern Range. During this countdown test liquid hydrogen, liquid oxygen and RP-1 propellants are aboard the vehicle, verifying the structural integrity of the Atlas first stage and Centaur upper stage tanks.
The last major prelaunch milestone before actual countdown activities begin is the Combined Electrical Readiness Test, an integrated test between the GOES-J satellite and the AC-77 vehicle currently scheduled for May 9. GOES-J is the second spacecraft to be launched in the new advanced series of geostationary weather satellites for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The spacecraft has the dual capability of providing pictures while performing atmospheric sounding at the same time.
The launch is scheduled for Friday, May 19, at the opening of a launch window which extends from 1:42 a.m. to 2:55 a.m. EDT.
The GOES-J satellite is built by Space Systems/LORAL of Palo Alto, Calif. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., is responsible for the GOES project management. The Kennedy Space Center is responsible for government oversight of the launch vehicle processing activities, integration of the GOES-J spacecraft with the launch vehicle and launch countdown activities. NASA’s Lewis Research Center in Cleveland, Oh., is responsible for the NASA launch services management role. Lockheed Martin Astronautics of Denver, Co., is under contract to Lewis Research Center to provide the Atlas I vehicle and associated launch services.
Status reports are available at: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/launchingrockets/status/index.html
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