Kennedy News

George H. Diller
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

Jan. 16, 2002
Expendable Launch Vehicle Status Report
Mission: High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager
Launch Vehicle: Orbital Sciences Pegasus XL
Launch Location: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
Launch Date: No earlier than Feb. 1, 2002

At Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, the HESSI spacecraft was remated to the Pegasus launch vehicle on Dec. 20 and the payload fairing was installed around HESSI on Jan. 11. Mating of the Pegasus to the L-1011 is tentatively planned to occur on Jan. 23 and the ferry flight to KSC is targeted for Jan. 26.

The Flight Readiness Review was held at KSC on Monday, Jan. 14. At the conclusion, NASA and Orbital Sciences engineers decided to take an additional week to review the similarities of materials and components used on the Pegasus Orion solid rocket motor and the Graphite Epoxy Motor (GEM) of National Missile Defense BV-3 target vehicle that failed during launch late last year at Vandenberg.

Pegasus HESSI was returned to Vandenberg Air Force Base on the L-1011 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station last summer on June 21 to await the outcome of the X-43 and subsequent Taurus launch vehicle failure investigations.

Mission: Tracking and Data Relay Satellite-I
Launch Vehicle: Lockheed Martin Atlas IIA (AC-143)
Launch Pad: Launch Complex 36-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
Launch Date: March 8, 2002

The Atlas IIA wet dress rehearsal, a full countdown dress rehearsal with the vehicle fully fueled, was successfully performed on Jan. 9. No significant vehicle processing activity is scheduled this week.

The TDRS-I spacecraft is anticipated to arrive at KSC from the Boeing Satellite Systems plant in El Segundo, Calif. no earlier than Jan. 25. A review to determine the readiness of TDRS-I to be shipped to Florida for final launch preparations is planned for on or about Jan. 22. The launch has been set for March 8, 2002, during a window which runs from 5:39 - 6:19 p.m. EST.

Mission: Earth Observing System Aqua Observatory
Launch Vehicle: Delta II 7920-10L
Launch Pad: Space Launch Complex 2, Vandenberg Air Force Base
Launch Date: March 24, 2002

The erection of the Delta II launch vehicle at SLC-2 is tentatively planned to begin on Feb. 20 on Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

This week the Aqua Ground Operations Working Group is occurring at the TRW plant in Redondo Beach, Calif. The readiness of the spacecraft for shipping and the remaining work to be done is being reviewed. At the conclusion of the meeting, a date will be identified for shipment of the spacecraft to Vandenberg Air Force Base.

Status reports are available at:


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